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Since I am still taking some time off, I am putting all of you to work again doing the blog (I am posting your e-mails.) I much appreciate all of your "help" since I am sure you don't want to read about how much sleep I am getting (which is my "ideal scene" for a vacation.)
As an aside, the received e-mail topics tend these days to be mostly: the "Christmas" (search) vs. "Xmas" debate; Scott Peterson; Ted Williams' remark about Amber Frey; spam, and — of course — my "favorite" of why FOX hired me when I do such a poor job (insults are part of the business!)
Since the debate is still ongoing about "Christmas" vs. "Xmas," I have grabbed a few of those for you. Some people are upset and some are not. Of course when someone uses the shorthand way to write it, no disrespect (I hope) is meant by that person. The shorthand is not meant to eliminate the religious reference but rather to shorten the word for convenience when writing. Here is an interesting note I received on the topic:
E-mail No. 1
I was reading and saw some were upset about using XMas. I prefer Christmas.
If you would direct your readers to howstuffworks.com and look up how Christmas works they could find out the story behind Xmas. This is an excerpt:
"According to the book 'Did You Ever Wonder' by Jeff Rovin, the word for Christ in Greek is 'Xristos.' The use of the shortened form "Xmas" became popular in Europe in the 1500s."
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
E-mail No. 2
I lifted this whole chunk from John J. Miller at National Review (Christmescellany - Dec 23,2004).
I couldn’t have given a better explanation:
"How did Christmas become Xmas? It's Greek to us — literally. The Greek word for Christ is Xristos. That's where the X in Xmas comes from. There's a Christian Web site called www.xristos.com. Here's what it says:
'Xristos is a transliteration of the New Testament Greek word for Christ criston. The Greek letter Chi — c — was retained to insure a connection to the roots and original texts, as well as visually represent the centrality of the cross in all. The visual symbol Chi-ro is also employed at various places by Xristos, recalling one of the earliest practices of the Christian community.'
So referring to Christmas as Xmas is no sign of disrespect, as many people believe. But it helps to know its origins."
I am a devout Catholic and take no offense! Love your show!
E-mail No. 3
You asked for responses to Ray Miller's e-mail about Christmas. While words all over the world seem to be shortened on a regular basis, please, please don't shorten Christmas to Xmas.
The whole basis for Christmas is the birth of Christ. You completely destroy the meaning of the word when you shorten it. Please be an example to other public voices and say "Christmas."
I hope that you had a blessed and Merry Christmas and will continue to have a wonderful holiday. BTW: Great reporting on the Scott Peterson saga.
E-mail No. 4
While I wholeheartedly agree with Ray Miller's comments about Christmas vs. Xmas, I would like to mention that X = Christ. We — in Christian circles — may often use Xians as meaning Christians; or IXOYE, commonly referred to in Christian circles as "Icthus" meaning I = Jesus; X = Christ; O = God's; Y = Son; E = Savior.
While the world in general doesn't really understand that Xmas can actually mean Christmas, I prefer to use Christmas.
E-mail No. 5
Ever since I was a child, my Mother and Father taught us that it is rude to say or write Xmas.
I now feel that way also.
I must agree with Ray Miller.
Happy New Year,
E-mail No. 6
Uma did a great job filling in tonight, which brought back thoughts to when Greta got her own show. The thought was WHY, WHY, WHY?
I hate to be negative about anyone, and I know Greta is a nice person and a great lawyer, but her show is almost painful to watch.
She's awkward and un-personable with guests except for the ones she knows. I am embarrassed for her when she asks questions to parents with a missing child. I cringe at how unfeeling she is.
Sorry Greta. It's been a long time now. I was sure they'd coach you. I watch my share of news and news shows. FOX seems like a pretty smart outfit. In my own mind I'll have to chalk this up to, "you must have friends in high places."
I'm not the kind of person that looks for the opportunity to be overly critical, but I feel much better now.
E-mail No. 7
From the Wisconsin State Journal, Dec.25, Christmas Trivia: "Why put the 'X' back in Xmas? Because it's meant to be the Greek letter chi, which it resembled in the Greek script of early Christians, who made it an accepted monogram for their savior. For example, chi is the first letter of "Christ" in the Apostle Paul's writings."
Hope this explanation helps Ray Miller and others who are offended by the use of "Xmas."
Love your show and look forward to 2005, "On the Record."
Watch "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" weeknights at 10 p.m. ET