Monday, March 2, 2009

Zed's Dead

As the child of a Muslim father my name, as is customary, contains more Z's than an N factory that has fallen on its side. If you know me you'll probably know that I have one in my first name and another, just in case you missed the first, in my surname. To some, those with a Z fetish, I'd be considered lucky.

I hate Zs though, so I don't consider myself lucky. I do on other fronts, just not on the whole Z issue. Zs, or zeds, as it should be written, as letters go, are definitely the worst letter in the English alphabet.

We can't even agree on how to pronounce the letter zed. You lot in Sri Lanka chuck a mysterious E in front of it when you say the letter, it becomes "e-zed". Americans call it a "zee" and we, us Brits, call it the proper "zed". No other letter suffers so much for its own existence.

It's also a comedy letter, the only time it's valuable is in scrabble, if you can think of a suitable word to use it in, but you never can, unless you're Amila Salgado.

So I've decided to start up a protest group to get rid of them. I've even thought through the implications, something that's rare for me.

It's only us Muslim types who use them in names anyway and they sound harsh and weird. Some people would have to change their moniker, thought interestingly not people called Monica, but usually an S would do the job and give the name a nice softer feel anyway.

Nazreen Sansoni is the only blogger I can think of, as well as myself, who would have to do this. I may ask her, but I reckon she'd be okay with the idea. She already has a couple of Ss in her name so another might even make things easier.

Things on the Muslim side of my family however, may get panicky. Removing the zeds from all my cousins' names could be the linguistic equivalent of global warming. Suddenly there'd be random vowels all over the show creating imbalance and possible disaster. Most of my cousins would be called a name that sounded like that noise a cat makes when it's got a fur ball. Further thought here would be needed.

Those gods of music would become Led Eppelin and Frank Appa. Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham would, I'm sure be fine with the idea as everyone would know the band from the new name immediately. The late Frank, or his representatives, will be a bit pissed off. Let's face it Frank Appa sounds like a Sri Lankan Grandfather more than the innovative musical legend he was. I say that with my apologies to any Sri Lankan musical legends who are also Grandfathers, I know it can happen.

Countries are no big deal. Zambia, Zimbabwe and Zaire would still be recognisable either with an S at their beginning or just carrying on with the next letter. The odd country that has a Z inside its name, perhaps Belize, wouldn't matter at all. No one really knows if these places are spelt with an S or a Z anyway so it would just simplify things.

And let's look at everyday words that have zeds at the start, well there aren't that many. I opened the zed section of my dictionary and it reads like the last chapter of a book, which it is, when the author has got bored and deiced that he needs to finish it. It's like those crap songs at the end of a good album that no one listens to and no one remembers. There are words like zein, zend and zedoary there. Let's face it we don't really need those sort of words do we?

The zoo would suffer, but it's a fairly dated concept that many think is almost extinct anyhow. The zebra crossing might be an issue, though not in Sri Lanka for two reasons. The first is that no one pays any attention to them, so they can be called anything for it wouldn't matter.

The second is that they're yellow and black which IS NOT THE COLOUR SCHEME OF A ZEBRA, unless it's one in camouflage. But, the camouflage would be useless unless it was a zebra that was trying to hide in a Sri Lankan zebra crossing factory. Or in a liquorice allsort factory. Mind you, this may explain why we never see zebras in these places.

As for the zephyr? Well it's just some kind of wind thing that was named after the old Ford. It's not important these days.

The icing on my cake of an argument has got to be those Americans, Microsoft and spellchecking.

Americans, because they're too lazy to think about whether an S should be pronounced as hard or soft, have changed everything with a hard S to a Z. So apologise becomes apologize, specialise becomes specialize and, well, you know the score.

Spellchecking is disastrous for the civilised world because of this. This will all change.

There you have it. Zeds must go, you know it makes sense.

It's Sunday night and I'm off to get some sleep. Or, as we say here, I'm off to get some zeds, or seds, or eds.

Happy Monday all.

12 comments:

Makuluwo said...

