Jester   Wednesday, January 28, 2004, 13:20 GMT
I'm Australian.

Talking to my 11-year-old nephew on the phone the other day, he spelt out a word using "zee" rather than "zed". For some reason I was horrified and instantly corrected him.

He reacted as if I had rocks in my head.

I'm now wondering if he was right.

In this globalised (and by dint, Americanised) world, is there any point trying to hold on to curious and perhaps anachronistic linguistic differences?

Or am I simply swimming against the tide? Should I just give up?

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.

Simon   Wednesday, January 28, 2004, 14:08 GMT
At the end of the day you speaking English in Australia has more to do with British Imperialism than any else, so it's hard to morally object to the American conquest of the English language.
Adam   Wednesday, January 28, 2004, 14:34 GMT
British imperialism has nothing to do with Australia. The British didn't invade Australia. The British DISCOVERED it. That is why they claimed Australia for themselves. Any other country would have done the same. So it is American imperialism which is to blame for her son saying ZEE rather than ZED. Well, American cultural imperialism, anyway.

And if the Americans have changed words in the English language to make it easier for them to speak it, then why have they changed ZED to ZEE? It doesn't make it any easier that they say ZEE instead of ZED.
Simon   Wednesday, January 28, 2004, 14:37 GMT
I bet the Aborigines were greatful to the British for pointing out to them just where they had been living all that time.
Paul V   Wednesday, January 28, 2004, 18:54 GMT
I don't think Aborigines is P.C.
What should I say?
p s   Wednesday, January 28, 2004, 18:55 GMT
Canadian's say Zed, but we are being slowly out-voted.
Jim   Thursday, January 29, 2004, 00:16 GMT
P.C., bollocks. I'm tired of this blanket term "P.C." I couldn't care less whether or not I called "P.C."

The term "Aborigines" is used to describe the native people of Australia. It is by no means a derogatory term.

The British invaded Australia. Any other imperialist power would have done the same.

Simon, I can see what you're arguing but we wouldn't conclude from that that if it hadn't been for the British invasion, we'd be speaking native Australian languages. If they hadn't colonised Australia, we'd still be back in the British isles calling the letter "zed".

The English that was brought to Australia belonged not only to the king but to each colonist. The calling of the letter by the name "zed" has come down to us through our traditions not through royal decree.

Jester, he's only 11, of course he thinks you've got rocks in your head, you're a grown-up. Swim against the tide, mate. One day he'll understand that you, as any self-respecting Aussie would, were just trying to keep Australia English Australian.
Simon   Thursday, January 29, 2004, 16:28 GMT
Moot point but what I meant is that the man (or woman) in the street wouldn't care if they had been in born into a zed group or a zee group.
A.S.C.M.   Friday, January 30, 2004, 01:41 GMT
Well, it's all well with children saying "zee" and "zed" until you hear grown-up Australian, British, and Canadian teachers starting to say "zee" at my school! One Commonwealth teacher in my school still says "zed" and spells organise with an "s"; the other 5-10 say "zee". Are they starting to lose their cultural identities?
Jim   Friday, January 30, 2004, 03:44 GMT
I have sex with small children.
Jim   Friday, January 30, 2004, 05:22 GMT
Yeah ... and I'd brag about that on the internet.
Jim's lawyer   Friday, January 30, 2004, 07:33 GMT
I just want to state categorically that the scurrilous accusations made against Jim are entirely unfounded and unjustified and if I were the faker I'd be one frightened bunny at this moment in time. We are going to find you and we will come down on you like a ton of bricks. Say your prayers, buster. You're doomed.
raisingfink   Friday, January 30, 2004, 07:40 GMT
I love this forum
Jim   Monday, February 02, 2004, 01:39 GMT
Thank you for that.

And might I add, faker, that our retribution will be swift and furious. Thou shalt rue the day thou hath our wrath so arroused. Thy doom: oh yea, how thou shouldst fear it. Make all haste, go no and pray thee that the Lord in Heaven might have the pity on thy miserable soul that we cannot afford, thou hath not much time.
Jordi   Monday, February 02, 2004, 03:07 GMT
Please remember that "zed" is not only a British and Commonwealth tradition but also a great European tradition that goes back to ancient Greek, at least. The French say "zede" and the Spanish "zeta". The American have broken this great tradition of Western culture.