>> September 19, 2011
I can taste the end of this Christianese series and I’m not about to let this obnoxious letter keep me from excelling in my endeavors to exemplify common Christian words that make us scratch our heads and say…excuse me?
I wasn’t too surprised when the results of an online Bible dictionary search for words that begin with the letter X didn’t turn up anything. Well, not in the English version, anyway. My mind began to think of words that sound like they start with “X”. You know, hooked on fonix style? I came up with Xtol, Xalt, Xodus, Xemplify, Xhale…
With a nudge from a friend, (Yes, I'm listening!) I settled on a word Christians cringe at: Xmas.
For years we’ve heard Christians complain that the secular commercialism is trying to remove Christ from Christmas and for years we let our ignorance ride that wave of “separation” from the “world”; boycotting the purchase of cards/decorations that say Happy Holidays or Merry Xmas, snubbing our noses at businesses that decorate their windows using Xmas, etc.
Ignorance isn’t a bad word. Being ignorant also isn’t awful. Both simply mean one is unaware or uninformed, but being an ignoramus…that’s just plain dumb by choice and I’m sorry, but ignorance isn’t always bliss.
I’ve heard the quote by Steve Droke:
“Knowledge is power, but enthusiasm pulls the switch”
Sometimes I think Christians need to quit being so uptight about things they don’t deem as upright. So, let me enthusiastically pull your switch, remove a little bliss, and infuse a wee bit of knowledge so we can avoid ignoramus status.
What does “X” really mean? Like in the mathematic world, X has “multiple” meanings:
- a signature of an uneducated person
- a strike in baseball
- a kiss at the end of a letter
- an omission of information
- the Roman numeral for the number 10
- x marks the spot
- sign by the x
I’m not sure when Xmas officially appeared but my research tells me that the abbreviation became widely accepted in the fifteenth century; dating back to the inventor of the printing press, Johannes Gutenberg.
The tedious work of typesetting by hand indeed justified the use of common abbreviations and the X=Christ version also appeared in words like Xian and Xianity but was pronounced using the word Christ. Just think of how much space and time was saved when printing pamphlets and books. Sort of like our modern day texting.
So there ya have it. Feel free to txt away MRRY XMAS! and know you are no longer an uptight ignoramus. I’m happy to have pulled your switch!
L8R G8R. UR AWESO & I <3 U all!