X in a boxX must be the hardest letter to work with in this challenge.

So few words start with X, it’s tempting to cheat and pick a word that starts with the sound of X, like exit. But, I don’t want to do that. Instead of using an actual X-word, though, I find myself thinking of other ways X is used (beyond marking the spot on a treasure map).


X is commonly used in algebra as an independent variable. One way of looking at that is X is a stand-in for a number that we get to choose. Or, it’s a stand-in for something unknown or undetermined. The tagline for this blog was “Something about X” (as in, Random Says…something about X) which means the topic I, Random, write about is whatever I decide to plug into X.

The point is, X seems to have a sort of undefined quality about it. Even mystery. Mr. X evokes an image of a mystery man, someone who wants to remain hidden.

Then we have X as a sort of blocking or crossing out. I remember on “The Family Feud,” a wrong answer resulted in a big red X being flashed along with an annoying buzzing sound. X is a bit like a big symbolic No! Could that be where X-rated comes from?

Sign language X
X looks a lot like Redrum

Finally, X is used as a sort of odd shorthand for groupings of letters. It may make some sense to replace crossing with x-ing since x is a sort of cross. And maybe that helps explain how Christmas is sometimes shortened to Xmas. But what about Rx (prescription or recipe, receive), Dx (diagnosis, distance) and Tx (transmit)?

Seems as if we’re back to X as a variable. Maybe from now on I’ll just start writing the first letter of a word and then use X to replace the rest of it. Dx yx tx tx wx wx? Maybe not.

X may not play a big role in starting words, but it makes up for that by being versatile in all sorts of other ways. I for one am glad X exists.

I’ll leave you with this. X is letter number XXIV. And that means only II letters left!

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X is for X and XXIV
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4 thoughts on “X is for X and XXIV

    • 04-29-2012 at 4:26 pm

      Thanks! I sort of punted, but it was fun.

  • 04-30-2012 at 12:42 pm

    X is a bit like a big symbolic No! Could that be where X-rated comes from?

    That’s a pretty nifty theory. Hadn’t ever thought about it.

    I have wondered how “x” came to represent kisses and “o” hugs. Not enough to try to find out, but occasionally I wonder.

    • 04-30-2012 at 7:49 pm

      I had never thought of the x-rated thing before either. It just popped into my head as I was writing this post. Probably it came to me because I was desperate for material.

      I can’t believe I didn’t include the ‘x’ for kisses! I’ve wondered that too. I guess I can see why ‘o’ would be for hugs, since it’s round like the arms embracing another. Can’t say as I get the ‘x’ though. If I weren’t still working on my Z post, I’d research that. Maybe.


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