Justin Morneau brings a wealth of baseball experience and insight to his Twins commentary on Fox Sports North, but this week he also imparted some Canadian pronunciation knowledge on lead broadcaster Dick Bremer.
During Tuesday's broadcast of the Twins-Pirates game from Target Field, Bremer was shocked to learn from his Canadian colleague that north of the border, the letter "Z" is pronounced "zed," not "zee."
"Seriously?" a high-pitched Bremer responded when Morneau confirmed the pronunciation, before adding: "I've never heard that before."
Watch the segment below, courtesy of Reddit user u/reDig1tiz3d.
Bremer might be similarly dumbfounded to learn that when it comes to the pronunciation of "Z" in English, the United States is in the minority.
Other English-speaking countries including the U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and parts of India all pronounce it "Zed," as it was originally derived from French and Latin, which in turn based it on the Greek letter "Zeta."
Per MentalFloss, it first appeared in Middle English in the 1400s, with the "zee" pronunciation not first appearing in an English language textbook till 1677 by Thomas Lye, whose British language book suggested the pronunciation should match that of "bee," "cee," "dee" etc.
As to how it came to be adopted in America it's unclear, but MSN.com notes its popularity was solidified in the 1800s when Charles Bradlee composed The Alphabet Song and rhymed "zee" with "me."