Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Porn, Moonshine, and Christ! Oh, My!

Today’s blog post is brought to you by the letter “X.”
Poor, abused, misunderstood X. All it asks of life is to be pronounced like a “Z” at the front of words.
Oh, I know what you’re thinking, X Ray. That’s eks-ray. Yes, and it’s also not a proper word.
Under the rules of the meme I am to tell you 10 things I love or at least like that begin with the letter X.
I asked for this. Most people don’t want X. The fools.

1 Xylophone – a musical instrument that is played by striking the bars. I had a toy one when I was young. I still have it. I have no talent for this sort of adventure, but it’s fun.

2 Xeriscape – dry, desert-like landscape. If you have a cactus garden, then you have a xeriscape.

3 Xerox – from xerography, a term coined for the procedure of making dry copies.

4 Xmas – This is pronounced eksmas and is formed from the Greek letter chi(X) the first letter of the Greek word for Christ.

5 XXX – before we had porn everywhere we had moonshine. Potent moonshine jugs in movies have three Xs on them to designate powerful juice inside. Porn needs no explanation, but it really should apologize. Three Xs also mean explosives inside.

6 Xanthan gum – used as a substitute for gluten in baking.

7 Xanadu – poetic name for China in the poem Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. “In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure- dome decree:…” Also a movie with Gene Kelly and Olivia Newton-John.

9 X – marks the spot on treasure maps.

10 X – the Roman numeral 10.

X is the most useful of all letters. You can sign your name with it, use it to mark a spot, and abbreviate words like cross or Christ.

It galls me no end when people who were raised in the English language, who can read it, who went to school in it, and who use the alphabet every day cannot get their minds around the simple concept of pronouncing X words correctly.
Perhaps the best way to bring it home is to paraphrase “The Happy Hooker” herself, Xaviera Hollander. In the front matter of her second book she offers an explanation of how to pronounce her name “…like Riviera with a Zah.”

16 comments:

the Bag Lady said...

Gene Kelly and Olivia Newton-John made a movie together? OMG!

:)

Great Xamination and Xplanation of the poor, misunderstood X, cousin. Thankx!

xoxo (you forgot to mention that x is also a symbol for a kiss....!)

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, df Bag Lady. Seems to me Gene Kelly won his only Oscar for Xanadu. I really ought to look that up, though.
You're right about X as kiss. Oh, I could have gone on about X...

Clare2e said...

Okay, I haven't heard a mention of the Happy Hooker in...I guess too long!

Put this post title on your list for 10 best of the year, Leah!

Leah J. Utas said...

It has been a very long time, Clare2e, but some things just stay with a person.

Glad you like the post title. I'm happy I could string those things together.

Reb said...

You did a wonderful job of the letter "X"! It really is misunderstood

Leah J. Utas said...

Why thank you, Reb. Just doing my part for the poor, lonely, and forgotten.

Missicat said...

Wow - you did a great job with the poor underappreciated X!
I believe Xanadu won some "razzie" (worst rather then best ___) awards, but alas no Oscar for Mr. Kelly. Who should have won something for agreeing to appear in that horrible film! :-)

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks for straightening me out, Missicat. I should have looked it up before I said anything. But, the idea was just too horrible for me. I've never seen it. I'm really quite tempted now.

Thomma Lyn said...

Grin! What a fun post. And I share your enthusiasm for the letter "X".

Ha, I saw Xanadu back when I was a kiddo. Had the soundtrack, too! :-D

Leah J. Utas said...

Thank, Thomma Lynn. I am always happy to find another X fan.

Hilary said...

Back when my kidlets were little and Sesame Street was a semi-regular viewing option around here, they had a really cute video with Patti LaBelle singing about her X. I thought it was the most clever X-related thing I'd seen. Now your blog post joins it. Very well done.

carla said...

so creative.

I love X.
It marks the spot.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, Hilary. I'll be checking out the linkie.

Carla, good to find another X fan. And thanks.

Redbush said...

Great job, Leah! I wouldn't have thought of half of those. Although, I was thinking of xoxo- hugs and kisses as well as some of the other bloggers. I was thinking of the game of x and o's. Ha! It was thing that my students always played when they got bored.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, Redbush. I didn't even think of X and Os. Xaviera Hollander, yes. Backwoods stills. Sure.
Regular stuff, not so much.

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