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In Knuth's MMIX, how can x be an octabyte (64 bits) and M[x] be a byte (8 bits)?

In Knuth's Fascicle 1 on MMIX, the "Memory and Registers" section on page 4 states: "thus if x is any octabyte, M[x] is a byte of memory." and "thus if x is any byte, $x is an octabyte." How can x ...