The ‘Official’ Way to Say Godzilla x Kong Is Driving Me Insane

How do you say Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire? Godzilla “ex” Kong, like “deus ex machina”—the Godzilla from the machine? Godzilla/Kong? Godzilla cross Kong? Godzilla and Kong? Does anyone ever actually even bother saying The New Empire at all? It turns out all of these questions are moot, because the “proper” way to say the name is none of these.

In fact, you’re not supposed to acknowledge the “x” at all. According to Vulture, publicists for the film informed the site that Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire is in fact said as Godzilla Kong: The New Empire. And boy howdy, do I hate this.

For what it’s worth, when io9 was invited to talk to director Adam Wingard about the movie recently, our very own Germain Lussier referred to the film as “Godzilla ex Kong,” and wasn’t corrected by either Wingard or publicists. Perhaps Vulture just got a particularly zealous note about nomenclature, in the same way a brand like Lego will occasionally insist that you must refer to it as LEGO instead. But if the real way to pronounce Godzilla x Kong is in fact Godzilla Kong, then reader, there is no god(zilla).

On the one hand, I get it. For as many pieces of media where the letter is pronounced one way or the other (shout out out to Street Fighter x Tekken, pronounced as “cross”), the x-as-cross being read as silent is, actually, quite commonplace in anime and manga. Hunter x Hunter, Gun x Sword, Service x Service, Spy x Family, for example, all use their “x” for aesthetic purposes rather than pronunciation ones, and are said as if the letter isn’t there at all. Given The New Empire’s roots in Japanese kaiju media, aping this stylization would make a lot of sense as an homage! On the other, if I say “Godzilla Kong” out loud to myself I want to bash my head into a wall until I cannot say it, or anything else, out loud ever again. It just sounds bad! Sure they already used “versus” for the last film, but if Godzilla and Kong are now team up frenemies instead of foes duking it out, there’s got to be a way to convey that in the title—why have the “x” at all if it’s just silent?

In the end, none of this really matters. “X,” silent or otherwise, will promptly eject itself from your brain the second you sit down to watch the movie this weekend and giant monsters start pummeling each other. That is, arguably, the point—we are not here to think about linguistics, we are here to watch giant beasts ride and/or wail on each other and cause destruction and mayhem. But if you find yourself preparing to go see the new Godzilla and King Kong movie and start wondering all this out loud: I’m sorry that you now have an answer that is perhaps much worse than having no answer at all.

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