Is Xmas A Suitable Name for Christmas?

During this time of year you see a lot of use of Xmas as a substitute for Christmas. Now I will stay out of the religious debate that claims Xmas is the work of the devil because it essentially “X”s out Christ. While there are some references that indicate X was a substitute for Christ as far back as the 15th century, there does not appear to be any evil intent. Words such as Xian for Christian and Xmas for Christmas were commonly used as abbreviations to cut down the printing cost. Most derivations of Xmas come from “X representing the Greek letter Chi” the first letter in Χριστός (Christos) “Christ.”

Nevertheless, why do we use Xmas?

Are we lazy? Is it really too much trouble to spell out Christmas? When you talk you say “Christmas” not “Xmas.”

Has Xmas crept into common usage to the point where it will eventually substitute for Christmas everywhere except the Oxford English Dictionary? Will Christmas be like “Ye” or “Olde” and used only when referring to something ancient?

Do we need something shorter for our Twitter updates?

Most style guides will say that Xmas is unacceptable for all except the most informal uses.

I guess that means you can still Twitter Xmas!

 

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