What a relief! Last month Mr T got a new job and is no longer the employee of a major international company whose name we cannot pronounce. Of course looking at the news headlines, it may not exist much longer (if Pfizer has their way) but while it still exists, I am prompted to talk about that company and the letter zee.
AstraZeneca – AZ for short – is pronounced AZed in Britain and AZee over here. What a gift for someone looking for differences betwen US & UK English. Tons of people round here have heard of AZ (AZee) and they have that special look I’ve described before when we call it AZed instead.
So why zee?
One school of thought says it’s all about the rhyme. You know it: A, B, C, D bla bla bla V, W, X, Y and ZEE. Now I know my A, B, C, bla bla bla bla follow Meeee.
It doesn’t work with Zed. Because Zed rhymes with… oh, yes!
Who doesn’t recognise this clip??
Happily of course, Zed is far from dead but living (a kinder, less violent life I hope) in any number of locations in the British Isles. And it seems that his cousin Zee, although living in the US and one of the many in the population who don’t have a passport, does have perfect immigrant credentials and is another example (like Fall) of a word or pronunciation, once use in Britain that came over with the Pilgrims and is thriving in the New World, despite perishing in the old.
So live on and prosper Zee. Especially now I am no longer required to say AZed ever again (hopefully).