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You Better Not Give These Flowers to the People you Love! A Deeper look into Flowers and their Meanings

Flowers with their gorgeous hues and intricate patterns have held symbolic meanings for centuries

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Every flower conveys a deeper meaning. Hence, there are some flowers that you should not present to the people you love. Pixabay
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How many times have you told your father that you love him? How often have you thanked your teacher for always being the light of your life? Was it easy telling your partner how you feel about them? As humans, our words sometimes restrict us. Overwhelmed by emotions, we find it hard to express how we feel.  We say, “I don’t have words to say.” We say we are lost for words. It is in these moments that flowers give us back the words we need. Without any formal idea, we all assume flowers and their meanings and use them to convey emotions.

We have long relied on flowers to convey emotions and messages when words failed. Haven’t you surprised your partner with a bunch of roses without a reason sometimes? Why do you instinctively carry flowers to see patients in a hospital?

flowers and their meanings
Every flower conveys a differing meaning. Pixabay

Flowers have deeper meanings and whether we know them or not, we attempt to convey our messages using gorgeous blossoms!

Flowers have a language, and the larger world understands it as Floriography.

Beginning Of The Language of Flowers

Flowers with their gorgeous hues and intricate patterns have held symbolic meanings for centuries and had been in use to convey messages in Persia and the Middle East since times immemorial. However, floriography did not see the light of the day until the late 19th century England.

It was in the Victorian Era, in societies governed by strict rules and etiquette that flowers came to have a secret language. However, it was not not easy to decode the numerous flowers and their meanings.

With the publication of various flower dictionaries, the language of flowers came to the masses, and evoked different meaning of plants, flowers and herbs. It was then that floriography emerged and spread as a tradition throughout England.

Floriography And Victorian Floral Arrangements

19th century England was nothing in ideology as depicted in the books written at the time. While books of the time were obsessed with romance, citizens did not enjoy the privilege to express affection openly; the expression of romance was relentlessly constrained in a society that had very strict rules around interaction between the genders.

Women from the Victorian Era would categorically carry small bouquets to evade the bad odor coming from the streets. The scent of the flowers would not only block the smells, but also announce their arrival through its freshness and added to their beauty.

flowers and their meanings
Women in the Victorian Era used to walk in the streets with small bouquets in their hands. These bouquets were called ‘Nosegays’ (Representative image) Pixabay

 

Nosegays, as these bouquets were called, were the first means for communicating secret messages by the use of flowers. Men would gift the women they admired with nosegays arranged in a specific pattern, conveying complex, however detailed messages.

Victorian flower arrangements had more than what met the eye. Each flower in the nosegays conveyed different meaning. Not only did the flowers alter meanings, the pattern in which they were arranged would convey different emotions.

The women-folk would indicate their response to the message by the manner in which they held the nosegays; a nosegay held against the chest would mean an acceptance of the message while holding it pointing downwards would mean a rejection.

Flowers And Their Meanings

Today, very few people can decode different flowers and their meanings. If anything at all, they know that red roses denote love, orchids are for beauty, olives mean peace and forget-me-nots are well, a reminder to never forget about me.

Choosing The Right Flowers

If paid attention, it is not very difficult to understand the different flowers and their meanings.

Convey emotions through the language of flowers; when words fall short, let the art of floriography convey what the heart desires.

But you must be careful when selecting a flower! While every flower carries a deeper meaning, not every flower may convey what you intend to.

ALSO READ These 3 Blooming Flowers Will Bring Positive Aura To Your Home!

Each flower has its own meaning, and that can vary according to the flower’s hue. Did you know that a single-colored Carnation symbolizes a ‘yes’ when a striped Carnation is associated with a firm ‘no’?

Here is a list that talks about different flowers and their meanings; a list that entails the flowers that you should better not give to someone if you wish to show your affection or convey their importance in your life,

 1. Carnations

What does the Carnation flower mean?

Carnations are found in a variety of colors and each hue symbolizes a unique and rich association. White carnations suggest pure love and innocence, whereas dark red carnations are for deep love and affection, pride and admiration.

Wondering about the meaning of pink carnations? It is believed that pink carnations first appeared on the earth with Virgin Mary’s tears and have been hence, believed to symbolize a mother’s undying love.

