Signing your name here, as in X______________________:
Before I was married, my initials were MC. I had what I considered a pretty cool artist’s signature with the C inside the M, starting from the last stroke of the M. I guess the one I use now with MP is okay — a little prettier — but not as clever.
The hardest checks for me to sign were for my dulcimers — the second, and as far as I know final one, was rather worse but both felt really tremendously large.
Crossing, as in (Insert name of animal or equipment or whatever) X-ing:
We have deer crossing signs around here, I think; we at least have deer. I don’t think we have other crossing signs, but most of the non-car/truck traffic we see is farm equipment. There are some really strange-looking contraptions out there for farms. The strangest one, to me, is this thing on extremely tall wheels — looks like you could drive under it if your car was narrow enough. I suppose it’s something designed to drive in a cornfield.
Expired calendar days or to-do-list items:
I don’t usually X out calendar days — I use a weekly planner and just turn the page when the new week comes. I used to fold over a corner so it would be easier to find the current page, but I’ve gotten out of that habit, perhaps because my planner now spends most of its time open on my desk instead of riding in my bag.
To-do-list items I usually cross out with a line, but sometimes use an X. Aren’t you glad I told you that? I write LOTS of to-do lists. I rarely follow them — not in a “these are the things I WILL do TODAY” sense. They serve mainly to get things out of my head so I don’t keep having things floating around with various cries of urgency and others floating away into oblivion. Also, in those rare moments when I have nothing to do, or when I feel inspired to be productive or to reduce stress or clutter, I can look at the list and get ideas.
Christmas, as in X-mas:
This one used to annoy me, because I assumed it was irreverence, like calling Thanksgiving Turkey Day. But the X is the Greek letter chi, first letter of Christ, and has a long history of church use as an abbreviation for the name.
Speaking of Christmas and irreverence, I am one of those people who thinks it’s wise and considerate to wish people happy holidays unless you know what they celebrate. For those who are not religious at all, they still probably consider that late December time off as a holiday, in the sense of vacation if not in the sense of a holy day. For others, holidays is inclusive without necessarily being generic. It’s not necessarily lumping all the holy days together as if the differences don’t matter. And for Christians, well, Christmas is a holy day, a holiday, so it’s included, too. If I were sojourning in a country or culture where Christians were not in the majority, I wouldn’t expect anyone to wish me Merry Christmas, nor would I be offended if people wished me happy whatever they celebrated, but it still seems more respectful to me to say happy holidays in this country when you don’t know the person well enough to be specific.