Home Columns Anantha Narayan Zed letter day

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For 300 weeks, Ia��ve been serving you a curious potion laced with a hint of trivia, a slice of etymology and a dash of name history. Youa��ve been a willing partaker of my experiments with truth, no matter how tasteless the servings. Herea��s my parting shot dedicated to all you lovely people whoa��ve been part of my journey.
Befittingly, ita��s about the last, lonely letter that probably gets as much respect as the twelfth man in a club cricket team. To clear the air, a�?Zeda�� wasna��t always the vestigial tail of the English alphabet. Till the nineteenth century, the ampersand (&) took that slot. But after the dawn of the modern age, the crown of thorns has been worn by Z.
Z owes its origins and its zigzag form to the Greek zeta. Dropped from the alphabet in 300 BC for being a�?archaica��, the letter is staging a comeback of sorts with the advent of start-ups like a�?Zovia��, a�?Zo Roomsa��, a�?Zoppera��, and a�?Zivamea��.
The cool thing with Z is ita��s often associated with energy. If you dona��t believe me, recall all the z-words you know: zippy means a�?full of vigoura��; zing is about liveliness; zest is enthusiasm; zeal is a�?driven by energya��; zany is a�?over the topa��; and a�?zindagia�� is life itself.
Another factor that works to its advantage is Z sticks out in serpentine lists. There may be 196 countries, but Zambia and Zimbabwe are likely to figure in everyonea��s Top 30 in terms of recall. If you ask a kid to rattle out animal names, chances are a�?zebraa�� might make the cut pretty fast. Provoke a movie lover into naming European actresses, Hungarian a�?Zsa Zsa Gabora�� might pop up from nowhere. For similar reasons, Zakir Hussain, Zubin Mehta, Zico Coimbra, Zeenat Aman and Zig Ziglar can never be forgotten while drawing up A-to-Z compilations.
Numerology has always treated Z with respect. Health, stamina, will power, achievement, diligence, courage, faith and charisma are traits associated with the letter. But do take it with a pinch of salt as the Double Z cues sleep in popular culture. And the mathematical symbol of nothingness is a�?zeroa��.
Still, even if youa��re a zombie, with all the Zaras and the Zappos, and the Zippos and the Zomatos, you cana��t help but admit, that Z has the last laugh today.


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