Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I'd Like To Buy A Zee, Please

On December 14, 2012, Pat Sajak and Vanna White will guest host the Australian version of Wheel of Fortune.  Here is an excerpt from the transcript of that show, which I was able to obtain by traveling to the future:

Pat Sajak:  Ok, Paula from Adelaide, please pick a consonant.
Paula from Adelaide:  I’d like a zed, Pat!
Pat Sajak:  I’m sorry, what letter was that again?
Paula from Adelaide:  A zed, Pat.
Pat Sajak:  Are you saying zed?  What’s zed?
Paula from Adelaide:  You know, zed – the last letter of the alphabet.
Pat Sajak:  You mean zee?
Paula from Adelaide:  ::flustered:: No – zed!  You know… X, Y, Zed!
Pat Sajak:  Right. Well, ok, I’m going to assume you mean zee, and in that case there is one zee on the board.  Vanna…
Vanna White: ::tries to tap the letter zee to come up::
Pat Sajak:  Is there a problem, Vanna?
Vanna White:  It’s not coming up…
Pat Sajak:  Just press the zee a little bit harder…
Vanna White:  It’s really not coming up!  It won’t work!
Pat Sajak:  The fucking word is “organization” – there’s obviously a zee.  Just press the fucking screen a little bit harder, bitch!  You get paid millions of dollars to tap little TV screens with letters on them!  Any blind monkey could be trained to do it properly.  Just do it!!!!
Vanna White:  ::sobbing::

Ok, so Pat and Vanna won’t be guest hosting the Australian version of Wheel of Fortune, mainly because the Australian version was axed in 2008.  But if they did, it likely wouldn’t be quite so dramatic.  And I assume TV producers would brief them beforehand and spare Vanna of Pat’s violent streak, but there’s only so much a man can take before he snaps.  There are some major spelling and pronunciation issues in this country.  Allow me to elaborate.

First of all, the letter “zee” is pronounced “zed”.  Seriously – it’s “zed”.  Aren’t there rednecks in trailers in rural Mississippi named “Zed”?  That should not be a letter.  Also, “H” – I guess spelled “eych” maybe? – is pronounced like “heych” here – like “hey” but with a “ch” sound on the end.  WTF?

But wait there’s more!

Everyone knows about the magical “U” – in colour, harbour, favourite, neighbour, bulldouzer, phoutougraph.  Ok, maybe not the last two.  I don’t mind the “U” so much, especially after these next two discoveries:  Did you know that “C” is really “S”????  Like in the word “defense”.  Defense - a simple word, but spelled differently in Australia.  It’s “defence” here.  With a “C”.  Oh, and tires – you know – those rubber things on the wheels of your car?  That’s spelled tyre.  With a “Y”.  But the verb “tire” is still with an “I”.  Oi vey.

But here’s the kicker:  the government of Australia has bribed “English” teachers across this great continent to engage in an active campaign against the letter “Z” – you know – zee – or zed – whatever you want to call it.  There is no “-ize” in Australia, nor can you find “-izes”, “-ized”, on “-ization”.  It’s all “-ise” or variants thereof.  No “Z”.  Organisation.  Capitalised.  Realise.  Monetise.

ALERT:  No.  That’s wrong.  “Organization” is not pronounced like “sensation”.  There’s a “Z” there for a reason.  It makes it sound a little bit different.  Learn to use it, kangaroos.  I’m using a “Z” to pluralize words until the government of Australia comes forward and advises the public of this grave error.  I’ll be using words like:  Frogz.  Citiez.  Beanz.  Photoz.  Bitchez.  Pizzaz.  Or maybe not Pizzaz.  That just looks like pizzazz spelled wrong.  Or is it really spelled pizazz? Oh lord that's a tough one.  Whatever, it doesn't matter here.  My point is that apparently “Z” and “S” are interchangeable.

This is going to have some serious implications for my Boggle and Scrabble abilities.  Crap.


  1. This reminds me of one of my favorite Eddie Izzard riffs! I'm assuming you are aware of him, but if not here's his take on languages: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IzDbNFDdP4

    Hope you're doing well Phill! How's the job search going?

  2. I love that clip! If only I had his name recognition! He can keep his clothes...

    No job yet :( I'll get one eventually...

  3. G'day! How you going? Chips, crisps, fair dinkum. They're weird, Phill. And, I find, they're everywhere.

  4. ha! I've noticed that in Vancouver also, lol.
    Do they spell license "licence"? and enroll like "enrol" ? like the canadians here also?
    Licence doesn't bother me as much as enrol though. It just seems like such a typo and i have a hard time taking official documents seriously when they seem to have typos.

  5. Alice- they do spell those words wrong here too! Bleh!

    Are you going to stay up in Canadia?

  6. yea I've been living here since last june and just bought a house with my bf :) so staying for a while hehe. Sounds like you are having a blast in Australia :)

  7. for your lexicographic pleasure: the letter h is "aitch" for normal people but "haitch" for weirdos down unda