1

I've been posting a few questions on the TeX site lately, and have come across several comments on questions saying Welcome to TeX.sx.

Why is stackexchange abbreviated as sx? The few times I used an abbreviation myself, it was se.

  • Because the letter x is pronounced /ɛks/, which is also how the beginning of the word Exchange sounds. There is no phonetic difference between the name of the letter x and the syllable ex. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 20 '17 at 7:09
3

Phonetics

Because the letter x is pronounced /ɛks/, which is also how the beginning of the word Exchange sounds. There is no phonetic difference between the name of the letter x and the syllable ex.

Janus Bahs Jacquet is correct, people use the "x" because it sounds like "Ex" when you say it.

I can't think of any other reason why people would use "x" here.


I've never seen "SX" used

This may be because you and me browse different communities, but I've always seen "SE" used:

English.SE
Gaming.SE
SciFi.SE

Some others never get "SE" or "SX", like Stack Overflow = SO (note: Stack Overflow has existed for longer than Stack Exchange, so it's normal that it uses a pre-SE nickname)

But like I said, maybe the places you frequent do use "SX".

  • I've never heard anyone say EKG. In the UK, it's always ECG because that's how it's spelled. We don't change letters in saying initialisms simply because they are pronounced differently. Now, that might vary where K is pronounced Kah (like cardio-) rather than Kay as it is in English. – Andrew Leach Sep 20 '17 at 9:11
  • @AndrewLeach "EKG" makes as much sense as "SX". Spellingwise, it doesn't make sense, but phonetically it does. If this site if to be believed, EKG is indeed more used in America. However, I can personally vouch that Belgium (and IIRC the Netherlands) also use EKG (but only phonetically); so the claim on the website that "the rest of the world uses ECG" is incorrect. – Flater Sep 20 '17 at 9:15
  • @AndrewLeach I think "EKG" is a really fun example ... I'm from germany, and here, that's the official term (short for ElektroKardioGramm). – takrl Sep 20 '17 at 11:18
  • I don't understand you when you say that its initialism is ECG, but when you spell it phonetically, you say E-K-G. "Its initialism" refers to writing the three letters and "when you spell it phonetically" refers to pronouncing the names of those letters? – Chaim Sep 20 '17 at 12:07
  • @Chaim: The discrepancy between writing ECG and saying EKG is exactly what I'm trying to pull into focus. In this case, you're not simply pronouncing the letters as they are written. The C is pronounced as a K due to the C in "cardio" being pronounced as a K. Similarly, the X in SX mimics the sound of "Exchange", whereas using an E ("ee") would not accurately mimic the phonetics. – Flater Sep 20 '17 at 12:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.