Re: “Sadly, hugs have replaced handshakes,” Bronwyn Eyre, Opinion, April 5.
Finally, a columnist writes about something that bothers me, too — there is just way too much hugging going on these days, often in contexts that are weird and awkward.
Bronwyn Eyre is also right that the other alternatives to the handshake — the fist bump and the Oriental bow — don’t adequately replace the handshake.
But she gives up too quickly when she hopes to keep the handshake alive. Handshakes do seem to be a way of spreading germs and I think it is even discourteous not to refuse a handshake if one has recently had a cold or flu.
One alternative Eyre did not look at is the faux punch to the gut, stopping just short of the mock target without actually making contact. Like the handshake, it takes a certain amount of skill to do well, and whereas the handshake allows you to test your acquaintance’s moxie by the strength of his grip, the faux punch allows the same by the extent that your acquaintance flinches.
Rod MacKenzie, Calgary