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Using Xmas Instead Of Christmas

Dec 8, 2007
Xmas" and "X-mas" are common abbreviations of the word "Christmas". They are sometimes pronounced "eksmas", but they, and variants such as "Xtemass", originated as handwriting abbreviations for the pronunciation "Christmas". The "-mas" part came from the Anglo-Saxon for "festival", "religious event": Crīstesmęsse or Crīstemęsse. This abbreviation is widely used but not universally accepted; some view it as demeaning to Christ, whilst others find it a helpful abbreviation. The word "Christ" and its compounds, including "Christmas", have been abbreviated for at least the past 1,000 years, long before the modern "Xmas" was commonly used. "Christ" was often written as "XP" or "Xt"; there are references in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as far back as 1021 AD. This X and P arose as the uppercase forms of the Greek letters), used in ancient abbreviations and are still widely seen in many Eastern Orthodox icons depicting Jesus Christ.

The occasionally held belief that the "X" represents the cross Christ was crucified on has no basis in fact. St Andrew's Cross is X-shaped, but Christ's cross was probably shaped like a T. Indeed, X-as-chi was associated with Christ long before X-as-cross could be, since the cross as a Christian symbol developed later. While some see the spelling of Christmas as Xmas a threat, others see it as a way to honor the martyrs. The use of X as an abbreviation for "cross" in modern abbreviated writing (e.g. "Kings X" for "Kings Cross") may have reinforced this assumption.

There has been an outcry recently over the use of Xmas in place of Christmas and what may have started as a shortened version of the holiday name to fit on smaller signs, has turned into a sometimes heated debate. Since Christmas is a deeply rooted religious holiday some contend the 'X' is determined to take Christ out of Christmas while others see the 'X' as form of a cross, maintaining the religious meaning of the holiday, however there are no facts to support this theory. It is not clear when the abbreviation was first used, but it is commonly believed to have been by a person making a sign who figured that making the writing small enough to fit the available space would make it unreadable from a distance. Instead they used Xmas to take up less space. Over the course of several years the abbreviation became more common and Xmas began to be seen in more places.

However, the reality is the 'X' is a modern rendition of the labarum, or Chi-Rho symbol, written as an 'X' with a 'P' in the center, which means Christ. The symbol was used over 1,000 years ago in place of the word and when used with the Anglo-Saxon word 'mas' that means festival or religious event, was often used as the name of Christ's birthday. In fact the Ladies Home Journal published an ad using the term Xmas in 1922. Some religious individuals blame retailers for using Xmas as they are often prone to abbreviate nearly everything, especially in printing and print ads as bigger words cost more money. However, since the term Xmas has been around a lot longer than virtually all retail stores, that theory has no support.

Perhaps the abbreviation of Xmas has grown to such proportions that the letter 'X' is often used as an abbreviation in words that have nothing to do with Christ.. Words such as extreme are often abbreviated as xtreme and occasionally a celebrity will use an 'X' to replace the word Christ in their name, such as Christina Aguilera, sometimes writing her name as X-tina. While most religious scholars and historian have no objection to the term Xmas, there are others who believe that the abbreviation is way by which retailers and a few others can take the meaning of Christ out of Christmas, with no regard to the historical beginnings of the word.
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Roger Thompson writes for Leading Portal for Home Improvement,cash back rewards,weight loss & hoodia .
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