Z is for Zee or Zed? Canadian English

This is it, my final A to Z challenge post!

It’s been quite a month! I’ve really enjoyed this process of blogging daily, and all the wonderful visitors who have dropped by. Now, I’m looking forward to some time off blogging for a week or so. However, I also committed to write a Happy Birthday Shakespeare post, by April 30th.

So, without further ado, I’m going to post about the Canadian pronounciation of the letter Z. We call it a ‘zed’.

Canadian English (not an oxymoron) is a hybridization of American English and British English. Over the years I’ve had switch between Canadian and American English to fit the standards of the companies I’ve written documentation for. As a general rule, we keep the extra ‘u’s in words like labour and neighbour (they’re not typos!). However, we drop the s and adopt a z (though we call it ‘zed’) in words like globalization. More on the spelling differences here.

We tend to use American punctuation. Namely the quotation mark. For instance, like in American English, periods go inside quotation marks in Canadian English. Through the process of writing a novel for an American audience, I’ve learned new places where Canadian English differs from that in the U.S. My hat goes off to editor, Rie Langdon for her patience in educating me.

It’s been a great month. Thank you Rebecca Hart for inviting me to join the a to zed challenge!

5 thoughts on “Z is for Zee or Zed? Canadian English

  1. mel says:

    I grew up in London being grilled in British English but I find almost everyone seems to be adopting a mix of spelling systems these days. I find that really infuriating to proofread ;P

    • lvoisin says:

      When I work for a company, I have to use (or create) a style guide, just so I know what rules they’re following. From the looks of it, we don’t have a fully standardized version of International English (yet).

  2. carolyn says:

    What would be the Canadian version of using zees to mean sleep? It’s slang and I’m not sure if z’s is appropriate. Thoughts?

    • lvoisin says:

      Do you mean ‘catch some zs’? We still might say ‘zees’ as we are very enmeshed with American culture and would hear it on TV, for example. We also say “I need sleep.” 🙂

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