Blogging A – Z Challenge 2022: Zee or Zed, Let’s Put This Thing To Bed

Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 22727 – 974

Here’s the haps:

“It’s a good thing we won that Revolutionary War or we’d all be speaking English today.”

Americans are almost the only ones to end the alphabet by pronouncing the last letter, “zee.” The rest of the English-speaking world says, “zed.” Apparently, the reason is that the pronunciation is similar to its Greek origin, “Zeta” and the pronunciation of “zed” is actually older. I listened to the very familiar “A, B, C” song and sure enough, the British version ends with zed instead. This sounded incredibly strange to my ear and messed with my head.

For one thing, it doesn’t even rhyme or fit the song! You have the lilting sound of “t, u, v,” which fits the music nicely, only to finish with “w, x, y, and zed‽” Unimaginable.

This is how I learned it:

The Collins Dictionary blog, Language Lover’s Blog did a great job explaining clearly the differences in UK and US spelling in their post titled 9 Spelling Differences Between British and American English.

Thanks to all of youse guys who have followed me to the end of this challenge. As someone once said a long time ago that I just made up (or recalled. Sometimes the lines blur), “I like to say ‘mucho’ to all my Spanish-speaking friends. It means a lot to them.

Now I am tired
I want to go to bed
So, if you please
I’ll catch some zees
And you may keep your zeds

💤💤💤💤

25 Comments

  1. You’re right It does mess with your head a bit. The V-Z rhyme isn’t there. When I entertain children, I mess with their heads even more by singing it backwards. Congrats on making it through
    ;;
    ;;
    ;;
    Laugh at yourself

    • Thank you. My grandkids love it when I sing the alphabet backwards. “Now I’ve sung my z, y, exes, now we’re all going to Texas.”

  2. I kind of miss the A to Z, in part because of those tricky letters I never really had a problem with. Of course I’m not doing a ton of blogging at all at the moment. Congratulations on finishing another tour.

  3. Um, I think you meant to say, “Thanx to all y’all,” not “Thanks to all of youse guys.” Sounds to New Jerseyish. 😎

  4. One little poem, two different versions…

    ALGEBRA.

    If A equals B
    And C equals D
    Then what on earth can W be?
    The X, Y and Z
    Just spin in my head.
    Why can’t we just add with numbers instead?

    ALGEBRA (American Version.)

    If A equals B
    And C equals D
    Then what on earth can W be?
    The X, Y and Z
    Mean nothing to me.
    Why can’t we just add with 1, 2 and 3.

    I can forgive you Zee, but ALOOMINUM (Aluminium – a whole extra syllable!) oh dear me, no… 🙂

  5. I find these examples of English English to be fascinating. And my reply to those who said we mispronounced letters: Zed who?

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