THE LETTER "V": A PROPOSAL
Something that annoys me beyond all reason is the 'zee/zed' question. There's something uncomfortable about the encroachment of the American 'zee' into this country you know, the E-Z payment plans, the CO-Z motel rooms. I can even get annoyed at Z Z Top to the point that I will call them Zed Zed Top just to stress a fundamental difference between the U.S. and here, but it doesn't ever play quite the way I would hope, and people just think I'm making some rabidly nationalistic fire from pretty small kindling.
But the more I think about it, the answer lies not in just having zee duke it out with zed, but actually changing the way we say 'vee' in Canada to 'ved'. I remember feeling a certain hot little shame when I learned the alphabet song in school, as it seems to go along quite smoothly, a fine A A A rhyme scheme until the very last letter, and then suddenly you've got this B rhyme being introduced at the most unfortunate time possible. I suffered a disgraceful bit of American envy, then, thinking of those American kids sailing through the same song with the perfect symmetry of their A A A A rhyme scheme, shaking their little heads sadly, reflecting on their alphabetically challenged cousins to the north.
So, I think to myself, why not have a globally unique A A B B way of singing it, rhyming 'ved' with 'zed', satisfying the nascent poetic yearnings of little kids everywhere in Canada, A B C D E F GEE, H I J K L M N O PEE, Q R S, T U VED, W X Y and ZED. Imagine the joy! The celebrations in the street! At last, at last, praise God almighty, we rhyme at last!
Imagine how startled visitors from other lands will be, coming here and discovering that we watch tee ved, play videotapes in the ved see are, sign ved for victory, and see a ved of , yes, Canada geese. What odd people these Canadians are, they would cry, what a wonderfully eccentric way they have of speaking, how unlike anyone else they are!
Eventually, of course, ved would spread around the entire English-speaking world, usurping the mundane and shop-worn vee, and Canada would finally achieve it's full position in the new world order because of our visionary alphabetical skills.
Can't you just hear them down south? 'Better dead than ved', they would bleat from countless right-wing talk shows.And how would we respond? "Death to the Zee! The Maple Ved Forever!"