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Yes, just about everyone everywhere else outside of the US uses "ZED"
when pronouncing the letter "Z".  It's a much clearer and distinctive
expression than "ZEE", which, under differing circumstances, could
sound like "C", "D", "E", "G", "P", "T", "V", and, of course, "Z".

The genesis of the use of "ZED", I believe, was with the BBC in the
early days of shortwave broadcasting.  It was quickly adopted by other
radio services operating on shortwave in order to accommodate the
interference from static, signal fades, and phase distortion inherent
in typical shortwave broadcasts.

I guess the US decided informally that the use of "ZED" was not
necessary, since our broadcast stations rarely faded and were models
of clarity, at least until heavy-metal and rap music came on the

Jeff Weinstein