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Why is the 24th letter of the Alphabet "X" used for the "Unknown"

  1. bellawritter23 profile image76
    bellawritter23posted 7 years ago

    Why is the 24th letter of the Alphabet "X" used for the "Unknown"

    https://usercontent1.hubstatic.com/4089544_f260.jpg

  2. Daniel J Brereton profile image64
    Daniel J Breretonposted 7 years ago

    '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.

  3. bellawritter23 profile image76
    bellawritter23posted 7 years ago

    Who agreed upon using the letter "X" why not Z?

  4. drbillfannin profile image60
    drbillfanninposted 7 years ago

    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?

  5. Dmian profile image58
    Dmianposted 7 years ago

    I believe is used to denote a variable like in maths.

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