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Taylor Swift, fans enjoy a 2-way love affair

Taylor Swift performs concert Allstate ArenTuesday August 9 2011. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

Taylor Swift performs in concert at the Allstate Arena Tuesday August 9, 2011. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: November 16, 2011 1:26AM

Last week’s Chicago area shows by Taylor Swift at the Allstate Arena brought out the love. In the shape of a heart.

Swift and her fans frequently flashed hand signals — index fingers and thumbs linking — mimicking hearts.

What’s all that about? What’s the deal with wearing their hearts, well, near their sleeves, if not exactly on them.

Swift told the New York Times recently that the “heart-hand symbol” is “something between ‘I love you’ and ‘Thank you.’ ’’

She began doing it as a budding teenage singer playing free shows.

“I was an unknown act playing shows night after night, and I was constantly trying out all kinds of different moves to try and get a response from the audience,” she said.

“When the moment is just right and the crowd is screaming louder . . . I just want to tell them I love them over and over,” Swift said. “The simplest thing to do is make a sign with your hands.”

Other performers, athletes and even a Brazilian politician have been caught making the sign.

Which doesn’t warm the souls of some Swift fans.

The Times noted one blogger on a Swift fan site saying the heart-hand sign is “like a code word almost, special to us swifties.”

But now “everyone is going to start doing it so it won’t feel special anymore.”

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