It was my first semester as a graduate student slash teacher (at Florida State University’s awesome Department of Communication, where I earned my Ph.D. in “Speech Communication” (which I modified into “Nonverbal, Speech, Intercultural, Rhetorical, Theoretical, Documentyrannical and/or Kitchen Sinkal Communication”).

I’d already been teaching at various colleges and universities for a year at that point, but NOT as a grad student, and NOT with the sorts of students that God blessed me with during that “interesting” (and highly-transitional) first semester at FSU.

So that may explain why I noticed the gesture I’ve dubbed “OCTOPUS ARMS,” and why it’s a FOUNDATIONAL part of my infamous Speech Sins Series.

Very simply, this very sweet girl would literally shake her head “no,” whilst shrugging, cycling into that “what can you do?” gesture, and then allowing her arms to fall, striking her thighs with a resounding SMACK!


(First headshake) Mary had a little (shrug) lamb (SMACK!) and whatever the (shake) you know that I always (shrug) want tacos (SMACK!)… et al.

(For the record, I want tacos, too. Moving on…)

You know what? A video would be *most* helpful in demonstrating this fabled, somewhat-rare action, so check it:

< < < < < < < businessman_shrugging_14223 I’m not even joking.

Anyway, today’s post is LITERALLY just to say, “NO! to Octopus Arms!” (Or, like, “Just say NO! to Octopus Arms!”).

As you were…