Posted by: Andrew | February 10, 2010

The Zed and the Zee

One of the most obvious differences between US English and most other varieties of English is the use of “Zee” to represent the letter Z, instead of “Zed”.  Number two son is currently doing the phonic alphabet in preschool, and they do little exercises every day on the Smartboard which they have in the classroom (this is like a very large computer screen, including a touch sensitive screen).  He loves doing the calendar from the Starfall.com website.

The phonic alphabet is also on the same site, and he also enjoys those, particularly T for Tiger (the tiger roars) and B for Bear (the bear growls).  The only problem is “Zee” for “Zeeeebra”, because in Britain and Canada it is “Zed”, and many people pronounce Zebra with a short “e” sound – “Zeb-ra”. As N2S has some learning difficulties, the last thing we want to do is confuse him with pronounciation!

Fourtunately we have also found a very nice music clip on You Tube, which is teaching the American Sign Language (ASL) alphabet.  The nice people at “My Smart Hands” have made “Zee” and “Zed” versions. We all like the song.

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