Monday, October 17, 2005

Zed or Zee? (and a little bit of Zen)

So, which one is it? Anyone know? And should we really care? Is it really a Canadian versus American thing? Or something else? Now that my boys are learning ‘stuff’ on a daily basis, every hour, minute and freakin’ second, which one should I be teaching them?

The Leapfrog alphabet fridge magnet thingy says ZED. (purchased in Canada) but that most definitely does NOT rhyme with “…next time won’t you sing with me”. So, when I sing it saying ZEE in order to rhyme with the song, I am getting scolded by twins A & B pointing to the fridge magnets or their Leap Pad clearly stating that ‘they’ say ZED. Everyone sing along now “…next time won’t you sing with Fred” or wait “…next time won’t you sing in bed.” or still “…next time wont’ you sing what I said, until we are dead, cause we all learned to say ZED.”

Sesame Street says ZEE. I grew up with Sesame Street, in fact my father insists that is how and where I gained all of my counting and alphabet abilities. (Thank you Sesame Street for my two university degrees) I like ZEE. I like the way it sounds, fits and feels. I get scorned by other parents when they hear me using ZEE. WTF?????? It is a fucking letter, no matter which way I say it, Zebra will always start with that letter.

I am not correcting my kids, I let them use which ever version they want and any given time. I will never change that, not while they are THREE years old!! Does that make me a horrible parent? I think not. When they sing Old MacDonald and use E-I-E-O-O, I don’t correct them, in fact I sing along with them cause it is just so friggin cute and I know damn well it won’t last forever.

I do use proper words when I speak with them, and correct them occasionally, but they are three. I love how they explore and test drive certain things and use words/sayings like “Of Course”, “Actually”, “Oopsy Daisy” and “This is the bestest piece of cheese ever!” simply because they are copying and learning from us.

I had a zen-like moment this evening. I went back to my weekly yoga class. It was my first class in many months, and I loved it. (Please note I am so NOT a yoga guru. I love my weekly class, never do it at home, just once a week at the gym, that’s it, that’s all. So would you now all please stop getting so confused, that really IS Jennifer Aniston and not me doing yoga on her back deck every morning.) I came home and told my Beloved it felt so good and was one of the bestest yoga classes ever. He looked at me and laughed. I was confused.

At dinner tonight, Thing 1 (a.k.a. twin A) kept saying “This is the bestest sloppy joe ever”; “This is the bestest apple sauce ever” etc…right down to the mini marshmallow he had as a dessert treat. I was L-ingMAO all through dinner saying, “Where did he get that?” Now I know! From me!! How awesome is it that they are so impressionable and literally soak up every single little teensy weensy iota of everything and anything you say, show them, read them, make with them, etc. I am so in love with them these days, especially at how much and how fast they are learning which appear to be at rates only measurable in exponential quantities (and also light speed). I also love the letter ZEE. I wonder if their university professors will ever forgive me. (Hey, that rhymes, like the song.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

WTF is that first comment about ????

11:50 PM EDT  
Blogger nancy said...

It WAS spam...I deleted it *poof* all gone.

12:14 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, my hubby is anti-blog, but I just may be able to get him to read this one Nancy. He absolutely detests hearing "Z" pronounced as Zed. It's quite funny how upset he I endlessly mock him.

Tristan also uses Zed due to our good friend Leap! to have the bestest sleep ever

12:41 AM EDT  
Blogger BeachMama said...

Nancy, I love the fact that the kids pick up every little thing, like "the bestest". It is so wonderful to see or hear how they change everyday. We have noticed here, that the learning is getting so much faster and with a friend it seems to double. Little J and his cousin were counting to twenty together yesterday. One would miss a number and the other would pick it up. Definately lots of fun.

As for the zed/zee thing. We were always corrected. My Mom would correct Sesamae Street when we were little, to the point that my Sister and I would yell out "ZED" at the top of our lungs to overpower the tv.

How fun,
Anna - who is jealous of your yoga, but is trying to get a few in every now and then at home.

6:31 AM EDT  
Blogger Silver Creek Mom said...

OH NANCY...I have no clue...I was always told we used the British version which is ZED not Zee. Obivouly the abc song is a American version (no I didn't google it so I'm guessing) and since they were kinda ticked at them at one time I think they changed it. I used to correct Miranda And I don't really care but NOW it's like one is they way you say it and the other is how you sound it in certain words. Like's not ZEdbra. Well that's uneducated opinion anyways. And it's no big deal to me in the grand sceme of things.

I do love how kids pick up what we say...remember my blog last week with the Although I am getting better although I slipped last night and said I was ticked at Miranda's math teacher he was a dumb ass..Guess what came right back at me? At least I didn't say the other word. I find now that Nathan is correting himself when he speaks words he said that I thought was cute and said wrong he is saying wrong stopping and saying over and correctly. Blows my mind.

