Friday, April 27, 2018

X : X words and other tough things #AtoZchallenge

Do you know that Oxford English Dictionary (OED) contains over 1.7 lakh words currently in use? If we add obsolete and derivative words to this number, the number of words go up to around 2.3 lakhs.

Now, guess how many words among these 2.3 lakh words begin with letter X! 400!

Read slowly - F O U R - H U N D R E D. Yes, a paltry number. 0.17% of the words that are there in OED start with the letter X. And then these words beginning with the letter X, are so esoteric. To write a topic on these esoteric words seemed like an e(X)tremley difficult task.

And you now how letter X compensates for it?

By coming at the end of the most important 3 letter word in this world. The mere mention of that word, shakes us to the core.

TAX.  What did you think?

In India, it comes at the end of a three letter word, that starts with the letter S and the word that every Indian shouts every evening with excitement, over and over again.

(Hint : A Google Fact - S is the letter from which most words in English begin, E is the letter which is midway and X comes last in the pecking order)

SIX! SIX! while watching the IPL cricket match. What did you think you single track mind?

But I am no pushover. I am not a person who gives up easily. I believe in the cheesy maxim that even the word "Impossible" says that "I M Possible". But did you notice that the person who coined this maxim has made an error? "M" and "am" are not really the same. By the way, show me where is the letter "X" in the word "Impossible"!

So I thought of writing on the following topics starting with the letter X and rejected them for the reasons mentioned.

  • X - Factor - I didn't want to write on something which is intangible.
  • X - Men / other movies that start with letter X - I didn't want to confound my Indian readers. I didn't want them to think that this is an adult blog.
  • X - Chromosome - I was almost sure that I would write on female foeticide. But I was not in the frame of mind to write about a serious social ill today.
  • Xenophobia - I didn't want to offend some of my close friends.
  • XAT / other entrance exams I sat in for MBA admissions - Everything I have to say on this subject is already on 
  • Xtreme / Xcel / words which actually start with Ex, but phonetically with X - I didn't want to cheat on you, my dear readers. By the way E(x)es itself could have been an eXplosive topic!
  • Xenon - The only periodic table element that starts with X - I was weak in Chemistry in school. 
  • .XLS (Excel Sheets) - I deal with this data shit the whole day. I didn't want to pollute my blog.
  • Xerox - I already had covered it in last year's challenge. (Read it here)
  • XL size clothes - I didn't want to write about my personal struggles today.
You get the drift? Right! I wanted to write on a topic starting from letter X. But I found it tough. So I am going to list some of the other things I find tough in life.

I. I find it tough to say "No", especially to girls. 

II. I find it tough to say "No", if am offered a dessert. Cheesecake anyone?

III. I find it tough to resist popcorn, while watching a film.

IV. I find it tough to wake up early in the mornings.

V. I find it tough to talk to someone with bad breath. I am tolerant of bad body odour though, surprisingly. 

VI. I find it tough to smile (with my teeth showing) for a group picture.  I am all for candid pictures.

VII. I find it tough to talk to strangers. I need time to warm up

VIII. I find it tough to shed the e(X)cess baggage that I carry. I am not talking about the emotional one. And here was one more lost opportunity for the letter X.

IX. I find it tough to ask for a raise. I hope my boss reads this one and gets the message.

X. I just realized, there was the letter "X" in point 9. I should have used the letter X as in Roman numerals and could have written any random list of 10 things. Silly me! Now I find it tough to write another list of 10 items.

Did you realize, I actually wrote two lists with 10 items in each?

Did you realize, I have listed so many topics from letter X today, that you can participate in this challenge next year without worrying about the X?

My last year's challenge post from letter X was about my college notes getting xeroxed and how. Read it here.

My theme for this year's #AtoZchallenge is all about writing stories, anecdotes and observations from my life in form of easy to read listicles. You can read the theme reveal post here.


  1. I love several things about your blog today -- 1) my mind was able to follow right along - we must think alike! 2) the comment about polluting your blog - love that!!

  2. Nice take on letter X, you have covered it more than any of us! Not write, yet writing about them is a clever idea:D