Except when it doesn’t.
And it still bothers me that the stylized heart symbol doesn’t look like any heart that I’ve ever seen, and I’m speaking as someone who did a lot of dissecting as a kid. Even an unusual heart, like the one that belongs to amazing blogger Ann Koplow, doesn’t in any way resemble the popular symbol. It’s interesting that while hearts are, anatomically speaking, so important they’re not centrally placed nor are they symmetrical, unlike lungs, brains, or kidneys. It even seems strange to me that, given the critical role of the heart, most of us only have one, unless you happen to be a Time Lord.
Hearts are strange things. The Tin Woodman wanted one, Humbert Humbert died of a broken one, and even Shakespeare asked, “Where is fancy bred?” although some scholars think he might have been looking for an artisanal bakery, but that’s another story.
Because iconography works on so many levels it’s easy to manipulate, subvert, twist, fold, spindle, and mutilate an accepted symbol into something completely different—into its exact opposite.
Maybe that’s why I ♥ this so much.
And with Valentine’s Day coming up can you think of a better way to express your feelings, at least without resorting to a restraining order?