It ends with an ‘x’

Surely the most emotionally loaded letter in the alphabet. It’s hardly a letter anymore, is it? I mean apart from ‘X is for xylophone’ how often do you use it in an actual word? Hell, if X hadn’t found a use as a symbol for kiss it would be sitting in the JobCentre right now, trying desperately to prove that it could be just as useful as any of those smug vowels. Who does ‘E’ think he is anyway?

Fortunately X is an alphabetical entrepreneur, blazing a trail across the written world. And thanks to the advent of electronic media, X’s brand value has sky-rocketed. There is still no emoticon that can carry the power of the X. It is the coca-cola of the alphabet.

But like coca-cola, too much X can rot your teeth. Er, okay, maybe not your teeth, but too many Xs can’t be good for you. But how to decide just how many Xs to use and when? Is it ever appropriate to include Xs in work emails between colleagues? If your friend sends you a text splattered with 57 Xs at the end are you obliged to respond in equal measure?

Me, I’m not what you would call a terribly active X-ercist. Sure, I like a good X as much as the next person, but too many of the critters make me itch. Kinda like reality TV. My default, with friends and family only, is the lower case twinset: xx. If it’s your birthday, if you’ve done something particularly lovely or if I just plain dig you lank, I’ll probably extend that to triplets: xxx. Admittedly one little x can be tricky to interpret because it could mean any of:

  • We’re super comfortable with each other and one x is all it takes to let you know that I think you’re brilliant.
  • You started the whole x business so I kinda feel obliged to reply in kind.
  • I like you, but I don”t think I know you well enough to give you more than one x yet.

Then there’s the big guy; the upper case X. Sometimes used purely by accident thanks to predictive capitalisation but if intentional, it’s definitely the sign of “love you long time”.

I’ll tell you straight, this is likely to be the only blog post that I end with an X. Not because I don’t like you, mind – I’m sure you’re a delight – but you know, I’m just not that kind of girl.

x

Oh, what the hell…

xx

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