Where did flipping the bird come from? One account contends that English longbowmen invented it in 1415 at the battle of Agincourt. "The French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured English soldiers.
Without the middle finger it would be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore [soldiers would] be incapable of fighting in the future." So sticking it to the French with upraised middle finger before battle was a gesture of defiance.
But this is confuted by other accounts of the battle in which English longbowmen raised two fingers to express odium for their foes. (These accounts argue they used two rather than one digit to draw the bow, you see.)
Adele was the centre of a swirl of bad press on Wednesday after giving a middle-finger salute when she was cut off during her acceptance speech at the Brit Awards Tuesday evening.
The 23-year-old was midway through a brief acceptance speech at the packed O2 Arena in London after winning the night’s top prize, best British album, for 21.But presenter James Corden stepped in to cut her short, because the show, being broadcast live on ITV, was running late.P.O.V.Should Adele and other winners be given more time for their acceptance speeches? Have your say.Adele has since apologized for the gesture, which comes two weeks after U.S. star M.I.A. flipped the bird during the Super Bowl halftime show. Both ITV and the BRIT Awards also issued apologies after taking a tongue-lashing from the British tabloids."I flipped the finger but it wasn't to my fans,"
Adele told the Sun newspaper. "I'm sorry if I offended anyone; it was the suits that offended me."The cutting off of the speech and Adele’s extreme reaction, ended the evening on a down note, after the singer won two of the biggest awards in pop music — best British female and best British album.
Ed Sheeran accepts his breakthrough artist award. He started out as an internet sensation. (Dylan Martinez/Reuters )
Adele, who won six Grammys last week in Los Angeles for her album 21, said it’s “been an amazing year” for her.The singer, who had to stop performing for five months last fall after having surgery on her vocal cords, thanked her record company "for letting me be the kind of artist I want to be."
She also performed Rolling in the Deep as part of the London ceremony, her second performance since she took time off to allow her voice to heal.But Adele's hit song lost the best single category to What Makes You Beautiful by a boy band from reality TV show X Factor, One Direction.Newcomer Ed Sheeran, a 21-year-old singer-songwriter, also won two awards — best British male and British breakthrough.
"I honestly didn't think I'd get this one,” he said, after coming out ahead of rapper Professor Green, James Blake, James Morrison and Noel Gallagher.
Sheeran built his fanbase as an unsigned act via Facebook and YouTube and scored a major hit with The A Team, the acoustic song he recorded in a student flat and put online.
Coldplay was crowned best British group for a record third time, while U.S. pop star
Bruno Mars was named best international male.
Best international female: Rihanna.
Best internatonal group: Foo Fighters.
Best international breakthrough: Lana Del Rey.
Critics choice: Emeli Sandé.Outstanding contribution: Blur.