“Z is a consonant much heard amongst us, and seldom seen.”
- English grammarian Richard Mulcaster, 1582.
“The last letter of the Roman alphabet is Z, a consonant that can seem racy and elusive or just plain disadvantaged.” I think this a very good description by David Sacks, author of Letter Perfect, of the letter Z. Like I was saying last week, when “reporting” about the letter Y: the Roman alphabet originally had 21 letters, ending with X. Around 100 AD, as Greek words started entering the Roman language with scientific and cultural words, the letter Z began to be used. But then, the Romans and Greeks weren’t on too friendly of terms, so the Latin language didn’t pick up a lot of Z words. Also, it was easier for scribes to write an S than a Z. People blame the scribes again!
As people began to explore and the world became smaller, Latin and then English words with Z became more popular. This was especially true for Romance languages, like French and Italian. In the 21th Century, the letter Z was used a lot in place of the letter S, many times to indicate something flamboyant. Also for products aimed at children, such as Kidz Zone or the movie Antz. Ever notice that? How many Zs can you find in new products and businesses today? And guess who Generation Z is?
OK, the alphabet lesson for today is over for the week. Come over to Ms. Jenny’s blog …off on my tangent… and see what other bloggers have to say about the Letter Z.