Rose symbol for c: conventionalc: conventional, in-crowd                            
Rose symbol for c:unconventionalc: unconventional, innovative

Etymology: The origin of this symbol and spectrum

I have always struggled with the cultural conventions, the rules that one is supposed to be born knowing. (Of course, how a Japanese baby knows that eye contact is rude while an American baby knows that eye contact is mandatory is still one of those mysteries I have not fathomed.) So, this spectrum deals with what is conventional, expected, the Correct Thing To Do, and what is unconventional, unexpected and (if you have money—eccentric or if you are poor—crazy). I wanted a way to note whether my actions—or anyone else’s—conformed to the social norms.

Orthography: How to remember these symbols

The “c” for conventional has loops before coming down at an arched angle—like a monocle held by a stiff-necked gentleman. The more loops in the straight line before angling down, the more conventional.

The “c” for unconventional loops underneath the arched angle—like breasts that we don’t mention, or like tangled loops. Note that these tangled loops are echoed in the “n” for tangles (tangents) of deceit and lies, and the “u” for tangles of confusion, of incomprehension. For being unconventional implies being a “traitor” to tradition, and it also carries the huge risk of not being understood.

Philosophy: How I use these symbols to embrace life

I use this symbolistic when I think about someone’s symbol—are they more likely to follow the rules or to understand something outside of a conventional experience? If I am working within the system, such as within the rules at my government job, I just doodle a lot of loops for convention and then gracefully arch down—I will go through the hoops, I will turn over in these loops even though I think they are silly—so I can reach my goal.

I doodle the loops in the unconventional “c” if I want to brainstorm, to come up with something different. Just tracing (racing) those loops down a page makes me think more “outside the box”—how could we do this?