There are 26 letters in the English language, but I think we can make do with just twenty-five of them. Canadians can get away without using the last letter of the alphabet, because we can opt to go with the British way of writing things: ‘recognise’, ‘nationalise’, ‘visualise’, ‘commercialise’, etc. … you get the idea. Sure, at first, it may look a bit odd Anglicising words that we previously Americanised, but we’ll get over it. It looks more academic, high falutin, and old school, too, to use verbiage from Across the Pond. Even if we win things in a contest, we can call these items ‘awards’ or ‘winnings.’ Thank goodness for the ability to fall back on synonyms.
Of course, there are a few drawbacks to abbreviating the alphabet–even if it’s by just one letter. We’d need to have a new 10-point value letter in Scrabble (I’m nominating the letter ‘X’). There is a both a certain striped African horse and a South Asian domestic cattle that I can’t call by their non-Latin names. The machine that looks like a refrigerator on wheels that smoothes rinks before ice hockey games will have to be called (using the rather unimaginative and pedestrian term of) an ice resurfacer.
The eighth greatest Canadian invention may not be ignominiously forgotten (you certainly won’t forget when someone tells you that your fly is open), but “the clothes fastener aka clasp locker” won’t roll off the tongue as easily or glamourously, either. And if I should fall asleep while typing this blog post on my computer, I can’t saw logs with that last letter. Oh well. Them’s the breaks.
- Daily Prompt: Twenty-Five (dailypost.wordpress.com)