X:the symbol that fills the context with its meaning

'Ekth markth the thpot.' It is the primordial symbol for designating a special location. It is the indelible mark on new wall-paper... recording preschool interest in precise location and abstract mathematical concepts. It locates the buried treasure on the map of a desert island, the position of a point in a mathematical space model and the spot on a road where the impact occurred. It indicates the places in your written opinions where the adjudicator has decided you are at fault. It is the place on the stage where the clown is directed to stand, to be sure of being exactly under the slapstick bucket of slops.

'x' is the usual conventional independent variable for two dimensional mathematical space. It is the symbol most often used in mathematical expressions for (single-valued) functions which are often symbolized by 'y'. Thus y = x2 +2x - 3 and y = sin(x) + ex are both simple single valued functions where for any chosen value of x, there is a single unique value of y that corresponds to it.

The chromosome of femaleness was labelled with an 'X'. If both the human sexual chromosomes are type X, then under normal circumstances the phenotype develops as a physical female. When one of them is of type 'Y', then the phenotype develops into a physical male which usually behaves as if it was a superior being. Thus although the X chromosome is existentially dominant, never-the-less, the Y chromosome has the bizarre capability of inducing the belief in males that they are not fundamentally females.

A sociological fashion is sometimes indulged in to label those individuals born between 1965 and 1980 as 'Generation X'. Certain circumstances of their environment and nurture are selected as being significant to that period, and they are given the label on the assumption that such a 'simplification' is helpful. All the factors that impinge upon a human society... climate, war, political control, availability of food, etc... are changing continuously. No one generation ever has to cope with exactly the same set of problems as previous generations. Any attempt to partition a demographic group according birth dates will struggle to persuade as to its relevance.

The symbol 'X' is used in many different circumstances, where only the context can determine its meaning. In mathematics it is used as a symbol for multiplication or for the unknown variable in polynomial equations. It is used as an exhausted and thread-bare symbol of the secret and the unknown. It is postulated as a personality factor for celebrities and as a label for persons, files or places in conspiracy entertainment. It is used as shorthand for the transmission of kisses.

It is probably the oldest symbol to be still in use. It came into existence as a primordial scratched graffito of significance to a self awareness, has been used by the illiterate for centuries, and is still used by voters to register their preferences whenever democracy is flirted with.