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Opinion: Ending in X

It is probably no surprise I enjoy celebrating the holidays by stirring up a big Ol’ pan of (lumpy) Gravy. Be they actual federal or state holidays or just obscure observances on the calendar, I am fascinated by what people celebrate and why.

Last month I missed mentioning the Chinese New Year. It began on February 12 and will conclude January 31, 2022. Each year is represented by a Chinese Zodiac Animal. The Ox is the animal for 2021.

I have a fondness for oxen. I love anything whose name also ends in an “X.” Take box for instance, if you will. More than one box is pronounced boxes. When making a word plural you can add es, they taught us that in grade school. I also use that system when pluralizing my own name. If box is boxes, then Nix is Nixes, right?

As in “Merry Christmas, from the Nixes.”

By comparison, if an ox is oxen, why isn’t Nix, Nixen? Ok, to me at least, that one is obvious! I would not like Nixon as my last name, no matter how it’s spelled.

Since I reached the age of majority in the 1970s. Our 37th president’s activities and public profile weren’t something to be emulated.

There are many words that end in the letter X. A check of the official Scrabble Dictionary shows there are two-letter words all the way up to a single 14-letter word.

One of the longer words ending in X that I favor is unorthodox. No big surprise there, right? A woman administrator is an administratrix. Can an X at the end of a word be attributed to our all-X chromosomes?

A great many words denoting a woman, have fallen from favor in a world striving to be gender-neutral.

Gloria Steinem may revoke my feminist credentials, but I acknowledge that women are quite different from men. But we aren’t just smaller, softer versions of men.

It would seem that the men who wrote and published the Bible would have us believe it. While we can be strong, for the most part, we are the weaker sex.

The Broadway tune “Anything you can do, I can do better,” is something of an embarrassment. If it were “The things you can do, I can do better,” makes more sense. The beat of the melody would need to change a little, but it is accurate.

Women can do some things better than men. The obvious one is to birth offspring. And even that one needs some male participation.

Neither men nor women were put on this earth to dominate their partners. Regardless of gender, the most peaceful and appropriate method of getting one’s way is through finesse, not brute strength.

That prefix any, as in anything, is what I would call in this case the “Monkey in the wrench, the fly in the ointment or a nuisance, in other words.

The moniker “lady,” has also become one that is discouraged.

Women and females are gender-based. But the term lady brings to mind the personality or actions of the person being talked about.

Our mothers told us to act like a lady. That includes the way one sits, speaks and especially the language you use. My mother had a little hand signal she gave to her daughter, her nieces and all our friends. It meant the girl needed to adjust the way she was sitting. Perhaps undergarments were visible because of the way their legs were arranged. Or their legs were fine, but their garment needed to be pulled up, or down, depending on the situation. To this day my cousins and friends who were the benefit of my mom’s gentle instruction remember that signal and taught it to their children.

It is very important to remember that no one’s permitted to insult you unless you let them. They may be offensive and distasteful, but you just snub or ignore them, and their actions.

Manners are another behavior that needs to be displayed more often. Too many people have forgotten any etiquette lessons they were taught.

If kids aren’t taught proper manners at home, it falls to their teachers to do the job. Some may think it’s not a school teacher’s place to correct the bad manners of their students. But if it appears as if the parents haven’t taught the kids to exercise manners, who is going to? Are we willing to let the next generation learn its manners and correct behavior from the television or the Internet?

Is the children’s unsupervised television and Internet usage where they are learning these lessons?

As much valuable information as is dispersed by the Internet, there is just as much garbage flowing out of it and into the young minds of kids.

If you subscribe to the popular notion that the children are our future, don’t be afraid to step up and say something. Although you do so at your peril.

Only once have I had fallout from a parent.

That time a kid ran into me with a shopping cart and the mother was nowhere to be seen.

“How dare you speak to my child?” said she.

My retort was that somebody had to since she was distracted. I tried to soften it by saying I was afraid her daughter was going to be injured.

I guess it softened the scene just enough to keep the woman from smacking me.

Long days and pleasant nights have a great weekend.

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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.



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