Zed?

Lao   Thursday, May 13, 2004, 06:16 GMT
In previous thread I discover that outside of USA "z" is pronounced "zed"? I never heard this before. Who pronounce "zed"? Sorry for poor English, I'm working it...
Jim   Thursday, May 13, 2004, 07:05 GMT
As was indicated in that thread, the Australians, the New Zealanders, the English-speaking Africans, the Britons, the Irish and, yes, even the Canadians ... basically every native speaker of English outside the USA ... call it "zed". The letter has similar names on other European countries to this traces back over thousands of years to the Ancient Greek origin of the letter. What have the Americans gained by discarding all this history and tradition? More potential confusion, that about it. We've already go enough letters that rhyme, who wants even more?
Simon   Thursday, May 13, 2004, 08:19 GMT
Yeah, it does my hea in...
to Jim   Thursday, May 13, 2004, 09:45 GMT
"Zed" has nothing to do with greek. Because they do not have latine letters.
OK!
Simon   Thursday, May 13, 2004, 09:53 GMT
Yes but you made zee up. It is confusing because it can sound like "c".
Zed and zee both make sense.   Thursday, May 13, 2004, 18:47 GMT
If you're going to say that ''zed'' makes more sense than ''zee'' for ''z'' you might as well say that ''beta'' makes more sense than ''bee'' for ''b''. If you're going to say that ''zee'' makes more sense than ''zed'' you might as well say that ''wee'' makes more sense than ''double yoo'' for ''w''. Both ''zed'' and ''zee'' make just as much sense. Neither one makes more or less sense than the other.
Alphabets   Thursday, May 13, 2004, 19:10 GMT
How weird would this alphabet sound?

a-ay
b-bee
c-chee
d-dee
e-ee
f-fee
g-ghee
h-hee
i-ie
j-jee
k-kee
l-lee
m-mee
n-nee
o-oh
p-pee
q-quee
r-ree
s-see
t-tee
u-yoo
v-vee
w-wee
x-ex
y-yee
z-zee
Damian   Thursday, May 13, 2004, 20:20 GMT
As Jim says the USA is the only country that says "zee" for Z. It just HAS to cause confusion many times when spelling out words say over the phone for instance....with "cee" for C being taken instead of "zee" for Z and vice versa, as Simon says. In this case, "zed" does make more sense to avoid this problem. Unless the standard alphabet code is used...alpha, bravo, charlie, delta, echo, foxtrot etc etc as used by emergency services like the Police. Zulu is used for Zed (sorry! zee...) so no confusion there.
Zed and zee both make sense   Thursday, May 13, 2004, 20:58 GMT
If you're going to say that ''zed'' makes more sense than ''zee'' for ''z'' you might as well say that ''beta'' makes more sense than ''bee'' for ''b''. If you're going to say that ''zee'' makes more sense than ''zed'' you might as well say that ''wee'' makes more sense than ''double yoo'' for ''w''. Both ''zed'' and ''zee'' make just as much sense. Neither one makes more or less sense than the other.

Quote-''It just HAS to cause confusion many times when spelling out words say over the phone for instance....with "cee" for C being taken instead of "zee" for Z and vice versa''.

Oh yeah, and ''vee'' could easily be confused with ''bee'' when spelling out words over the phone, yet you still call them ''vee'' and ''bee''.
Ginny Weasley   Friday, May 14, 2004, 05:30 GMT
Zed in French and German. Zed in Asia. Zed, zed partout, sauve les √Čtats-Unis. Neither one makes more sense than the other. But there is one that's more widely accepted than the other, though the other is spoken by the people of a more powerful country, so that evens out the playing field.
Jim   Friday, May 14, 2004, 06:15 GMT
To whoever wrote "'Zed' has nothing to do with greek. Because they do not have latine letters. OK!" to me,

Gracious! Aren't we ignorant today? Do you have any idea where the Latin Alphabet comes from? My suggestion: brush up on a little history before you go make a fool of yourself next time.

How weird would "a-ay b-bee c-chee ... w-wee x-ex y-yee z-zee" sound? Yeah, pretty weird and very confusing.

Yes, ''vee'' could indeed easily be confused with ''bee'' when spelling out words over the phone (and elsewhere), yet we still call them ''vee'' and ''bee'' thanks to tradition. It would be nice if the Greek names had been kept but that's tradition for you ... the same tradition that has given us "zed".

Look at history if you want to make sense of these things.

Perhaps the best solution would be to adopt the "alpha, bravo, charlie, delta, echo, foxtrot etc." mentioned by Damian.
Ryan   Friday, May 14, 2004, 07:29 GMT
All this means is that Americans like to make our own tradition. I think the one thing that most Americans have always had in common is that we've never liked snooty Commonwealth countries telling us how to do things.
Simon   Friday, May 14, 2004, 08:00 GMT
You'll get yours...
Damian   Friday, May 14, 2004, 21:44 GMT
Ryan: having your own traditions as an independent (and huge!) country is fantastic and it would be weird if you didn't have them. The way our common language has evolved in our respective countries over the centuries makes the difference so interesting. I would hate it if our "two languages" were identical in every way...we would not be able to make fun of each other in a (reasonably) friendly way, would we? :-)

Hey, what's that bit about snooty Commonwealth countries, pal? I don't think anyone telling YOU guys what to do would get very far in their endeavours! Sorry...I meant endeavors!

PS: Snooty? Personally, I've never been called that before! I'd rather be called an Englishman! LOL
Jim   Monday, May 17, 2004, 00:31 GMT
By all means may your own traditions but when I mentioned "tradition" I meant the tradition going back to the Romans, Greeks and beyond. I mean tradition going back thousands not just hundreds of years. A tradition that American English is a part of, like it or not, no matter how some may try to reinvent it. Nobody likes being told what to do, this is no political forum but I might mention that it seems to me that old Uncle Sam isn't exactly the pinacle of innocence in this regard.