Letter Z
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Letter Z To Be Removed from the Alphabet Hoax

by Brett M. Christensen

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 the English language’s phonetic aspects 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 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 the blog added it on 1st April 2010. However, the piece soon escaped into the wilds of cyberspace and has subsequently been posted to many other websites. It also travels as an email forward.

The story tends to again gain momentum again every year as April 1 approaches, presumably because pranksters want to fool their friends.

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.

Example

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?

 

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer