“X-ing a Paragraph” – Edgar Allan Poe
Back in the day, when they used to plug letters into a matrix board in order to create a newspaper layout, they kept a collection of cast metal letters in bins, like you’d find nuts and bolts in a hardware store these days. Every now and then, they’d simply run out of a popular letter. E was particularly vulnerable. Sure, they’d have more of some letters, and fewer of others, but, well, everybody has those days. At such times, the type setter would employ the rough expedient of replacing the correct letter with one he was in no danger of running out of – “x” for example. This happened frequently enough that the term “X-ing a paragraph” was common among publishers. In fact, the term caught the fancy of Edgar Allen Poe, who despite his reputation for horror, had quite a sense of humor.
“There’s nothing left to say, and no one’s left to write an ending to this dumb-assed play” – The Firesign Theater
All this to say, kiddos, I got nothin’. My bins are empty this evening, and I am X-ing this paragraph.