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The eXceptional World of The Letter X

I have been looking forward to writing a post centered on the letter  “X.”
The letter probably took on it’s first exceptional association for me when as a child I associated the letter with Treasure Maps.  I so wish International Talk Like a Pirate Day, September 19, came more than once a year.

from sxc.hu by user: alexdehnel


Coming in a close second is OryX and Crake a speculative fiction novel by Margaret Atwood, of whom you have surely heard.  I know I have mentioned her Handmaid’s Tale as being on the feminist must-read list.

The novel is a dystopian, near future, parable that I listened to as an audio book on one of my cross-country drives when DC political and Indiana family commitments meant I was on the road a lot during the middle of Century 21’s first decade.   Exploring the implications of genetic engineering, the ever widening gap between the haves and have-nots in gated communities turned into walled enclaves, as well as in the garish sexual culture of underclass employment and slavery.  A folk singer friend gave the audiobooks/ CDs to me, and I passed it on to someone else after I listened — so the eXchange of good reading, or listening, about awareness of potential futures by thinking women forms a never-ending chain of the sharing of information.  There is a follow up to this novel that I need to purchase and read.  Any one want to read it at the same time and discuss it? Let me know!
The poor letter X has such unfortunate associations in this day and age that I feel compelled to stand up for all the eXcellent, eXcentric, eXceptional words that are nothing but amazing, note the slight bit of foreshadowing, the least of which is certainly not the X chromosome that I like to think of as the complete and whole version of the poor misshapen y chromosome. This New York Times article about the X Chromosome is a fun read and a great link for Mother’s Day posts for which the need is approaching with great speed.  Nods in my direction (in other words links to this post (hint… hint…) if you mention this article will be greatly appreciated and give you eXtra wonderful online karma.

X-chromosome: From NLM via Wikapedia


 
And of course I have to wrap up this article with a mention of one of my very favorite X words, xeriscape.

xeriscape |ˈzi(ə)rəˌskāp, ˈzerə-|
noun
a style of landscape design requiring little or no irrigation or other maintenance, used in arid regions.
• a garden or landscape created in such a style.
verb [ with obj. ]
landscape (an area) in such a style.
ORIGIN 1980s: from xeric + -scape.

No self-respecting, ecologically-informed, and sustainably-empowered Tucson should write an X post (Oh…. duh…. x-posting or cross posting… I could have done an entire piece on this alone!) without mentioning xeric or xeriscaping.

xeric |ˈzi(ə)rik, ˈzer-|
adjective Ecology
(of an environment or habitat) containing little moisture; very dry. Compare with hydric and mesic.
ORIGIN 1920s: from xero-‘dry’ + -ic.

Optunia in Bloom in a Xeriscape

And of course I have to mention the dear little friend of mine, the word “xi” that is one of my very favorite words to play in Scrabble® and Words with Friends® .
Y… I think that will be all until tomorrow’s post.