Blogging A – Z Challenge 2022: X is for Ten

Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 22725 – 972

Here’s the haps:

I had a feeling the letter X was going to be difficult and it started out that way. Okay, so I looked up xylophone, which I expected would be pretty common because when we are teaching children the alphabet that’s what represents it but for some reason, I just kept wondering if I really wanted to do that. When I did the challenge in 2015 I never made it past the letter U but I did complete the challenge last year. What had I done? Lo and behold, last year I had done the exact post I was thinking of for this year. Well, that wouldn’t do. I mean, well, I often plagiarize myself but I usually go back in time a bit further.

My mind wandered and I wondered about what friend-to-this-blog Jacqui Murray would be doing for her challenge as she is doing writing genres. Does a writing genre that starts with the letter X even exist? I asked The Google and was pleasantly surprised to find, in the second slot under the obligatory Wikipedia entry, a link to Jacqui’s post from April 28, 2017, Today’s #AtoZChallenge : Xenofiction. I mean, wow. Just, wow.

Well, I wouldn’t have done that one anyway but I was curious. Now I know. So, my problem remained until I looked at the picture from yesterday’s post and realized that was it! X is for 10.

I remember as a young person tuning my shortwave to a British comedy called, Round the Horne with Kenneth Horne. It was a sketch comedy show and in one sketch they were in ancient Rome and one of the characters says, “Must you leave so soon? The sundial says it’s only ex to eye-vee.”

The Roman system is used a lot for decorative purposes or annotating things. It might also be used to show importance or where an alternative numbering system might help prevent confusion. Or which Super Bowl it is. If you are interested in why some clocks have IV and others have IIII I found an article full of information called, Why Do Clocks and Watches Use the Roman Numeral IIII instead of IV?

The numerals are:
I = 1
V = 5
X = 10
L = 50
C = 100
D = 500
M = 1000
I Value Xylophones Like Cows Do Milk (I found this little mnemonic device at Yes, there is a site dedicated to only Roman Numerals.)

A Few Rules:
The I, X, and C may be repeated up to 3 times together.
The V, L, and D are never repeated.
If the smaller number is in front, you subtract it, if it’s in back, you add it. IX = 9. XI = 11.
A line over a character indicates a multiple of 1,000, e.g., V with a line over it is 5,000.

I can’t remember how to write 1, 1000, 51, 6, and 500 in Roman Numerals.


  1. Hmm, at least your post doesn’t involve X rays. Or a trip to Xanadu. We Catholics have a leg up here because St. Xavier. Don’t ask me Y.

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