What's the provenance of the stylized S from school?

Tiny little baby person (class of 2000) here, so I’m not adding any hustorcally deeper observations, but perhaps some geographic data with a mid 80s sighting from midcoast Maine. I can confirm that my sister (5 years my senior) featured it in her cover annotation of “Lyf Sux” on the family dictionary

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It made it to a town of 5000 in backwoods Montana… it made it to your suburb.

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I would agree, but I was in a hurry. Typeface was a last moment consideration. I will go and meditate on the differences between Helvetica and Arial to atone for the poor choice.

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An older kid taught this to me in 1987 (2nd grade) and told me it was the Styx logo.

It’s clearly not, but I think a lot of kids thought that’s what it was.

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I graduated high school in 1977 and don’t recall ever seeing this.

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I think about kid memes sometimes. The way they’re passed from grade-to-grade without any recorded media as a source–or any to perpetuate it–is a thing that grown-ups haven’t had in a long time in our culture, I don’t think, or not with nearly the same frequency. A totally oral tradition. Then kids outgrow it but they’ve already infected the littler kids with the meme.

I mostly think about the songs. Sometimes they had hand-clapping routines. Or I guess the jump-rope songs. The really bizzare thing is I remember the girls at camp (we’re talking around age ten at most) used to sing one of the filthiest songs I’ve ever heard, and the adult staff never batted an eyelash (because there were no curse-words, I guess. Come to think of it, it was probably regarded as harmless since they all sang it themselves when they were there–the camp had strong camper-to-counselor traditions.) “Minnie the Mermaid,” if you’re familiar, though undoubtedly there are variations.

It just seems like this really special thing that nobody ever acknowledges. Except Groening, he used to put 'em in Life In Hell.

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It’s actually the logo of the Illuminati, which, in their native Bavaria, is spelled with an S - a highly stylized S.

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You are my brother’s age, and he knew about it.

Interesting. It must have completely blown past a lot of people. Maybe not even geographically.

I knew about it, but had no clue what it meant.

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Who know? With my memory I wouldn’t be surprised that I drew them but have just forgotten.

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The floor is made of lava. A game even cats and dogs know the rules to.
Did anyone teach you this game?
Who teaches kids the words to “ring around the rosey”?
How do kids know that it’s “two for flinching?”

There is an uninterrupted chain of the esoteric knowledge shared only by and with children which I hope will always be with us. It is a collection of thoughts and things that resonate with the young mind which one day, without our knowledge or consent we are all cut off from. When you have or are around children as an adult, you can watch it happen, you can even join in, but you will never again be a part of it. The S is another part of that magic world.

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Hmmmm… I confess, I’ve taught my three year old both of these things. Was I not supposed to?

All little kids learn “ring around the rosey,” from parents, preschool teachers, whatever. It’s a natural, kid-dancing song. What two-year-old doesn’t want to hold hands, go round and round, and fall on the floor? So adults teach it. I haven’t met any two-year-old who hasn’t heard it from an adult before.

As for the floor being lava, my kid was already leaping from couch to couch. I just thought it would be good adding a game to it. (Also, she is obsessed with lava.)

Maybe people think these kinds of things are “untaught” because they were all taught before they can remember?

Or, if I wasn’t supposed to teach them and I broke the oral tradition chain, I submit myself to the clan’s mercy.

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At three my kid started in with, “I’m the king of the castle and you’re the dirty rascal [but it was more like “rass-hole”]”.

No idea how that came to be.

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Of course many children will learn these things from their parents. There are beloved childhood memories associated with them. The problem is that many adults don’t remember most of them.

It’s not my contention that they are untaught things but rather something taught by other children in most cases. Perhaps today’s world of cloistered children will change that. Perhaps the isolation we now impose will bring an end to the unbroken chain. Perhaps the fear of the ‘dangerous world’ we attempt to instill children will do it.
I’ve watched as pre-school children are taught games and songs by older kids. Kick the can and hop scotch come to mind. While I’m sure that many things are taught by adults, I also know that many things are not. After all, has anyone here taught ‘playing doctor’ to their children?

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See…it was an “8” not an “S” … Class of 77 had no need for it.

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That’s where I first saw it in the late 70s. Sometime around the third grade.

Some classmate had a stylized “Styx” written on one of her books. I was really proud when I figured out how to it.

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Is it related to this in any way?

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Because otherwise most people F up the letter S when they try to draw it as an outline

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Class of '89 checking in. When I drew this symbol in the late 80s I always thought it was associated with “The Stones”, as in The Rolling Stones. Perhaps it was some little-known typeface used in obscure promotional materials, or maybe some indie fan art? Has anyone checked a possible link there?

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I learned how to draw this from kids in school in 3rd grade ('82-'83). It was about the same time as learning how to draw 3D boxes. I also remember drawing the S so it looked 3D. My last name started with an S so I drew this a lot! I’ve been teaching middle school for the last 9 years and haven’t seen it in the wild until this year. I’ve always assumed it was some sort of graffiti style of lettering.

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Never heard of it, is it this?
http://www.horntip.com/html/songs_sorted_by_name/minnie_the_mermaid.htm