Cuts in education spending in the United States have forced educators to pare costs to a bare minimum. Class sizes have almost doubled, old, worn out textbooks are being used in place of new, and in the latest rounds of cuts, the letter X has been removed from the alphabet. Educators believe that having 25 letters in the American English alphabet instead of 26 will allow children to learn their "letters" more quickly and move them on to the next grade with less effort.
Wallace Grimley, US Superintendent of Education has addressed the issues associated with removal of the letter X in a pamphlet sent home to all parents of school-age children entitled "The X-Factor No Longer Needed in American English," which uses a popular British television show as his premise for telling the parents that the X is not really needed in our alphabet and that we can, in fact, do quite nicely without it.
In the pamphlet, Grimley explains that the letter X is phonetically sounded out as "ecks" and therefore words such as extreme and exercise will benefit the most because not only will the X be removed, but an eckstra E won't be needed in the replacement as in e"ecks"tra. That alone will reduce costs considerably he says. The only problem Grimley sees is the word xylophone. "That is a bit of a sticky wicket for us," claims Grimley. "While all other words that use the "ecks" sound, xylophone uses a "zee" sound. It is for this reason that we have decided to totally remove the word xylophone from the English language. It will be replaced by the more popular glockenspiel or timpani.
Asked if losing one letter and picking up four (or 3 in the case of the above-mentioned type words) won't actually increase costs in the long run, Grimley says it will not. He gave an ecksample: When writing the ecks in cursive, it is eckstremely difficult to cursive down and then stop to cross over the X. By writing ecks instead, it allows you to continue the flow of thought without stopping to add an eckstra downward stroke to the word. This, in turn, saves time and in our ecksperience, time is money.
Grimley acknowledges that removing the X for some may be difficult to swallow at first but as the practice catches on, it will become one of the more successful moves made by educators to cut educational spending. He claims the fewer letters children have to memorize the quicker they will be able to learn their numbers and colors before moving on to more difficult studies.