Holiday candies offer sweet messages |

Holiday candies offer sweet messages

Photo Illustration by Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Being terse may be the latest rage in the adult world among government leaders, corporate chiefs and business managers, but all things curt are not necessarily mean-spirited.

Especially when it comes to matters of the heart.

For more than a century, the makers of NECCO Sweethearts Conversation Hearts have come up with the sweetest and sometimes, corniest, Valentine’s Day one-liner expressions of admiration, desire and romance.

Some favorites among the dozens of Sweetheart sayings have been in circulation since the hearts were first factory-made in 1902, according to Holly Hartman and David Johnson for the Web site

These classics include “Kiss Me,” “Sweet Talk,” and “Be Mine.” Sometimes a motto is discontinued for a time and then makes a reappearance while others are erased permanently, according to the Web site. Sayings considered outdated by NECCO include the archaic “Dig Me” and the cheerful but confusing “You Are Gay.”

NECCO officials say selecting new words is a tricky process.

The new sayings can’t be “offensive, distasteful or too wordy,” Walter Marshall, retired NECCO vice president, told Hartman and Johnson.

Space is also an issue. Conversation hearts come in two sizes – the standard 1Ú2-inch and the larger 3Ú4-inch version. The small hearts generally can fit no more than two words with four letters each, while the large hearts may accommodate two words with six letters each. Fortunately, creative phrasing can help fit longer sentiments onto the tiny hearts, as in the case of “EZ 2 LOVE.”

While bartenders have been known to put out dishes of them as conversation pieces on or around Feb. 14, classrooms are among the best known places where the hearts are put to use.

For about 15 years Bijou Community School second-grade teacher Linda Loughrin has used the hearts, among other things, as part of a curriculum that emphasizes friendship, spelling and creativity.

“We use them all we. I give them as treats and incentives. They have to read them in front of the class if they are rewarded with one,” Loughrin said. “Except for the ones that say ‘Kiss Me.’ I tell them they don’t have to read that one if it embarrasses them.”

Students Vanessa Ruiz and Eric Gonzales say they like the candies, the colors and the sayings.

Both, however, have a different take on Valentine’s Day.

While Vanessa, 8, prefers the purple ones, she said she’s not looking for anything else from boys besides friendship. When asked if she has a boy in mind to give a Valentine to, she emphatically said “No.”

Eric, 7, whose favorite color is red and said his favorite conversation heart says “hug” doesn’t have a sweetheart but says he would like one soon.


Candy hearts introduced for 2005

— #1 Fan

— Fit for Love

— Dream Team

— Love Life

— Be A Sport

— Love My Team

— Cheer Me On

— Be My Hero

— Heart Of Gold

— All-Star

Source: NECCO Sweethearts Conversation Hearts

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