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Why do Brits Hate the Letter 'Z?'

Discussion in 'Games / Pics / Jokes / Stories' started by SalixIncendium, Sep 14, 2019.

  1. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चितानन्द
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    As I was typing a response to my favorite Brit on the forum in another thread, I typed the word 'paralyzed' and immediately thought, "Americans use letter 'z' like it's going out of style, but for Brits, it's all but a wasted letter."

    Then I thought, should I change it to 'paralysed?' But I figured she already read the post and when she came across the word, rolled her eyes, and thought, "Those crasy Americans!"

    So why do Brits hate the letter 'z?'

    And why do they like the letter 'u' so much?
     
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  2. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I feel excluded. We Canucks also favour the non-Americanisation flavour. The u adds colour and the s is prettier.

    But to be fair, I taught both and accepted both here.
     
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  3. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चितानन्द
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    Whoops. Of course, I didn't mean to leave the Canadians out of this.

    I've seen both in interacting with Canadians. Is it at all divisional by province or is it just personal preference on the spelling such as the 's' instead of 'z' or the inclusion of the letter 'u' in words like 'colour' (which my spell check just told me I misspelled).
     
  4. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    Because British English is closer to the French it came from, I think.
     
  5. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चितानन्द
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    I always thought that English was a Germanic language heavily influenced by Latin.
     
  6. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    There are some die hard traditionalists, but the main reason both are considered acceptable is that we buy many American books, both non-fiction textbooks, and fiction. Few publishers would do a second printing for such a reason. Most folks wouldn't notice while reading.

    As far as I know there is no provincial standard differences, but I'm only familiar with Alberta where the official stance is that both are acceptable, similar to words that have alternate pronunciations. I could be wrong. I encouraged Canadian, but not that strongly, whereas some folks would actually mark it as an error in spelling.
     
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  7. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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  8. beenherebeforeagain

    beenherebeforeagain Rogue Animist
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    English is an amalgam of six or seven other languages introduced into what is now England at various times over the past 2,000 years, some more than once.

    The rules did not exist until the growing Empire realized it needed standard rules for reports and orders to and from the colonies, around Shakespeare's time...

    And then, when the American colonies split off, they couldn't keep the same standardization as the empire, and so created its own rules...
     
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  9. Shiranui117

    Shiranui117 Pronounced Shee-ra-noo-ee
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    The Americans made some spelling changes in the 1800's in an attempt to create a more readable and easily learnable English orthography. The British, Canadians, Aussies and Kiwis are just sticking with the original spellings.
     
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  10. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium सच्चितानन्द
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    I do get a kick listening to a Brit say aluminium. The first time I hear it was on an episode of Wheeler Dealers.

    But in looking at the spelling, I'm pretty sure the Americans are the ones mispronouncing it. :confused:
     
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  11. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    But don't Americans say "val-ay" for valet, and "urb" for herb? Maybe it's American that's closer to French. ;)
    A Celtic speaking island invaded by Germanic tribes, then Scandanavians, then French.
    For several centuries French was de rigueur in Polite English society.
     
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  12. beenherebeforeagain

    beenherebeforeagain Rogue Animist
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    And then, of course, was the injection of Latin and Greek...and more modern German due to science and engineering took off...German was THE language of science for centuries before World War II...
     
  13. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    We Ameristanians have converted Brits to using our definition of "billion".
    Theirs was once our "trillion".
     
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  14. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen Veteran Member

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    I've only learned fairly recently that they pronounce 'z' as "zed" instead of "zee". I was told by a brit that their way was correct because it originates from zeta, but then shouldn't 'b' be "bed" stead of "bee" because of beta?
     
  15. Ouroboros

    Ouroboros Coincidentia oppositorum
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    It's not just pronunciation, it's spelled differently. Aluminum in US. When it was discovered long time ago, both spellings existed for a while, and not until much later was it decided that aluminium is the standard (or something like that).
     
  16. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Pirates dont hate any letters;
    they actually have favourites.

    They are fond of "I", and well
    known is their passion for "R".

    But a true pirate's first love is e'er
    the "C".
     
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  17. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    Actually it is a complicated story. The person that "discovered" it got the naming rights and he went through several variations. For some strange reason after accepting "aluminium" we went back to the second of the three names that it went through:

    WebElements Periodic Table » Aluminium » historical information

    But back to the topic of the OP. In American English there is a difference in pronunciation between "ize" and "ise". In fact I have observed that the British simply cannot pronounce the "z". Brits may complain about how we pronounce the name of their car the "Jaguar" (hint we use the same pronunciation as that of the animal, and in that the American pronunciation is more "accurate"). But it is their car and they use to have the right to demand how it is pronounced. But as a fan of Top Gear I have noticed that just as most Americans cannot pronounce Jaguar to a Brits satisfaction most Brits cannot pronounce either Tesla or Chrysler. Ironically Tesla comes out "Tezla" and Chrysler comes out "Chryzler" <shudder>.
     
  18. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    It's actually about respect for the letter z.

    In Scrabble the letter Z is honoured with a 10 point value, which allows the advanced player to make very high scoring words like zoo, zap, zoom, or even the holy grail: zebra, worth a whopping 15 points.

    Americans, not renowned for their erudition, obviously were struggling to compete on a level playing field with the classically educated Brits as they were simply unable to respond to such relentless high level scoring. Some Yankee goon decided to cheat and spell words that would normally use the common letter s: worth but a single point, with the 10 point scoring z which, up until then, had remained the preserve of elite players only. This both devalued the letter Z and the sport of kings: Scrabble
     
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  19. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
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    Because American is more italianized...we use the Z a lot:p
     
  20. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    Why would zeta (pronounced "zeeta" in Modern Greek) produce an English zed rather than zee?
    Americans just decided to simplify things by removing unvoiced "u"s and by using "z" for the voiced fricative and "s" for the unvoiced.

    American English, otherwise, is quite proper and conservative; none of this newfangled Brit-speak like "got" when grammar calls for gotten or "Autumn" for Fall.
    Heck, it seems like most Brits these days can't even distinguish between wrath and wroth.
    :D
     
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