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  #1  
Old 18 November 2009, 05:20 PM
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Tsk, Tsk How cast members point

Comment: I heard from a friend the other week that Disney employees are
taught they should NEVER give directions by pointing with only one finger.
They always have to point with EXACTLY two fingers. She said this was
because Walt was a smoker, and always held his cigarette between two
fingers.

When I worked for Disney, I was indeed told not to point with one finger,
but to point with two or more fingers. It had nothing to do with Walt -
it's just rude to point, like our mothers always told us.

Any truth to the "Walt pointed with a cigarette" theory?
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  #2  
Old 18 November 2009, 05:29 PM
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I don't know about the cigarette thing, but why is pointing with two fingers less rude than pointing with one? For that matter, why is pointing with one rude at all?
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Old 18 November 2009, 05:32 PM
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And don't those characters only have 4 fingers anyway? It's not like you could give a proper "finger" to someone with only 4 fingers.
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Old 18 November 2009, 05:33 PM
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Blow Your Top

One obvious answer is that pointing with two fingers minimizes the chances that any guests will mistake the gesture for a particularly rude one which employs only one finger.
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  #5  
Old 18 November 2009, 05:36 PM
Dr. Dave Dr. Dave is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCIAG View Post
And don't those characters only have 4 fingers anyway? It's not like you could give a proper "finger" to someone with only 4 fingers.
A cast member is anyone who works there (if not, then almost), not just the people in costume. The people in the costume would just raise the puffy hand or paw, though they would not give directions in anycase as they are acting. If anyone giae directions, it would be the non-costumed human friend (escort.)

To the OP, if everything people at WDW did was because that was how Walt did or was, then they'd all have to sport a thin long moustache.
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  #6  
Old 18 November 2009, 05:37 PM
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In basic training (Army) we were taught to point with the whole hand. It didn't make any sense to me though.
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  #7  
Old 18 November 2009, 05:49 PM
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I've never understood why pointing is rude.
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Old 18 November 2009, 05:56 PM
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I don't think pointing, per se, is rude. I learned pointing at someone is rude.
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  #9  
Old 18 November 2009, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCIAG View Post
I've never understood why pointing is rude.
As a child, I was told it was rude. But it was in the context of me pointing to a stranger and asking my mom a question about him or her (usually about something in their appearance that I thought was strange). "Mom, why does that lady have a torn shirt/missing arm/mole on her face?"

It's rude in that context because the stranger could see a child pointing at him or her and then know that there was something that had grabbed that child's attention, and probably not in a good way.

So, for me, it was, "Pointing at people is rude, especially when you're making comments about their appearances."

Pointing at objects? I have no idea why that would be rude.
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  #10  
Old 18 November 2009, 06:02 PM
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I understand that pointing at someone & saying "Look at that funny lookin' person" would be rude, but is it still rude if someone asks me "Who asked for this Coke?" & I said "He did" & then pointed at the person that asked for the Coke because I knew he was the one?
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Old 18 November 2009, 08:26 PM
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My sister was a cast member and was taught always to point with two fingers, but had never heard the cigarette story. She said it was because some cultures consider pointing with the index finger extremely rude and like snopes said, consciously using two fingers lessens the chances of the accidental flip-off.
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  #12  
Old 18 November 2009, 09:07 PM
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There's no truth to the Walt was a smoker story.

The truth is that, as others have said, in some cultures, it is considered extremely rude to point with one finger, so we're taught to point with two fingers or the entire hand. Similarly, characters don't make the "A-OK" sign (thumb and forefinger in a circle, other three fingers up) because it's considered rude in some cultures, and we don't do a thumbs up unless the guest does it first, for the same reason.

And RCIAG, you'd be surprised. I've never done it* but I know it's possible. And it looks humorous.

* To guests...
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  #13  
Old 18 November 2009, 09:48 PM
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What Mickey is a gyrl said.

One does not have to leave the country to find a culture that thinks pointing with one finger is rude. The Navajo use their lips to point (kind of a pucker) or the whole hand. A single finger point is considered rude.
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Old 19 November 2009, 01:59 PM
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The other country thing never occurred to me & the no-pointing thing makes sense now.

God bless you people that dress up in those costumes, cause I'm sure it's not an easy job & I'm sure you harassed, poked, prodded & groped intentionally & unintentionally to no end.

I had a friend in high school that worked the Chuck E. Cheese costume & he said the kids were always pulling the tail & poking & doing other horrible things. But he couldn't do anything but stand there & take it & not say a word.
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  #15  
Old 19 November 2009, 02:04 PM
Nick Theodorakis Nick Theodorakis is offline
 
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When you use your whole hand to point, then nobody can say, "When you point your finger at somebody, there are four other fingers pointing back at you." (Actually, in my case, three, since my thumb doesn't point back to me when I point with my index finger).

Nick
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Old 19 November 2009, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by threehead_99 View Post
In basic training (Army) we were taught to point with the whole hand. It didn't make any sense to me though.
That's because it's clearer. One finger might be a bit bendy, as is the wrist, and generally hard to see, but pointing with the whole hand is clearer, especially as it makes it natural to point with the whole arm.

It also looks more authoritative.
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Old 20 November 2009, 03:41 PM
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Also in the "Rude to point at people" factor: If you point directions with one finger to a visitor, you may be inadvertantly pointing at a person at the same time. So somewhere near a building you're pointing at will be a person thinking, "Why the nfbsk is that person looking at me and pointing?!"

Their second thought will be, "Why do these Mickey Mouse shaped ice creams cost the same as a mortgage?!"



Trish "Just share it with your brother, I'm not buying two of those things" DaDish
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  #18  
Old 20 November 2009, 04:16 PM
Assilem Brandywine Assilem Brandywine is offline
 
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Witch

I have heard that the reason for not pointing started from a superstition that witches use their index finger to cast spells. So, once upon a time, pointing at someone could get you accused of witchcraft.
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  #19  
Old 20 November 2009, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Assilem Brandywine View Post
I have heard that....
Them's fightin' words on this here board!
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  #20  
Old 22 November 2009, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
That's because it's clearer. One finger might be a bit bendy, as is the wrist, and generally hard to see, but pointing with the whole hand is clearer, especially as it makes it natural to point with the whole arm.

It also looks more authoritative.
Well that makes a little more sence than "Do push ups for asking questions" did.
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