Thursday, 11 March 2010

I've lost me 'u' recently dawned on me whilst completing a crossword (yes, my life is that exciting at the moment!) that when I get across to the land of the free that I'm losing the letter U and gaining an extra Z (ize).

Now, as someone who loves to read and has excelled (even if I do say so myself) in English - oral and written, this loss of a very useful letter leaves me feeling a tad uncomfortable.
Perhaps I should "like, just get over myself" but I am wondering - will I find it again?

Hubby and I are in Boston for a few years...but may stay longer, so on that basis will I forget the Queen's english? Should I pop back to ol' blighty and visit some posh folk in Kensington to remind myself that one should alwasys refer to oneself in the third person?...But, then again, I am after all a 'sow-fth' London girl, I don't refer myself in the third person and ain't gonna start now am I?

One of my favo-U-rite novelists is Tess Gerritson and I must admit that I don't recall this infamous missing letter being that just that - missing - and the occasional 'ize' I think has cropped up but the 'ize's of the world don't bother me too much.

Now, we all know Amercia is known for the spelling bee, it would make for an interesting contest between the UK and USA don't you think? I mean, the judges would have to make sure they make it clear which spelling they are after. Wow, you could so trip someone up! "Spell colo(u)r" "is the origin UK or US?" (Note: watch Akeela and the Bee - fanstastic film about the above event which will make you tense, happy, sad, frustrated and relieved even if you think spelling bee's are a waste of time).

If you're bothered, and are curious to know words that are spelt differently these inlcude:

(UK) aeroplane / (US) airplane : (UK) pyjamas / (US) pajamas : (UK) mum / (US) mom

So, why am I 'bovvered' about a missing letter? I guess it's the principle of it all. I love the complexity of the english language, how the same spelling of a word can mean two different things (sink, class, train etc) and when spoken with warmth and a true sense of meaning (e.g. Patrick Stewart reading Charles Dicken's classic - Scrooge) can be a slice of heaven.

Ah well, despite my concerns about mispronouncing certain words/letters e.g. Z is 'zee' not 'zed' and our allies wishing to be literal in their spelling, deep down we all know that there should be a u there. God Bless America...

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