Signature move?

中国日报网 2017-07-21 11:30



Signature move?Reader question:

Please explain “signature move” in this passage (The bear hug TRUMPS the handshake: Indian PM Modi eschews US president's usual firm greeting with a full-on embrace,, June 27, 2017):

US President Donald Trump should have been ready for a bear hug from Narendra Modi this week in Washington - the folksy embrace has become a signature move for the Indian prime minister in greeting global leaders and celebrities alike.

My comments:

The signature is your name written at the end of a letter or a document. The signature is your very own handwriting, different from anyone else’s. Therefore, seeing your signature, people understand that the letter is yours or that it is really you who’s signed the document, agreeing to a deal or some such.

A move refers to one’s body movement when we do something. In our example, it refers to Narendra Modi’s particular way of hugging people as a form of greeting.

Therefore, that the “folksy embrace has become a signature move for the Indian prime minister in greeting global leaders and celebrities alike” means that Modi does this so often that it’s become his particular style, something that distinguishes himself from others.

Other people do the bear hugging, too, of course. But somehow Modi does it more impressively or memorably. Therefore, when you see the particular way he embraces people, you recognize instantly – and unmistakably – that it’s Modi.

It’s Modi, and not anyone else.

That’s the essence of a signature move. It’s unique.

Speaking of unique, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s sky hook springs to mind. That’s basketball. Abdul-Jabbar, who retired in 1989, is the all-time scorer of the NBA, the professional hoops league in America. The hook shot is a shot one throws sideways over the shoulder. It is a shot that’s usually taken under or near the basket when you’re closely guarded. When you throw the ball sideways from the shoulder instead of straight in front of you, you have a better chance of evading the defender who is trying to block the shot.

Anyways, Abdul-Jabbar does, or rather did the hook shot better and more beautifully than anyone else have done, ever. He is tall, more than 7 feet in height, and he fully elevates himself when he does the hook shot. His fully stretched arm and body is elegant in the air. Hence, his hook shot is known as the sky hook, the hook from the sky, i.e. high and unreachable.

In short, the sky hook is Abdul-Jabbar’s signature move. When you see that shot, you know it’s his and his alone.

All right, let’s read a few more media examples:

1. After a game last December, Kristaps Porzingis was handed a piece of paper with a phone number on it. A basketball legend was impressed with how the young Knick played and carried himself, and he wanted to extend a helping hand.

It was Dirk Nowitzki.

Porzingis is from Latvia. He idolized Kobe Bryant, but he also looked up to and admired Nowitzki, who grew up in Germany. Now the best European-born NBA player and future Hall of Famer wanted to exchange numbers and texts with the unproven rookie.

“I’m here if you need me, kid” essentially was Nowitzki’s message to Porzingis.

“He said, ‘Whatever question you have, whatever you need, let me know, and if you want to work out during the summer, we can make that happen,’ ” Porzingis said.

“It was really nice of him to give back and to help young players from Europe like me to get to that next level. It meant a lot. It’s an honor that he reached out to me and gave me that opportunity. It just didn’t work out.”

Nowitzki, 38, tried to arrange the workout in September, but it didn’t fit their schedules. Nowitzki was in Germany and would be returning to Dallas. Porzingis, 21, considered going, but he already had begun working out with the Knicks and many of his new teammates and didn’t want to leave them so close to the start of training camp.

They will try to get together after this season. Porzingis hopes to learn “a signature move” from Nowitzki, whose one-legged fadeaway jump shot has helped him score more than 29,000 points and win an NBA championship and league MVP award.


“His turnaround jump shot is unguardable, basically,” Porzingis said. “That’s one thing I can work on and maybe steal a move or two from him and add to my game. A signature move, I’d like to see if I’m capable of doing that.

“There are a lot of little details I can ask him about the game, about off-the-court stuff. He’s been in the league forever. From a guy like that with a lot of experience, there’s a lot to learn. I hope I have that chance.”

- Kristaps Porzingis, at 7-3, still looks up to Dirk Nowitzki,, November 13, 2016.

