Z is for “Zed”

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Sasame street Episode 4082: Prairie Dawn decides to give Cookie Monster a plate of cookies so he doesn't eat the letter Z, but alas, as Prairie lectures, Cookie Monster eats all the cookies and then proceeds to eat the Z.

Sasame street Episode 4082: Prairie Dawn, Cookie Monster and the Letter "Z".

From my previous post, you know I’m a Yankee but what you probably don’t realize is I grew up a stone’s throw from the Canadian border. This meant my siblings and I grew up somewhat influenced by Canadian radio and television.

A child of the 80s, I loved living so close to Canada because it made me feel more connected to the U.K. and my favorite bands as Duran Duran, Wham!, and Culture Club, to name a few. Not only were the airwaves filled with my favorite British artists but I was introduced to other bands as Platinum Blonde before most others in the U.S. knew who they were. I stayed up late on Friday nights watching music videos on the Canadian station, since this was pre-MTV in our home, dreaming of being the next great Rolling Stone writer.

Now I Know My A, B, Cs…

My younger sisters were fans of Mr. Dressup (think of him as the Canadian version of Captain Kangaroo) and my youngest spent many mornings watching the Canadian version of Sesame Street. I never really thought there was a difference between the American and Canadian versions until my mom recounted the story of my youngest sister’s kindergarten test.

I’m a little fuzzy on the requirements to enter kindergarten, perhaps demonstration of coloring skills and ability to stack blocks, but what I do remember is when Liz had to recite the alphabet for the principal, Mr. Samter.

She rattled off her alphabetical knowledge with ease and then reached “Z.”

She said what any kid watching Canadian television would say. She pronounced it as “zed.”

“No, it’s ‘zee’,” the principal said.

“No, it’s ‘zed’,” she insisted.

I had to be 13-years-old at the time. I’m sure the bantering was in fun and her admission into kindergarten was not in jeopardy but that was the first time I realized how influential television can be and how different two countries can be even though they are a stone’s throw away. Today, I now know most the world says “zed.”

Are you a “zee” person or “zed” person?

Image source: Muppet Wiki

This post is part of the 2012 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Between April 1 – 30, a post was made for a different letter of the alphabet.

Author: Solo Travel Girl

Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led Jennifer Huber, aka: Solo Travel Girl, to a career path in tourism. She has worked in the tourism industry for more than 20 years including 10 years with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley and Everglades National Park. She currently lives in Southwest Florida, and maintains this travel blog with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely.

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3 Comments

  1. “Zee” for me! 🙂

  2. Haha…brought back memories of drunken discussions of pronunciation in China with foreign teachers from around the world.

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