Although it’s true that we do use “x” in the middle of some of our more common words – for example, ‘example’ and ‘extra’, etc., very few words beginning with “x” are familiar to most English speakers –xylophone seems to come the closest.
This doesn’t mean that the 24th letter of the alphabet isn’t very useful, however. We use it to indicate our choice on a ballot or on a bureaucratic form and we use it to identify something as wrong, or in need of deletion. X also represents a person, thing, or factor of unknown identity, and an unknown quantity or variable. In Roman numerals X is the number 10 and in math it indicates multiplication. In our leisure time, some of us do cross stitch (lots of x’s), play X’s and O’s, and a few nameless souls may watch X-rated movies, and, of course “x marks the spot”. And last, but not least, what about our beloved Generation X – I have two sons in that group –they’re not easy to forget.
Okay, in the spirit of kindness, I’ll quit, although the list could go on (and on).We could have a competition to see who can come up with the most uses for the letter “x”. As I said earlier, Xerxes doesn’t cut it for me.