Having had to check-up on an online application I recently made to a government office, the over-the-phone verification process included questions like, "what is your name, "what is your mother's date of birth?", "have you ever had sex with your boss?", etc. (o.k., so I made that last one up). THEN they asked what my middle name was. This immediately brought up two memories:
1. Some Americans do not understand the term "zed".
2. Stupidity's middle name is "E.Z.".
1. I did a stint at a private school in the southern U.S. in my early teens, at which time I joined the spelling bee team. While practicing with another teamate, she quizzed me on the word magazine. Promptly and, I might add, I accurately spelled the word. If she had not been wearing glasses, I'm sure her eyeballs would popped straight out of her head and onto the floor. She said (in her southern accent), "what in 'tarnations is a"zed""? I explained that I was (am) Canadian, etc. (And yes, she was blonde.)
2. Some years later, I needed to acquire house insurance. My mother, who knew and dealt with several insurance companies, offerred to arrange same for me. Naturally, they ask the usual questions like, "first name", "last name", "middle name", "address", "did you ever sleep with your boss?", etc. (ya, again...sorry). My middle name is Elizabeth and, since some people spell it with an "S", it was made clear to the info-taker at the insurance company (definitely blonde, if not at birth, by osmosis) that it was supposed to be spelled with a "Z" and not an "S". All was well and good until the Policy Arrived In The Mail addressed to:
(myfirstname) E.Z. (mylastname)
Visually, we interpreted the 'zed' as a 'zee'.
Hilarity ensued. Unfortunatley, this happened in the early morning as I was drinking coffee. Fortunately, no one, including my nostrils, was scalded.
F.Y.I.: I am not "E.Z.", nor easy. Just sayin'.