And this was one the bestest blogs I've read all Morning.


8:31 AM EDT  
Blogger DaniGirl said...

GASP! Oh Nancy, we've come so far and now I have to reconsider our whole relationship. You're not correcting them? But it's ZED!! ZED ZED ZED!!

What's next, Starbucks and Krispee Kreme instead of Tim Hortons? No U in honour and neighbour?

(weeps openly)

9:31 AM EDT  
Blogger nancy said...

Oh Dani - now I wish I had dedicated this post to you. I should've known I could count on you to be correcting me. And you'll be sad to hear that I SO wish we could be normal and spell color and neighbor as I just did.

Oops - not expecting to hear anything nice from you for a while. Does this mean I can't sing the ABC song with your boys?

10:20 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to do this in a public manner. But, Dani is wrong. It's Z... Zed makes no sense at all. :) It does not even rhyme... Sorry my friend. I probably should of written this to you privately. But, felt I should get the word out to all.

Love, Your American friend. ;)

12:26 PM EDT  
Blogger DaniGirl said...


From Wikipedia: (Robin, are you listening?)

In almost all forms of Commonwealth English, the letter is named zed, reflecting its derivation from the Greek zeta. Other European languages use a similar form, e.g. the French zède, Spanish and Italian zeta. The American English form zee derives from an English late 17th-century dialectal form, now obsolete in England.

So, it is not just a Canadian thing to say zed, but solely an American thing to say zee.

I want to blog a full rebuttal but might have to forgo sleep to do so. Trying to decide on my priorities, sleep or defending the national identity...

1:53 PM EDT  
Blogger Suzanne said...

I never even HEARD of zed until I was in college. (Yeah, I know, another ignorant American...)

2:27 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah thinks zee is French, LOL. Nope, sorry kid. Sorry, Nance, too - didn't know you were a closet American.

I, too, think it's cute when such "big" expressions come from such little people. ;-) But I still correct her. Not all the time, but things that she says over and over and that I think she should be able to get right now. Currently, we're working on th's - so funny. TH..spray..firty!

Hank you!

2:46 PM EDT  
Blogger nancy said...

Ooooh Dani - got your panties in a bunch?? I love it!! Bring it on!!!

I am now thinking of what else I can blog about that would warrant multiple comments from you...hmmm...

2:55 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever !!! I'm still calling it Zee.. ;)


ps. Do you still love me??? :)

11:31 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a 'zed'der. I correct Erik all the time when he says "zee." "It's ZED! We're in CAnada! ZED!"

I try not to care about it, but really I do, a little.

Besides, in the alphabet song I learned when I was little, "zed" sounds better than "zee". It goes:

abcdefghijklm (clap clap!)
nopqrstuvwxyz! (clap clap!)

All the letters in each line said in a big rush (I can't put the melody here, though).

7:58 AM EDT  
Blogger Running2Ks said...

OK, I'll throw in another idea. In the "Reading Reflex" book that approaches reading through the system called phonographix (not phonics), you are expected to teach your children the letter sound and not the letter "name". Therefore z is zzzzzz.

Z, zed, tomAYto, tomAHto. Zen, live and let live :)

10:52 AM EDT  
Blogger nancy said...

Oh my goodness you are all too funny. Your reasons for usage of either 'zee' or 'zed' are too fun to read. Thanx for playing.

10:59 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nancy, what a brillianf post and all these replies are hilarious! I actually had to sing the song to see which one I actually said...zee it is! But with kids who are in the Montessori system, we refer to letters by their sound and not their names so it's actually zzzzzz around here.

3:02 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you don't prononce it "z" zzzzzz, how will the little jingle rhyme???
w x y and z (ZZZZZZZZ)
Now I know my abc's, next time won't you sing with me??
w x y and zed
now I know my abc's, next time won't you sing with me??

It just doesn't sound right!! American, Canadian, Greek,'s all about the jingle!

2:33 AM EDT  
Blogger DaniGirl said...

Game on! You asked for it, I blogged it!

With much love,

11:28 AM EDT  
Blogger Pete said...

My kids are always correcting me

4:55 PM EDT  
Blogger PeterinScotland said...

Obviously the song was written by an American. But the rest of the English speaking world (at least those countries inhabited by descendants of English people) says "zed". The song is useful though, so we use it too. But the Leapad doesn't have the "Now I know my ABC, next time won't you sing with me" bit, so an uninitiated kid might not realise the lack of rhyme. Our 2 year old finishes her singing with "Now my ABCD....." - she's never caught on to the actual words of those last two lines (the Leapfrog is a recent innovation in our household - the song has been here for months).

7:00 PM EDT  

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