"×" or "x"? When is the "multiplication symbol" preferred over the letter "x"?

I’ve seen “×” (the multiplication symbol) being used frequently to replace the letter “x” when it’s used as “versus”. Like “Artist A × Artist B”, I even use it myself sometimes because I see other editors doing so. But is this even correct?

From what I understand, “×” is only used for mathematical operations, like in this recording. It reads “Me Times Seven”, like a multiplication operation, not “Me Versus Seven”, so shouldn’t it be “Me × 7” instead of “Me x 7”? Whereas for these join phrases separating two or more artists, shouldn’t the letter be used?


I believe the letter X is being used as a stand-in for × in those cases, likely because the character is difficult to type.


Oh, I do know that. I’m wondering what would actually be the correct use of these characters per the guidelines.

Personally I only replace an X with the symbol when it’s actually printed/displayed like that on the cover.

It’s also often used for collaborations.
And also rarely to hide some words or letters.
And what is the letter “X” used for, alone, like this, outside of word?
I think the letter X is more rarely intended.

But anyway, I also often just follow what’s printed, in general.

Yes, the lyrics say “me” 7 times in the chorus.

For collaborations, it’s often (if not always) multiplication sign that is intended, too.
In Japan they read it as “cross”, or sometimes “by”, like in English.


Here’s what X - Wikipedia says for the “versus” meaning:

In art or fashion, the use of X indicates a collaboration by two or more artists, e.g. Aaron Koblin x Takashi Kawashima. This application, which originated in Japan, now extends to other kinds of collaboration outside the art world.[12] This usage mimics the use of a similar mark in denoting botanical hybrids, for which scientifically the multiplication × is used, but informally a lowercase “x” is also used.

(I personally usually just preserve the lowercase ‘x’, but maybe I’ll switch to replacing it with ‘×’.)