The Daily Quotidian

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Posts Tagged ‘Arts and Letters

X-Post Fact(o)s

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I love the letter “x”. It is the most economical of all letters. It stands in for the sounds of four letters: ecks. It also stands in for cross or Christ: Peds-Xing; Xmas; and, my favorite, Xtina. And it can be used in sequence to mean a lot of different things:

x: don’t do it!/marks the spot/10

xx: Mexican beer/man chromosomes/20

xxx: moonshine/porn/chromosome problem/30

Naturally I have been happy to see that the British people make ample use of the letter: Brixton, Oxford, Exeter, and, my favorite, Vauxhall. I especially like Vauxhall because it has, over time, morphed to incorporate the x. Wikipedia tells me that the district of London was originally called Faulke’s Hall, later, Foxhall, and now, gloriously, Vauxhall.

The US can boast of at least one site to have followed a roughly similar xtymology (I just made that up, but I mean it to mean the way the process by which the letter X makes its way into a word’s spelling). The Bronx wasn’t always so tough-looking with those imposing crossing sticks at the end. Back in the 17th century, it was called Bronck’s Land, in honor of Dutch Sea-Captain Jonas Broncks. Wikipedia cannot tell me when the X finally replaced the “cks.” Looks like I’ll need to consult a real library for that one. But it should be noted that in both the British and the American example, the X does double duty: it not only replaces a k or a ck sound, but it also turns the possessive into a singular.

I can only pray that in time the X will replace superfluous letters in other English words. Imagine your grandpappy going to the Elx Hall, instead of the Elks Hall. I think they’d have no problem with the recruitment of young people if they changed their name in such a manner. Also it’s a lot more textable:

Q:OMG! WHERE R U?

A: ELX.

What about snax? Or stinx? Or if it really smells it stinxxx.

Anyway, these are just a few suggestions I have for improving the English language. Don’t even get me started on German. There can be a true Volxich movement, a populist revolution of letters.

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Written by dailyquotidian

July 9, 2008 at 10:48 pm

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