While carnations in general mean affection and pride, beware to never present striped or yellow carnations to your beloved.

Yellow carnations means hate. So the next time someone gets you some yellow carnations, you might as well imagine them saying, “I loathe you!”

On the other hand, striped carnations for simply mean “no”. Because they are a mix of colors, striped carnations are a gentler way to simply mean refusal. When paired with another solid color, they strongly express regret.

flowers and their meanings
Striped Carnations. Pixabay

2. Marigold

What does the Marigold mean?

Early Christians placed flowers on Virgin Mary’s altar in place of coins, which is where the flower Marigold gets its name from; it is believed to mean ‘Mary’s Gold’.

Marigold is associated with the sun – it is bright, vibrant and yellow.

However, Marigolds are also symbolic of cruelty and grief. The blooming flower is believed to denote strong passion to the extent that it transcends into jealousy, which is not a positive emotion for any relationship.

flowers and their meanings
Marigold blossoms. Pixabay

In Victorian Era, Marigold symbolized the desire for riches, and the flower is also hence believed to utter a call of desperation; definitely not an emotion you would want to present somebody.

3. Anemone

What does the anemone flower mean?

Stories about anemone flowers mostly circle around death, which is why the anemone flower is often linked with being abandoned and forsaken.

Tracing its roots in the Greek mythology, the Anemone flowers are believed to have sprung out of Aphrodite’s tears as she mourned the death of Adonis, the love of her life. Henceforth, the Anemone flowers have been interpreted as a symbol of dying love, or the departure of a love that will never return.

flowers and their meanings
Red Anemone flowers. Pixabay

A flower to express distance between two people, a bunch of anemone flowers simply mean “I feel abandoned”.

4. Yellow rose

What does a yellow rose mean?

We have all grown up believing that a red rose stands for love and affection, a white rose means purity and a yellow rose symbolizes friendship. But that is where we are wrong!

In the Victorian Era, the color yellow was associated with negative connotations, ranging from lukewarm affection to jealousy.

A yellow rose hence, represents jealousy and infidelity. It may also mean diminishing emotions, a love that is nearing its end. Yellow rose may also mean farewell, combined with a hint of sorrow.

The association of yellow rose with friendship is believed to be an invention of rose cartels to expand the sale of the flower. Surprisingly, that is the more popularly known (and believed) interpretation, too.

flowers and their meanings
Yellow Rose. Pixabay

It is not very difficult to understand the decode different flowers and their meanings. While there are numerous flowers that express affection, grief, care and concern, there are handfuls that denote negative emotions. Refer to our list the next time you wish to buy flowers for somebody and remember to never get these flowers if you wish to show your affection,

Crocus                               I need some time to think

Lavender                           I do not trust you

Tansy                                Leave me alone

Geranium                          You do not seem right for me

A dried white rose             I would literally die than be with you 

 

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AI To Recognize Individuals Emotions Using A Photographic Repository

Not for police, government

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Rana el Kaliouby, CEO of the Boston-based artificial intelligence firm Affectiva, is pictured in Boston, April 23, 2018. Affectiva builds face-scanning technology for detecting emotions, but its founders decline business opportunities that involve spying on people.
Rana el Kaliouby, CEO of the Boston-based artificial intelligence firm Affectiva, is pictured in Boston, April 23, 2018. Affectiva builds face-scanning technology for detecting emotions, but its founders decline business opportunities that involve spying on people. VOA

When a CIA-backed venture capital fund took an interest in Rana el Kaliouby’s face-scanning technology for detecting emotions, the computer scientist and her colleagues did some soul-searching — and then turned down the money.

“We’re not interested in applications where you’re spying on people,” said el Kaliouby, the CEO and co-founder of the Boston startup Affectiva. The company has trained its artificial intelligence systems to recognize if individuals are happy or sad, tired or angry, using a photographic repository of more than 6 million faces.

Recent advances in AI-powered computer vision have accelerated the race for self-driving cars and powered the increasingly sophisticated photo-tagging features found on Facebook and Google. But as these prying AI “eyes” find new applications in store checkout lines, police body cameras and war zones, the tech companies developing them are struggling to balance business opportunities with difficult moral decisions that could turn off customers or their own workers.

