Thursday, 28 April 2011

X is not for foX

Yes.  Exile,  Get out

X is for X

Something that has irked me since I was old enough to know what irked meant are the alphabet friezes that kindergartens and doting parents pin up in on the walls so that junior can learn about the Alphabet.
Now for letters like A, B and C the choices are generally pretty easy. A is for apple, B is for Bee and C is fr Car and so on but when they get to the tail end of the alphabet, particularly todays letter, they being to run into difficulties.
It is generally solved by letting people know that X is for Xylophone or even foX.  But how hard would it have been for the designers to pick up a thesaurus and have words like:
  • Xiphias - a swordfish.
  • Xyster - Surgeons instrument for scraping bones, Presumably to be used on people that don't pay their bills.
  • Xenolithic - useful if you envision your child growing up to be a mechanic and running after dinosaurs [1]
  • Xenomorph - technical name of the Alien from the Alien movies.
  • Xanth - the world created by Piers Anthony [2]
  • Xoanon- a wooden image of a God [3]
That took about 10 seconds to search on the Internet so it's a lesson to take home if you ever find yourself in the enviable position of designing one of these. There are more words that start with X than Xylophone or foX.
Of course we can't go forward without hearing the argument that these words are far too difficult for a baby but really, when your 3 days old it's more a case of looking at the bright colours and seeing what everything tastes like rather than sitting back and contemplating the completeness of the universe.[4]

Alternatively why not have X is for X?
It is, after all, the global expression of the unknown.
"There are X soldiers over that hill"
"X by Y gives us 150m" define X

One final handy hint. If you manage to overthrow or otherwise incapacitate your mortal enemy just kill them. Don't send them into eXile, history has shown us so many times that it doesn't work. [5]

  1. I'll admit this ones a bit of a stretch but I can't use my A material all the time.  especially not with this post if you think about it.
  2. Exactly which God is up to you but Cthulhu might be a little risky.  Atheists could substitute XY chromosomes
  3. Use if you want to be certain your child grows up to be a geek
  4. Or perhaps they are.  Maybe on some level we are born knowing all and as we get older we forget what we know and replace it with what we have been told to learn.
  5. That always makes me go "aargh"  You kill them and then you don't have to worry about the woods marching on Dunsinane.  The combaticons being formed or a son that grows to be a man and hunts you down in revenge at his fathers banishment. 


  1. Very good post. I wanted to do mine on "XXX", but I figured Blogger would ban me.



  2. Oh this is great. Jabberwocky is my favourite poem and I even know the first verse off by heart. We can step through the looking glass into this blog.

  3. Varmit: Or they might have put your blog in the "special" category

    Fiona: Now all we have to do is try and figure out what the rest of it means!

  4. True. As a rule though, I try to stay away from places where the walls are as spunky as the bloggers. (umm...were there walls). Oh, heck, you know what I mean.