Rustling around in the box of books out in the garage and discovered this old one. No idea when or why it came into the house but look….it’ll be ideal for that challenge. You know the single word one I got myself into at the beginning of the year. There was I thinking X was going to be a hard one to find and it was sitting there right under my nose all the time!
Not sure about the genre though…..sci fi isn’t the norm here….but we’ll give it a go!
Thinking about the letter X – the third most rarely used letter in the English language- I found this online:-
X is typically a sign for the compound consonants [ks]; or sometimes when followed by an accented syllable beginning with a vowel, or when followed by silent h and an accented vowel [ɡz] (e.g. exhaust, exam); usually [z] at the beginnings of words (e.g. xylophone, Xenon), and in some compounds keeps the [z] sound, as in (e.g. meta-xylene). It also makes the sound [kʃ] in words ending in -xion (typically used only in British-based spellings of the language; American spellings tend to use -ction).
It can also represent the sounds [ɡʒ] or [kʃ], for example, in the words luxury and sexual, respectively. Final x is always [ks] (e.g. ax/axe) except in loan words such as faux (see French, below).
In abbreviations, it can represent “trans-” (e.g. XMIT for transmit, XFER for transfer), “cross-” (e.g. X-ing for crossing; XREF for cross-reference), “Christ” (e.g. Xmas for Christmas; Xian for Christian), the “Crys” in Crystal (XTAL), or various words starting with “ex” (e.g. XL for extra large; XOR for exclusive-or).
There are very few English words that start with X – the least amount of any letter. Many of the words that do start with X are either standardized trademarks (XEROX) or acronyms (XC).
Once you’ve read that you will realise X is an unusual letter to say the least….
Many people over 18 here in Australia would know of this though
XXXX (pronounced fourex) is a brand of Australian beer brewed in Milton, Brisbane by Queensland brewers, Castlemaine Perkins. It enjoys wide popularity in the state of Queensland and is commonly found on-tap in most Queensland pubs and bars.
Then theres that saying
X marks the spot
Supposedly from British army officers pinning a piece of paper
with X on it to the chest of someone about to be executed
but the X our family is really interested in is this recently discovered one
The one The Golfer’s Great Grandmother Julia made
when she registered his Grandfather’s birth in 1878
These days we take reading and writing as a norm
but evidently from what we see on this copy of the birth certificate
Dh’s ancestor was unable to write her name
so made her mark (signature) with an X
I certainly hope she would be pleased with the standard of education available for all children these days whether they live in the city or country village as she did.
Have you made any new discoveries recently? Are you surprised to learn about lack of education in your family?