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No letter in the English language gets around like X. The 24th letter of the alphabet shows up everywhere, from the popular Xbox to standing in for a signature on legal documents. It represents a chromosome, signifies the multiplication process, and marks “the spot” on treasure maps.

Let’s explore just a few of the uses of this versatile letter.

The story behind the X in Xbox isn’t as mysterious as you might think. The original name was the DirectX box, which came from a group of Microsoft DirectX developers. Microsoft DirectX is a collection of application programming interfaces.

Generation X, or Gen X, refers to the generation born after the Baby Boom ended; its last members graduated from high school in 1999. The photographer Robert Capa coined the term. But Douglas Copeland popularized it with a successful novel published in 1991. “Generation X” tells the story of members of an uncertain and lost generation.

There are a few theories regarding where and when X was first used to signify the unknown. One probable thought is that Descartes used the last three letters of the alphabet as unknowns to correspond with the first three letters, which were used for known quantities. X, of course, was part of this group.

X is often found in friendly and amorous correspondence next to O. In XOXO, X represents a kiss and O represents a hug. The first recorded use of this term for affection was in 1765.

Great Britain was the first country to designate films with raunchy content with X, and the U.S. soon followed suit.

In the same vein, XX on malt liquor stands for “double quality” and XXX stands for “strongest quality.” This designation dates back to 1827.

No Indian movies in Pakistani cinemas on Eid

Hindustan Times (New Delhi, India) August 27, 2010 Islamabad, Aug. 27 — The Pakistani government has decided against allowing any new Indian film to be released in cinemas on Eid following demands from the local film industry.

Federal Minister for Culture Pir Aftab Shah Jillani said the decision had been taken to support the local film industry.

“If more Pakistani films are released, the industry might be able to sustain in Pakistan,” he said.

After the ebb in cultural activities in the month of Ramadan, Eid is considered an occasion to revive it. indianmoviesonlinenow.net indian movies online

Indian films were banned in Pakistani cinemas after the 1965 war between both countries. After a gap of over 40 years, the government of former president, Gen Pervez Musharraf, allowed the screening of select Indian movies subject to the censor board’s approval.

Bollywood movies have a huge fan following in Pakistan and pirated copies of these movies are readily available in local markets.

Coupled with the decline in local film industry, the government decided to allow films from across the industry.

However, local film producers and actors are generally not in favour of this decision.

They view the competition from Bollywood movies as a “killer blow” for the Pakistani film industry and have been advocating a ban on allowing Indian movies in local cinemas. web site indian movies online

Addressing a press conference here, actress-turned-director Sangeeta, Mustafa Qureshi and several other artists favoured the ban imposed on Indian movies for the coming Eid.

They warned that the actors, producers, directors, writers and technicians involved with the film trade will be forced to take to the streets if any such move was allowed.

Five Pakistani movies, they informed, were ready for release during Eid and demanded the government to allow the local industry to flourish.

Cinema owners, however, have a different take on this as they consider Indian movies a big source of raking in revenues. The film exhibitors’ association has said that they will take up the ban with the federal government and will try to get a relaxation.

The local industry does not produce enough movies and also lack in quality as compared to Indian movies, which makes it difficult to attract masses to the theatres, the cinema owners association argues.

About a dozen movies were made and released in Pakistan last year in different languages.

(Awais Saleem can be contacted at great_wall165@yahoo.co.uk) Published by HT Syndication with permission from Indo-Asian News Service.

For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at htsyndication@hindustantimes.com

106 Comments

  1. Gelydh -  December 24, 2013 - 10:47 pm

    Interesting article! But come on people. The ‘X’ in XOXO stands for kisses, not hugs; the Xbox was indeed originally called the DirectX Box; and the ‘X’ in ‘DirectX’ is simply a placeholder for the numerous products published under Microsoft’s Direct label.

    Please do your research before you go spewing things on public forums.

    Reply
  2. Carol-Lynn -  December 20, 2013 - 3:59 am

    So, what does the X in DirectX stand for?

    Reply
  3. Alexandr -  December 15, 2013 - 11:40 am

    X is the symbol for the old norse rune Gebo, the rune of love. That is why x makes a kiss. There is more runic in English than one might expect.

    Reply
  4. Tang -  December 14, 2013 - 8:27 pm

    Interesting read. I’d always thought the claims that the “x” in Xbox referred to x-rays, and Microsoft was essentially trying to “drop a nuke” on Japan’s Playstation product line like the U.S. did in WWII. Not kidding.

    Reply
  5. Heqtor -  December 14, 2013 - 8:52 am

    according to a TED talk by Terry Moore, the origin of using X for the unknown goes back before Descartes’ time to when scholars in Spain began translating Arabic texts on mathematics. It goes as follows

    The Arabic word for “a thing” or the unknown is “Shay’a” which starts with the Arabic letter “Sheen”. As there is no equivalent for the sound “Sh” in Spanish, their scholars adapted the closest letter in Greek which is the letter “Chi” as in the first letter of the Greek word Χριστός (Christ). Then from “Chi” it became the latin X that is in use today. See the talk here

    http://www.ted.com/talks/terry_moore_why_is_x_the_unknown.html

    Reply
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