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The true story of Xmas

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'Xmas' is offensive, Christian claims

Plenty of readers have finally put their expensive educations to good use in our Xmas vs. Christmas debate. Simon Green's missive was typical:

I must agree with your anonymous complainant about the use of the word "Xmas", but not for the same reason. (I'm an atheist and don't much care what people call it, so long as it's shorter than "that holiday when I drink too much, eat too much and buy expensive presents at the last minute because I couldn't be arsed to sort it out earlier".)

The "X" in Xmas actually represent the Greek letter "chi", the first letter of the word "christos". This is yet another blatant example of the pollution of our fine language with Greek gibberish: Engreek, if you will.

Jeremy went further with the linguistic background:

You may be interested to know that Xmas is not just acceptable, it is ridgy-didg.

The X in Xmas is from the Greek character X (Chi - pronounced kie - rhymes with die). The very early Christian church being almost totally made up of ex-pat Greeks living in Palestine, their standard name for Christ (Christos)started with X (chi).

The early Christians often referred to Christ by X - his Greek initial. You can see the X symbol commonly today in the overprinted P and X symbols used by Catholics (meaning Chi & Rho - the first two letters of Christ's name).

Xmas is not only acceptable, it is probably more accurate than an anglo-saxon rendition starting with Ch.

Finally, we're obliged to Nik Clayton for providing an enlightening link:

You might want to point your anonymous correspondent here

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