Got a lot of time on your hands don't you? :D
I am afraid I will be putting up a campaign to fight against your cause, sir.
For permitting Led Zeppelin to turn into Led Eppelin or Led Seppelin is utterly inexcusable and insulting to the sensitivities of hardcore LZ fans such as yours truly.
Hee hee.

Let's face it Frank Appa sounds like a Sri Lankan Grandfather more than the innovative musical legend he was.
LOL.

And zebra crossings in Sri Lanka? Where?! :P

T said...

your name would sound like a girl's name without the Z no?

frankly, i find Zs very sexy. I wish I had a Z in my name. but that would create havoc in my last name. id give up any hope of any american ever being able to pronounce it.

Sachintha said...

Particularly in chats people say something like "ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ" when they are so sleepy.

If it was to be replaced with S, then it rather sounds like shush'ing someone...

Problems, problems....

Indyana said...

But RD you have a rather nice name...! With both z's in place!

ViceUnVersa said...

hmmm...
Somehow don't you think the 'Z' is a highly dignified letter? For example with apologies and no offense to the name-holder:
Jaz is a cool moniker. Conjures up some starving artist living in Soho. The prison gang leader.
Jas however would be a YOB living in my part of the world. The prison bitch. An elephant in a room :)~
I have now confused myself.
Happy Monday to you too.
GDMRD

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Makuluwo - Yes!

You have a point with the Led Zep problem, but you'd still know which band it was even with no Z there.

Re zebra crossings in SL, I've only ever heard rumours about them.

T - Well over here there are frequent occasions when I turn up and the person I meet is surprised that I am a man, as they've assumed from my name that I'm one of the fairer sex. So it's a problem for me anyhow that I think the removal of a Z would make little difference to.

The fact you find Zs sexy is interesting. If I ever meet a chap who shows interest in you I will advise him to dress up in a Z outfit in order to give himself a good chance. I'm afraid T, that I don;t actually know your surname so can't comment, but can imagine your predicament.

Sachintha - Yes, the zed thing applied to sleep related matters would definitley be an issue. We'll have to think on this.

Indyana - Thank you, but these Zs really do drive me up the wall.

DD - People known as Jaz are remarkably cool in my experience. You did confuse me too. GM2U2

(Z) Ephyr said...

"Those gods of music would become Led Eppelin and Frank Appa. Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham would, I'm sure be fine with the idea as everyone would know the band from the new name immediately. The late Frank, or his representatives, will be a bit pissed off. Let's face it Frank Appa sounds like a Sri Lankan Grandfather more than the innovative musical legend he was. I say that with my apologies to any Sri Lankan musical legends who are also Grandfathers, I know it can happen."


Hahahahahahaha ... you're so funny I want to adopt you!!!

Makuluwo said...

Your flippancy with the flexibility of Led Zeppelin's band name disturbs me.
*protests outside your house with DONT KILL THE ZEDS signboards* :P

And OHMYGOD I just realized.
JAZZ would becoming.. JASS.
Jass? If you think turning jazz into something that rhymes with ass is permissible, man, you are pure sinister! :D

Scrumpulicious said...

Zeds (Zees) are awesome! Seriously! They may be the bane of my Outlook and Word but I can deal with that. Imagine the horrors of not being able to say Zero (Ero/sero)?! We'd have to put up with the grammatical chavvy errors of people who say O when giving out telephone numbers!

Excuse the rant! I'm sure your name is lovely! :)

Anonymous said...

Your name is Zinedine Zidane??? woooow! :)

Anonymous said...

Zinedine Zidane is one of the coolest names. One can almost assume that the name made him a great player.

I have a theory that Ban Ki Moon was given the post purelly due to the ease of pronounciation. Imagine the world media trying to say "Jayantha Danapala" each time there is a major crisis in the world.

He was doomed from the begining.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Anon 1 - No, I am Zebbedee Zidane, his younger brother. We also have a sister called Zulfika

Anon 2 - Totally agree, it is one of the coolest names ever. I have often considered that, if I had a son, I'd love to call him Jamil. If you know my surname you'll understand why I think it sounds cool.