Organize or organise?

Lazar   Sat Nov 26, 2005 10:45 am GMT
That reminds me of a skit that Christopher Walken did, in which he was trying to perform "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off", but he didn't realize that he was supposed to use different pronunciations, eg:

You say potayto
And I say potayto
You say tomayto
And I say tomayto
Potayto, potayto, tomayto, tomayto... ;-)
Felix the Cassowary   Sat Nov 26, 2005 11:18 am GMT
Uriel sings: <<Ey bee see dee ee eff gee, aitch eye jay kay elemenopee, kyoo ar ess, tee yoo vee, double-yoo ex, why and ... zed. >>

Yeah, that's one problem with that alphabet song. Another is that the letter is "haitch", dammit, and that you've invented a lettel "elemenopee" which doesn't exist. My youngest brother learnt the alphabet with that song, and he was convinced the was a letter "men". No, there isn't, it's just that you(generic) run a bunch of different letters into one breath and no-one can work out what you're saying (unless they already know), so it's not much good as a teaching mnemonic.

Instead, the real one goes:

ay-bee, cee-dee, ee-eff, gee ... haich-eye, jay-kay, ell-emm ... ... en-o, pee-queue, ar-ess tee-yue ... vee-doubleyue, ex-wye-zed.

(Well, it's really very difficult to indicate a way of singing the alphabet. You probably don't actually get what I'm trying to indicate... Maybe I'll make a recording if that's greek to you.)

And that way, it even doesn't matter that "zed" doesn't rhyme, because "gee", "emm" and "yue" don't rhyme, either. Of course, Americans aren't forbidden from using this

Anyway, ítis my considered opinion that "zed" is the better name, because as was pointed out it helps to clarify whether you mean "cee" or "zed". Some people hereabouts do say "zee", and it's very annoying, because you can't tell if they meant to say "cee" or "zed".

(Fwiw, I spell "-ise". And "color". Thus "colorise". That's the vastly superior spelling that nowadays only I use (well, and some other holdouts like me), but used to be much more common in Australia. Some people just got the whole "America", "Britain" and "Australia" thing confusing. Three countries and all ... gosh! Just as well no-one ever told them about Canada, ay?)
Uriel   Sat Nov 26, 2005 8:32 pm GMT
I never confuse C and Z, so I suppose that's not an issue for me. But my surname ends in a Z, and when my poor (American) dad was living in the UK and trying to set up his utilities, he had the damnedest time trying to spell his name for people, until he figured out that he had to use "zed". :)

The em and the yue don't have to rhyme with gee, though, because (at least in my version of the alphabet song, they're in the middle of their lines, not at the end.

And "haitch"? You aspirate the beginning of the name of the letter H? Fascinating; I've never heard that done.
Guest   Sat Nov 26, 2005 10:01 pm GMT
~<>And "haitch"? You aspirate the beginning of the name of the letter H? Fascinating; I've never heard that done. ><~

Funny that. It's even spelled with a hu...huh... hhhhhhhhaitch!
Felix the Cassowary   Sun Nov 27, 2005 12:30 am GMT
<<The em and the yue don't have to rhyme with gee, though, because (at least in my version of the alphabet song, they're in the middle of their lines, not at the end.>>

Yeah, but in my version, they do... And so using "zed" for Z doesn't ruin the rhyme, because there is no rhyme to ruin; that's one of the points.

<<And "haitch"? You aspirate the beginning of the name of the letter H? Fascinating; I've never heard that done.>>

Indeed I do; a very common pronunciation in Australia, amongst younger people (with an ever broader definition, I think in this context "younger" exceeds 30 yo) and older working-class people. Also people who went to Catholic schools are more likely to use it than people who went to State schools due to the obvious Irish vs English thing ("haitch" is an Irish pronunciation) ... it should be noted that I think the cultural implications of Catholic schools are somewhat different in Australia than in America. Catholic schools down under get funded by the Commonwealth (=federal) Government and so have to be roughly normal.
Uriel   Sun Nov 27, 2005 12:41 am GMT
Apparently, your song has a whole different rhythm than ours. In light of that, I can see your point; the rhyming structure is different.

But I still say "aitch". Hain't nothin' wrong with that.
Jim   Mon Nov 28, 2005 6:32 am GMT
"How a D creeps into Zed God only knows." ... prehaps Lazar is God. Yes, that's the explaination ... though there is a bit more to say. Note that most of the other letters in the Latin alphabet derive from Greek so why is zed special? It was added after the Romans renamed the letters.

Yes, zed does screw up the rhyme in the alphabet song ... dunno how you sing it Felix ... but is this a good enough reason to rename it? That old alphabet song ... you know the author just plagerised (yes, "-ise" for me) "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" for the tune.

No, the fewer letter names which rhyme the better. Not only would cee and zee be confused but all letter names which rhyme have the potential for confusion. This is why they had to invent the radiotelephony spelling alphabet ... you know: "alpha, bravo, charlie, ..." Nice job Romans.
Uriel   Mon Nov 28, 2005 6:41 am GMT
Lazar, are you God? If so, dude, you're falling down on the job ... get back to work!

(And Pete, take note: God has a New England accent and favors the Red Sox...)

Jim, I would imagine that the Romans didn't predict what havoc telephones and radio airwaves would play with their ABC's -- in normal speech, it's hard to confuse C and Z; on the phone, forget it.

And it's plagIArise for you, isn't it? ;)
Boy   Mon Nov 28, 2005 11:54 pm GMT
The only obvious thing that I noticed in his post was the spelling of that word. I also have a problem in spelling that word and I actually liked his version. That's how that word is pronounced also.
Jim   Tue Nov 29, 2005 12:04 am GMT
Prehaps you didn't notice my other misspelling.
Boy   Tue Nov 29, 2005 2:50 am GMT
Does anyone know why Jim used "..." in his post, repetitively?
Uriel   Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:45 am GMT
<<Prehaps you didn't notice my other misspelling. >>

I did, but I let "prehaps" slide as probably just a slip of the fingers while typing. God knows I do that all the time! As for "Explaination" well, I DID miss that one....



Boy, there are probably two reasons why Jim is using periods of elipsis (...) [I think that's the fancy name for them -- it's been a long time!]:

In the first example:

"Yes, zed does screw up the rhyme in the alphabet song ... dunno how you sing it Felix ... but is this a good enough reason to rename it?"

he's indicating what would be a sort of "pause for effect" in spoken speech. I often do this as well, or use dashes (--). All of these phrases COULD be independent sentences, but sometimes you can just feel that they are not quite being used this way, and that's indicated by the (...).


But in this example,

"alpha, bravo, charlie, ..."

the (...) indicates that the list continues on, but he is not going to go through all of it for you. This is a standard convention in writing.
Guest   Tue Nov 29, 2005 6:37 am GMT
*SIGHS* HOW THE HELL DID THIS THREAD GET SO OFF TRACKED FROM THE ORGINAL TOPIC?
Uriel   Tue Nov 29, 2005 7:01 am GMT
It didn't. It just expanded.

I don't know how much mileage you expected to get out of "organize or organise", anyway.
Damian in Edinburgh   Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:40 am GMT
Does anybody pronounce "prize" and "prise" differently? The first person I prise a response from will get a prize.

I didn't realise/realize how knowledgable you all are.

Talking about Zed......Zed apparently was quite a popular male name down in the West Country of England two or three hundred years ago. I just thought I'd mention that in case anybody was a wee bit interested. "Aaaargh....oi knaws Zed I does.....good ol' Zed! 'E loikes is ale, does Zed....."