Tuesday, 28 April 2015

A to Z Challenge: X is a rather annoying letter

Alas. In every Alphabet-themed whatever, one must inevitably come to the letter X. When that happens, it's sooo annoying!

Every schoolchild remembers the long alphabet lists. A is for Apple/Alligator/Aardvark/Ant/etc, B is or Book/Bird/Ball/Botulism.  Every letter of the alphabet has a plethora of words to choose from.

But X?

What begins with X?  Very little.  X-ray and Xylophone are about the only two familiar words available to littlies. Prior to the 20th Century where nobody knew what an X-ray was but did have access to the Classics, there was King Xerxes. Otherwise? Nada.

Even Dr Seuss had issues: "X is very useful if your name is Nixie Knox. X is also useful in spelling axe and extra fox."

Now, the problem with X in the English language is how it functions. Most of its common application is in the middle and end of words. You almost never see it at the beginning of words, unless it's preceeded by E. Example. Explanation. Exactly.

X has a funny sound:  ks. Those two sounds might work at the end of words, but for the beginning it's uncomfortable. When an English word begins with X, it makes a zz sound.

That'll confuse the kiddies.

And why do we even  have it in the first place? It's not like X is a distinctive, unique sound, like B or T or L. We've got other letters that can take the place of X quite nicely.

Yet here we are, stuck with it in our Alphabet, cursed to have to come up with something for the letter X in lists like this A to Z challenge.  I blame the Etruscans.

____________________________
Her Grace would love to leave out the letter X.

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