Remember, I live in America now, where Z = Zee. But for me Z will always = Zed.
I write about this because expats here tend to fall into one of two camps. Those who have embraced the U.S. of A and who say that you must adapt to their customs and those who cannot relinquish “how to speak proper like.” Guess which category I fall into?
I’m sorry can you imagine asking someone to pick a copy of the London A to Zee, or watching Zee Cars or heading to the Magic Roundabout and hearing Zeebedee instead of Zebedee being told it’s time for bed. Of course, if you’re American none of these will make sense to you.
And it’s not that I’m being deliberately annoying, it’s just very difficult for me to overcome a lifetime of doing things one way and then trying to do them another. Why does America have to be SOOO different? Why is it the ONLY country that writes its dates backwards – month, day, year instead of day, month, year. I’ve finally adapted I think but I cannot tell you how many cheques (they’re called checks here – as are ticks – it gets confusing) I bounced in my time here trying to wrap my head round that.
Why is America the ONLY country that recorded its videotapes on NTSC when the rest of the world used PAL? This means I can’t play ANY of my videos collected over the years. Although, videos are becoming obsolete. And yes, I know I can convert them to CD, but that’s not the point I’m trying to make here.
I’ll also never be able to call a tomato a tomayto (I asked for tomato on my sandwich once and the guy thought I said broccoli!)or basil baysil or herb ‘erb, because as that brilliant British comedian Eddie Izzard (who I’m sure spells his name with a double zed not a double zee) points out quite clearly it’s pronounced Herb because “there’s a f***ing ‘H’ in it!”
And don’t get me started on dinner. Well, apparently an entree is a main dish. What? So what’s an entree? An “appetizer”. Oy.
Don’t get me wrong. I love America. I love being here. And while I will continue to put petrol in my car, I know Americans call it gas; that they have no idea what a fortnight is; that a pair of scissors is called a scissor; that they think a boot is a trunk and that “will call” is a noun. I have learned these the hard way. I understand we are two people divided by a common language and I have adapted accordingly. But I will never call Zed “Zee” because I love Zebedee far too much. Actually I’m more of a Dougal fan – but that’s another story.