Message claims that the “English Language Central Commission (ELCC)” has decided to remove the letter “Z” from the English Alphabet from June 1st.
The message began as an April Fool’s joke that has escaped its original context. There are no plans to remove the letter Z from the English alphabet and no such entity as the “English Language Central Commission”.
Subject: Important news: The Letter “Z” Will Be Removed from the English Alphabet
The Letter “Z” Will Be Removed from the English Alphabet
Surprising as it sounds, it looks like the English alphabet will be losing one of its letters on June 1st. The announcement came from the English Language Central Commission (ELCC). Here is a quote from the press release:
After carefully considering and debating the matter for over two years, the ELCC came to the conclusion that the letter “Z” should be removed from the English alphabet. The main objective of this change is to simplify the phonetic aspect of the language, and to unify the American and British spellings.
What will happen to the words that have the letter “z” in them? It depends on the word. According to the ELCC, words that started with a “z” will now start with an “x”. Examples include:
• zero becomes xero
• zoo becomes xoo
• zone becomes xone
• zodiac becomes xodiac
Words that featured a “z” with the “s” sound, on the other hand, will now be officially written with the “s” (i.e., unifying the American and British spelling). Examples include:
• visualize becomes visualise
• analyze becomes analyse
• materialize becomes materialise
What do you think about this change? Will it really simplify the English language, or will it make things more confusing?
According to this message, which has spread far and wide via email, blogs, online forums and social networking websites, an entity called the “English Language Central Commission (ELCC)” has finalized plans to remove the letter Z from the English alphabet from June 1st.
The message notes that existing English words that start with “Z” will subsequently start with “X”, while “S” will replace “Z” in other words. Supposedly, the changes are intended to simplify phonetic aspects of the English language and unify American and British spellings.
However, it hardly needs to be said that the claims in the email are untrue. There are certainly no official plans to remove the letter Z from the alphabet nor is there any global entity that would have the power and authority to implement such a change. There is no such organization as the “English Language Central Commission”.
In fact, the piece apparently began life as an April Fool’s Day prank on the Daily Writing Tips Blog. Within its original context, the post was a rather clever and topical prank that many of the blog’s readers quickly recognized as an April Fool’s joke after it was added on 1st April 2010. However, the piece soon escaped into the wilds of cyberspace and has subsequently been posted to a great many other websites. It also travels in the form of any email forward.
Amazingly enough, it seems that many recipients of the message actually believe its claims. While a lot of commentators see through the prank immediately, a surprisingly large number of others apparently take the outlandish claims in the message to be true.
If you find yourself in this latter group of believers, don’t be alarmed. I can assure you that the letter Z is not going away anytime soon. Which I’m sure will be a great relief for the residents of New Xealand, fans of Xorro, people named Xoe and Xack and a great many others.