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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Elon Musk tells Joe Rogan how to pronounce X Æ A-12

Illustration for article titled Elon Musk tells Joe Rogan how to pronounce X Æ A-12
Screenshot: The Joe Rogan Experience (YouTube)

Earlier this week, Elon Musk and Grimes brought a child into the world and, by naming him X Æ A-12, ensured that any time spent on the nation’s playgrounds will be rife with mockery. But, while many puzzled over the singer’s breakdown of the name’s meaning, others had a very simple query: How the hell is it pronounced?


That was one of the first questions out of Joe Rogan’s mouth when Musk swung by his podcast on Thursday. And Musk had an answer, though he was quick to note that “my partner mostly came up with the name.”

Like many in their Twitter mentions surmised, the child’s name is pronounced Ecks [X] Ash [Æ] A-Twelve, per Musk, who takes credit only for the latter part. The A-12, as Grimes previously noted, is a reference to the Lockheed A-12 Archangel CIA aircraft, the pre-cursor to the SR-71. “Coolest plane ever,” Musk says.

Rogan, meanwhile, can’t stop laughing, prompting a few self-aware “yeahs” from Musk.

It appears, however, that Musk and Grimes aren’t on the same page here. As CNN notes, Grimes replied to a fan query on Instagram on Thursday by saying that Æ is pronounced A.I. “Like how you said the letter A then I,” she wrote. Anyways, that’ll be a fun conversation later, we imagine.

Elsewhere in the interview, Musk reflects on the Cybertruck’s awkward launch, during which he made a whoopsie by caving in the “bulletproof” glass with a metal ball. “I was not expecting that,” he admits, saying that, though they practiced the stunt backstage, they didn’t consider the internal damage done by the sledgehammer they used to demonstrate its tough exterior.

“We think that that cracked the corner of the glass at the bottom,” he says, “and once you crack the corner of the glass it’s game over.”

He also discussed his decision to sell off his homes and possessions, which he announced during a Twitter tantrum last week. “I think possessions kind of weigh you down. They’re kind of an attack factor,” he said. “People say, ‘Hey, billionaire, you got all this stuff.’ Well, now I don’t have all this stuff. Now what are you going to do?” (There’s plenty of other stuff to dunk on him for, but okay.)


Interestingly, though, he shares a few neat details about the house he owns that once belonged to Gene Wilder. “It’s a real quirky house,” he said. “All the cabinets are handmade, and they’re odd shapes. And there’s doors to nowhere, and strange corridors and tunnels, and odd paintings on the wall.” Step aside, Winchester House.

You can watch the full interview below, though it’s dominated mostly by his well-documented coronavirus denialism and desire to drill holes in people’s skulls, so proceed with caution.

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Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.