2. As with magic and comedy, misdirection plays a vital role in mixed martial arts. Take an opponent to one place and drop them off somewhere else. Goad an opponent into concentrating on the right hand, then snap off a kick with the left leg. Take the fight to the ground as if trying to manipulate a limb, then transition to a triangle choke.

Lately, that misdirection applies more broadly to the sport. For months, all the attention in MMA had been funneled toward whether Conor McGregor would box Floyd Mayweather Jr., who’s held belts in five weight classes. Now that the match is set for Aug. 26, the conversation has pivoted to whether McGregor can survive with faculties intact, much less win. And all of this has diverted discussion away from the strange fate of the sport’s only other comparably popular fighter, Ronda Rousey.

Remember Rousey? Only two years ago she wasn’t merely a superstar, she was a superhero. Wonder Woman with no headband but a complement of black belts instead. She was The World’s Most Dangerous Woman, as Rolling Stone headlined a 2015 story. At SI she was The World’s Most Dominant Athlete. It didn’t seem hyperbolic. In Rousey’s first 12 professional MMA fights, only one challenger made it beyond Round 1. At UFC 175 she finished off her opponent in 16 seconds. In her next fight she needed 14. “She’s unreal,” UFC impresario Dana White told SI then. “It’s like, Are you for real?”

When Rousey fought, the suspense wasn’t in the outcome, it was in how her badassness would reveal itself. She punched and kicked and won one fight by delivering a vicious knee to the body. But her signature move was the arm bar, hyperextending the opponent’s elbow and occasioning a tap-out before, as she once described it to me, “ligaments will begin popping like guitar strings.”

- Fading fast: Ronda Rousey shows how quickly the ‘where are they now’ point can be reached,, June 28, 2017.

3. US President Donald Trump has a notoriously curious handshake. The much-maligned technique typically begins with pulling the recipient close, elongating the embrace and displaying dominance by initiating the disengagement.

Defensive or aggressive, President Trump’s handshakes are the subject of much debate but when he greeted French first lady Brigitte Macron on Thursday a new element of eccentricity was exposed.

Public affairs Professor Don Moynihan described the greeting as Trump trying to “rip off the arm of the French first lady,” in a tweet on Thursday.

But it seems even the experts disagree on his rare ability to achieve juxtapositions of dominance and awkwardness in the diametric lingers and jerks of his signature move.

Physiologist Dr Harry Witchel tells The Independent that in the handshake, “Donald has styled his own vulgarian greeting by yanking on the arm of his victim,” giving the receiver “no choice but to be close to him.”

Body language and communication specialist Tonya Reiman draws attention to his handshakes with women, or lack thereof.

“With women, he tends to be less sure of himself and thus, his handshakes with women make those interactions even more uncomfortable to watch than his ‘Trump Pumps’ with men,” Ms Reiman explains to The Independent.

“The initial greeting is incredibly uncoordinated and graceless - it appeared neither were sure if it should be a hug or handshake,” says Ms Reiman.

“Their hands briefly touch but it immediately turns into a bizarre upper-only hug as Trump squeezes her shoulders - her hands stay on the front of his chest which is typically a way to keep a barrier between you and the individual you are greeting.”

Ms Reiman explains that on Ms Macron attempting to retreat, Trump instead “squeezes her right hand pinky and ring finger tightly...not allowing the withdrawal.”

However Ms Reiman agrees: “He is much more aggressive and physical when shaking a man’s hand, literally jerking them off their feet to demonstrate his desire to be the alpha dominance. With women, he tends to be less sure of himself.”

- Donald Trump’s handshakes with Brigitte Macron decoded by body language experts,, July 14, 2017.


About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at:, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.

(作者:张欣 编辑:丹妮)

上一篇 : Never done anything by halves?
下一篇 :



















关于我们 | 联系方式 | 招聘信息

Copyright by All rights reserved. None of this material may be used for any commercial or public use. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. 版权声明:本网站所刊登的中国日报网英语点津内容,版权属中国日报网所有,未经协议授权,禁止下载使用。 欢迎愿意与本网站合作的单位或个人与我们联系。