The X-word #atozchallenge2017

Here’s a prompt: Write something using an English word that starts with an X. If you were given this prompt, what would you write about?

Oh, wait, this is already a prompt…

“Xylophone”. I think that’s really the first, easiest and, sometimes, the only word that immediately comes to mind when thinking about an English term that starts with the letter X. Which usually does not help when playing Scrabble (considering the number of letters, unless you are to add “xylo” to “phone”…genius!). Well, include “xerox”, too. It was technically not really a word but a brand for a popular photocopying machine employing xerography (hey, another X-word!). It is now a noun that is accepted in the English dictionary.

So now, I’m mad. I’m not in the mood to write about xylophones or xerox. What to do?

X Problems

Obviously, it need not be said that there’s a reason there’s only one letter X tile in Scrabble. It is hard to find a word that starts with it, even if you cheat! Usually, you just use it as a filler to complete longer-letter words. Or you squeeze it in-between gaps when you have nothing else to score with, for words like:

  • “ax”/“axe”
  • “max”/”pax”
  • “taxi”
  • “hex”
  • “sexy”
  • “text”
  • “jinx”
  • “nix”
  • “ox”,
  • “foxy”

…Can you think of more?

You can’t even use it as a one-letter word like “a” and “I”.  Unless you use it:

  • to represent an unknown quantity or variable
  • as the multiply sign when counting on paper or board
  • as the Roman numeral for 10
  • to refer to the female chromosome
  • when signing a love letter with a kiss
  • to mark a spot
  • to make a “NO” gesture
  • to cross out something or remove
  • to indicate that something is incorrect
  • to make the sign of the cross when you’re scared
  • as code for that infamous party drug (…Just don’t, okay?)

Yes, the letter X is pretty versatile, but it is still not a word. It even needs a default spelling, the “ex-” prefix, just to function as a way to cross out something (or someone!) or emphasize the past: “Ex-boyfriend” or “ex-partner” (although one can simply say “My ex”), “ex-senator”, “ex-athlete”. You get the idea.

But whether to cross out something, imply an interaction, or mean the opposite of “in”– It. Doesn’t. Work. You shouldn’t really write “x-girlfriend”, “x-husband”, “xchange”, “xhale” or “xhume”, right? Maybe not unless you’re texting.

Some X-samples

So, can the letter X be more essential in our lives? I guess so, yeah.

Basically, X is used around the world:

  • for People’s Names
    • Xavier, Xander, Xeno
    • Xia, Xiomara
    • Xena (probably first coined for the popular show and now kids are named after her)
    • Malcolm X (the name Malcolm Little decided to use)
  • to Name Places (Did you know that NO country starts with the letter X?)
    • Xiamen City (and many more cities in China)
    • Xi (a river in China)
    • Xochimilco (in Mexico)
    • Xanadu, which is not just a romance/musical

Quick Trivia: In the Philippines, road authorities put up signs that said “Ped Xing”. Like most people confused by it, I first thought that Ped Xing was a Chinese-Filipino the street we were on was named after. But why were the same signs put up at various places…? It turned out it meant “Pedestrian Crossing”!!! Pffft…Communication gap. At least, they’ve done measures now to let the public know.

  • as Popular Terms
    • Generation X a.k.a. Gen X
    • X-rated
  • for Popular Media
    • X-Men
    • The X Factor
    • The X-Files
    • Triple X or xXx

 

Oh, my. I still don’t know what to write about. I am so clueless! What should my topic be, what should I write about, what–Oh, wait. I think I just wrote it. What the X!..,Well, what d’ya know?!!

 

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Earlier this year, I think I mentioned several times that I would finish my A to Z Challenge 2017. Honestly, things would always get in the way that I couldn’t do it. Then last time, I said it again and meant it. But guess why I couldn’t immediately continue…The letter X was the problem! I wanted to list down topics so that when I began, I wouldn’t have to stop again and I’d just go on till I reached letter Z.

For the life of me, I couldn’t think of an X-word connected to writing that I could write about! I really had to put things off until I posted my teacher-parents post. I still did not know what to write about back then. Fortunately, inspiration struck me and now, here it is. I dare say it was worth my long wait!