El Kaliouby said it’s not hard to imagine using real-time face recognition to pick up on dishonesty — or, in the hands of an authoritarian regime, to monitor reaction to political speech in order to root out dissent. But the small firm, which spun off from a Massachusetts Institute of Technology research lab, has set limits on what it will do.

The company has shunned “any security, airport, even lie-detection stuff,” el Kaliouby said. Instead, Affectiva has partnered with automakers trying to help tired-looking drivers stay awake, and with consumer brands that want to know whether people respond to a product with joy or disgust.

Rana el Kaliouby, CEO of the Boston-based artificial intelligence firm Affectiva, demonstrates the company's facial recognition technology, in Boston, April 23, 2018.
Rana el Kaliouby, CEO of the Boston-based artificial intelligence firm Affectiva, demonstrates the company’s facial recognition technology, in Boston, April 23, 2018. VOA

New qualms

Such queasiness reflects new qualms about the capabilities and possible abuses of all-seeing, always-watching AI camera systems — even as authorities are growing more eager to use them.

In the immediate aftermath of Thursday’s deadly shooting at a newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, police said they turned to face recognition to identify the uncooperative suspect. They did so by tapping a state database that includes mug shots of past arrestees and, more controversially, everyone who registered for a Maryland driver’s license.

Initial information given to law enforcement authorities said that police had turned to facial recognition because the suspect had damaged his fingerprints in an apparent attempt to avoid identification. That report turned out to be incorrect and police said they used facial recognition because of delays in getting fingerprint identification.

In June, Orlando International Airport announced plans to require face-identification scans of passengers on all arriving and departing international flights by the end of this year. Several other U.S. airports have already been using such scans for some departing international flights.

Chinese firms and municipalities are already using intelligent cameras to shame jaywalkers in real time and to surveil ethnic minorities, subjecting some to detention and political indoctrination. Closer to home, the overhead cameras and sensors in Amazon’s new cashier-less store in Seattle aim to make shoplifting obsolete by tracking every item shoppers pick up and put back down.

Concerns over the technology can shake even the largest tech firms. Google, for instance, recently said it will exit a defense contract after employees protested the military application of the company’s AI technology. The work involved computer analysis of drone video footage from Iraq and other conflict zones.

Google guidelines

Similar concerns about government contracts have stirred up internal discord at Amazon and Microsoft. Google has since published AI guidelines emphasizing uses that are “socially beneficial” and that avoid “unfair bias.”

Amazon, however, has so far deflected growing pressure from employees and privacy advocates to halt Rekognition, a powerful face-recognition tool it sells to police departments and other government agencies.

Saying no to some work, of course, usually means someone else will do it. The drone-footage project involving Google, dubbed Project Maven, aimed to speed the job of looking for “patterns of life, things that are suspicious, indications of potential attacks,” said Robert Work, a former top Pentagon official who launched the project in 2017.

While it hurts to lose Google because they are “very, very good at it,” Work said, other companies will continue those efforts.

Commercial and government interest in computer vision has exploded since breakthroughs earlier in this decade using a brain-like “neural network” to recognize objects in images. Training computers to identify cats in YouTube videos was an early challenge in 2012. Now, Google has a smartphone app that can tell you which breed.

A major research meeting — the annual Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, held in Salt Lake City in June — has transformed from a sleepy academic gathering of “nerdy people” to a gold rush business expo attracting big companies and government agencies, said Michael Brown, a computer scientist at Toronto’s York University and a conference organizer.

Brown said researchers have been offered high-paying jobs on the spot. But few of the thousands of technical papers submitted to the meeting address broader public concerns about privacy, bias or other ethical dilemmas. “We’re probably not having as much discussion as we should,” he said.

Not for police, government

Startups are forging their own paths. Brian Brackeen, the CEO of Miami-based facial recognition software company Kairos, has set a blanket policy against selling the technology to law enforcement or for government surveillance, arguing in a recent essay that it “opens the door for gross misconduct by the morally corrupt.”

Boston-based startup Neurala, by contrast, is building software for Motorola that will help police-worn body cameras find a person in a crowd based on what they’re wearing and what they look like. CEO Max Versace said that “AI is a mirror of the society,” so the company chooses only principled partners.

Also read: Thanks To Artificial Intelligence, Radio Journalist Regains His Voice

“We are not part of that totalitarian, Orwellian scheme,” he said. (VOA)