Ban the Z



This is a call to remove the letter Z from the alphabet. That is Z pronounced ZED, by the way, not ZEE. By all means, keep ZEE. This ban is intended to cover UK English. By all means, keep the Z(ee) in US spellings but it is entirely unnecessary in proper English.


It all started when an article of mine was edited without warning and without prior knowledge of the edits before publication (OK, maybe it didn’t quite start then but that is what got me most disgruntled. Disgruntled enough to make a stand).

Constant underlining of words by spellcheckers because they only recognise US spelling is annoying (yes, thank you Grammarly, that is ‘recogniSe’, there is no need to underline because you think there should be a Z). Knowing that every single word in your article is correct, even if you do find yourself double-checking and second-guessing, makes it disheartening at best, downright rude or offensive at worst, to have it altered with neither warning nor consent, especially when it could make you look unprofessional.

The offending article (here if you wish to read it) was an article about education. The piece begins “In the UK…” As such, it surely comes across as unprofessional to have it littered with misspellings. I do not wish to take issue with US versus UK. If you are from somewhere which uses the US standards then that is your prerogative to use them (or not). I am merely annoyed that my deliberate UK spellings were changed and are not going to be corrected in a piece which really would benefit from being in UK English.

On a side note, I have just realised something – ‘enrol’ in UK English is ‘enroll’ in US English. This seems unusual as other words often have letters removed from UK English words for US spellings (traveller/traveler; jeweller/jeweler; colour/color, etc.)

Several of the words in this particular article are words ending with ‘-ized’. That is, in its current state after having been butchered by the American editors.
Adapted from original by James


This is where ‘Ban the Z’ comes in. This is a campaign to remove the letter Z from the English alphabet. It is not necessary. Realised, analysed, subsidised, etc. I see that (the very annoying) Grammarly, which takes it upon itself to get in the way, has underlined these perfectly acceptable words simply because they are the UK spellings (in fact, according to several sources, they are the standard everywhere outside of North America).

The campaign to remove Z from the alphabet will see ‘-ized’ words disappear and be replaced with the much prettier ‘-ised’. Other than this common suffix, there are a number of other words which would need to be changed. So, here is my proposal:


A black and white striped equine animal will now be known as a ‘sebra’

The brain teasers you might complete in your daily newspaper are to be called ‘pussles’

The sound made by a bee should from here on in be referred to as ‘buss’

The pattern shall continue thus for all words containing the obnoxious inconvenience that is the letter Z wherein each Z will become S.

Finally, all people whose names begin with or contain a Z must choose a different name.


This is my proposal to remove Z from the English alphabet.
Photo by Christine Cavalier



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