Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas, Not Xmas

Every time Christmas comes around I get annoyed when people use the abbreviation Xmas instead of spelling out CHRISTmas.

I did research on where this abbreviation came from and this is what I found:

The first letter of the word Xmas was not originally an X as we use it in the English language; what looks like an X is actually the English representation of the Greek letter Chi, χ, the first letter of the word Χριστός, meaning Christ. 

The letter Chi "χ" can also stand alone to represent the word Christ, so Xmas therefore literally translates as Christ-mas and that is how it should be pronounced, never as ex-mass. 

I understand that the "X" comes from the Greek language and even though the X is written out, the word should still be pronounced Christmas. And I am pleased to know that it actually does represent the word Christ. But I highly doubt our society really has any understanding of the origin of the term Xmas, therefore people are using it and interpreting it differently.

Also, there is a big difference between saying "Christmas" and writing out "Xmas." In my opinion whenever something is unwanted, done with, or finished it gets crossed out, often times with an X.

There are people that say it's not a big deal, it's just a way of not having to spell out the long word. And that stores use the abbreviation to save space when advertising. Then there are those that say it's not a big deal because there are many symbols used in Christianity to represent Christ.

That is correct but those common symbols include things like a Dove, an Eagle, or a Fish. Never has one of those symbols been and X.

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