27 April 2012

X Ways To Use X As A Symbol

X is a weird letter. I can't even think of 10 useful words with X in them -- ax, oxen, xenophobia, xylem, x-ray... yup, I'm done. It's a really frustrating letter to get in Scrabble, even if it is 8 points.

Frankly, X a bit of a flop as a letter. It gets much more action as a symbol.
I. X is used to indicate multiplication in mathematics. 
II. X is also used as a variable in mathematics. 
III. X is used to indicate that something is incorrect or should be removed. 
IV. There was a time in history where a lot of people were "signing with an X" to indicate a signature when they couldn't sign their name. 
V. Xs and Os are used to indicate hugs and kisses in written form: XOXO 
VI. Xs and Os indicate two different players in Tic-Tac-Toe. 
VII. X is often used as shorthand for "Christ" in Christmas...surprisingly, not because it looks like a sideways cross. But Xmas has always made me think of X-rays and Superman or think that Santa's reindeer should have laser-shooting eyes. 
VIII. X is used to indicate the female chromosome, where XX means female and XY means male. You can also have XXX chromosomes, which is Triple X syndrome, where you get an extra X chromosome. (Happens in 1 of every 1000 female births.) 
IX. X is used in place of eyes to graphically indicate death (or fainting) in cartoons/comics/emoticons. 
X. X indicates 10 in roman numerals.
Now You!
How else is X used?