XXX and the Dirty 30s
October 5, 2005 12:14 PM Subscribe
Why do news releases really end with -30-? I know the rumours, but I'm looking for evidence-based references.
posted by acoutu to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I work in marketing and I've heard various tales over the years. The most common one involves someone writing -xxx- to signal the end of a release and someone else coming along and interpreting that as Roman numerals. I've heard that telegraphers used to end transmissions with XXX and that some of them used -30- as short hand, although I'm not sure -30- is shorter than XXX in Morse. I've also heard less credible stories, which I won't bother to include here.
I tried Googling to find an answer, but all I could turn up were pages with no citations. I'm looking for a credible answer with references. Thanks!