X is for “X”

This piece serves as my Letter X post for the A to Z Challenge 2017.

For my previous posts, kindly visit my A to Z Challenge 2017 page.

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Let Contents Do the Talking #atozchallenge2017

You are a wise person with a business to run. Naturally, you have done your research like a good businessman does. Based on findings, you realize that in order to expand the business, you’ll have to up the ante some more and level-up. Information technology is here to stay and you’ll do wisely not to be left behind, right? So you get a web developer and a web designer who create an attractive, fully functional and easily navigable website for you.

Website, check.

And then what to write? Since information is available right there at the office, content development is done in-house. Your people know the business, they have a clear understanding of what it is about. Who better to write about your business? Therefore, you delegate a content writer for the site right from your own team.

Contents, check. How hard can writing be?

Letting Your Home Grow

All those done, finally, you are ready to launch into cyberspace…Oops! Not so fast, hold your horses! While it seems you may have done things correctly, you just might want to backtrack a little bit and check if indeed, you’ve decided on everything wisely.

The most important parts of a website are not really the “physical” aspects, though they, too, are of great importance. After all, without them, how can searchers find you? Web developers and designers provide all the foundations and structures for your site.

As they say, however, a house is not a home. It’s what’s in it that makes it a home. An empty house is not a home; a cluttered house is, well, simply embarrassing, to say the least. For a website, it’s the contents that really breathe life into it. Just how much life depends largely on the quality of the contents. That is where you might want to focus your attention on.

Let your home grow. Feed it with the right nutrition, not junk. Knowing the details of your company and what it offers is just half of the requirements to ensure quality content. It takes more than knowing what to write, but how to write it.

A good, professional Web Content Writer knows that. She has been trained for it. It’s not just words and constructing sentences for her, but a lot of experience and know-how. Content writing takes more than typing. It involves research beyond existing resources, knowing more about how web development works. Also, a big factor in any business’ success today is good, clean SEO—this, she has learned and practices.

Getting Visitors to Stay

Competition in cyberspace is fierce. You want to be the business that captures searchers’ attention immediately and keep them glued to your site until they decide to avail of your offer. People’s attention span can only last a few seconds, that is the whole truth of it.

An attractive, fully functional and easily navigable website is practically useless if it sends searchers away with missing, low-quality or useless information. If they don’t find what they’re looking for or anything interesting, they either click the Back button or exit. Either way, they leave. You don’t want that. Don’t sweep the welcome rug off their feet.

How confident are you that you or your employees can write well enough to keep searchers glued to your site? Can your people get your business to the top of search engines’ first-page results? Do they have the proper skills that an actual content writer does? No?

You’ve already taken a risk, so risk more away! A web content writer is who you need, just like most businesses today. If you haven’t yet, this is the time to add one to your team. Remember, house walls can’t talk; it’s those inside the house who do.

 

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This is still the continuation of my A to Z Challenge. Last post, I was on the letter “M”. Why the jump to “W”? That’s because the pieces for the letters “N” to “V” have long been posted. The explanation is simple: When I was doing the challenge last year, I skipped letters. I did not finish the whole thing so I have decided to do it and not quit.

As for the writeup itself, just like some other stuff that I did for work, this was also a guest blogging venture. The deal was the article provider would get exposure but the publisher got exclusive rights to the unique article. No money involved. This one, the guest blogging services site owner reserved for her own site (I was actually thrilled!). There’s a story about this, but to make the story short, her site was down for years already and is now removed. I found her new site and could not find the article ANYWHERE. Now, Google found it on another site that isn’t supposed to have it and is not even mentioning me as the writer. Some guy is supposed to be the writer of this bogus page. The article is truncated, leaving a “Click here to read more” message, but the link just actually redirects to various suspicious sites that change every time you click on the same link!

Needless to say, it’s high-time we take back what is ours.

W is for “Web Content Writer”

This piece serves as my Letter W post for the A to Z Challenge 2017.

For my previous posts, kindly visit my A to Z Challenge 2017 page.