Why is the 24th letter of the Alphabet "X" used for the "Unknown"
'X' is often used as the independent variable in mathematics. For this reason, it is often used for an unknown value that must be solved for. Therefore, it is put in place where a quantity or answer is unknown, or when a generic placeholder is required.
That's strange, I thought X was used to identify pornographic material. Oops, did I just say that?
Seriously, Daniel J is right. A long time ago, mathematicians decided to use x as the primary unknown in equations. They do use other letters, all which have specific meanings, depending on the topic in question.
It may also have something to do with our obsession to abbreviate things. You used the word "unknown", but a more appropriate word is "unexplained." Notice the emphasis on X. un X plained? Does that, prehaps, X plain it?
by Kevin Peter4 years ago
Why is the symbol “x” used in Mathematics to denote the unknown?There are 25 other letters in the English alphabet. Then why was x particularly selected for this purpose?
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