A.S.C.M.   Thursday, October 09, 2003, 23:09 GMT
Hello, British Maria:

When I was in Britain, I wrote the date as "3 August 2003", despite what you said about the customary order of the spelt-out date in Britain. Of course, that may be because of my German father's influence but I just looked up BBC News online and they wrote today's date as "9 October 2003", just like the way I do.

Well, now I'm in California, I write "August 3, 2003" but I absolutely refuse to write 8/3/2003 or 3/8/2003 because I think it's too confusing. I also try to encourage my family and friends to spell out at least three letters of the month instead of taking the perplexing numerical shortcut.
0   Friday, October 10, 2003, 00:05 GMT
0- americans say zero englishmen say naught
A.S.C.M.   Friday, October 10, 2003, 00:10 GMT
And the Englishmen spell it "nought", not "naught".
British Maria   Friday, October 10, 2003, 17:09 GMT
Ahh that's the BBC for you ;-) Both are fine here though, I have to admit the month/day/year is old fashioned..but it's still used widely..especially on newspapers and channels..other than the BBC lol (Try 'The Sun' newspaper's site...but don't go on the bit that says 'page 3' lol...topless women galore! lol)

0 is confusing because if you say a telephone number in Britain (Not sure about other places) we say it as 'oh' as in the letter o. But if it's like a mark in a test then it's nought. Strange!
.   Sunday, October 12, 2003, 02:54 GMT
Jim   Tuesday, October 14, 2003, 05:03 GMT
I've never heard of any English-speaking place in the world besides the USA which calls the letter "zee" rather than "zed".

If you Americans want to call it that, go ahead, but I'm with Simon, you needn't go around saying that "zee" is better or makes more sense than "zed".

I'm no history expert but as far as I've gathered, the Romans adapted the Greek alphabet and gave all the letters simple phonetic names rather than the more complex Greek ones. However, they had no need for "Z" so they didn't include it.

Some time later zeta was tacked onto the end of the Roman alphabet (it's towards the begining of the Greek one). Because of its late arrival it retained something of its Greek name.

Thus we got a letter called zed. It wasn't until relatively recently the the Americans decided to go and rename it "zee". In view of all this, which would make more sense?

Is there any real answer to the question of which is better? Maybe not. All I can say is that it makes positively no sense at all for an Aussie like me to ignor all this history and the international acceptance of "zed" and favour the American name.

There are a bunch of other letters which end in the same way as "zee", is this something in favour of "zee" over "zed"? I think not. The more rhyming letters that there are the more chance of confusion.

Which is the better alphabet?

Alpha Beta Charlie Delta Echo Foxtrot Golf Hotel India Juliet Kilo Lima Mike November Oscar Papa Quebec Romeo Sierra Tango Uniform Victor Whiskey X-ray Yankee Zulu


Aee Bee Cee Dee Eee Fee Gee Hee Iee Jee Kee Lee Mee Nee Oee Pee Qee Ree See Tee Uee Vee Wee Xee Yee Zee
Jim   Tuesday, October 14, 2003, 07:00 GMT
I should say "Bravo" not "Beta".