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-ise or ize that is the question

(16 Posts)
mousymouse Wed 27-Jul-11 14:01:58

at my work we organise. spell checker sayse organize.
I know both are correct but for some reason -ize is a pain to my eyes.
which do you use?

BecauseImWorthIt Wed 27-Jul-11 14:03:09


'ize' is American. As I don't use 'color', 'behavior' or 'program' I also don't use 'realize' or 'analyze'

(Goodness, that was hard to write!)

mousymouse Wed 27-Jul-11 14:04:31

it just does look wrong doesn't it. especially in books by american authors that play in the UK (the lynley novels come to my mind)

speculationisrife Wed 27-Jul-11 14:07:57

BIWI -ize isn't considered American these days - it is in fact the OED preferred form. You are correct, however, that analyze is the US version.

Both -ise and -ize are fine. I use -ise, usually, out of habit, but I certainly wouldn't be bothered by seeing -ize.

BecauseImWorthIt Wed 27-Jul-11 17:42:20

Well I consider it American, speculationisrife!

Longtime Thu 28-Jul-11 09:56:23

Are you quite young Because? When I was younger it was always spelt -ize and then we moved onto the more modern ( smile ) -ise (influenced no doubt by French). It seems to have moved back again with more and more young people being influenced by the US where it never changed into -ise.

BecauseImWorthIt Thu 28-Jul-11 10:20:46

Nope, Longtime. I'm 51! And it's always been an Americanised (Americanized?!) version of the words.

BecauseImWorthIt Thu 28-Jul-11 10:28:20

However, I have just checked in my own dictionary (The Oxford Reference Dictionary) to find that it only gives 'realize' or 'organize'. So clearly I am wrong.

I did come across another explanation though, from The Answer Bank website:

"The old rule - and one still largely followed by The Oxford English Dictionary (the English word-�bible') as well as American usage - was that words derived from classical Greek with the letter zeta in their suffix were rendered �ize' in English.

However, many modern publishers - including �The Times' newspaper - prefer the Latinate and more modern �ise' for most such words. Thus, normal British usage has �organise', �apologise' and so on. Certain words - eg �capsize' - are never modified to have an �ise' ending. In the same way, there are others - such as �disguise', �analyse' and �chastise' - which are never given an �ize' ending, because they have a letter sigma rather than a zeta even in their Greek forms.

^Apart from the exceptions mentioned above, you are basically free to use whichever form - ise/ize - you prefer! consistent.^"

BecauseImWorthIt Thu 28-Jul-11 10:29:01

Sorry - there was obviously some formatting in the original which didn't work in the c+p!

Longtime Thu 28-Jul-11 12:33:42

So that explanation is pretty much what I said (just replace French by Latin). You must have lived somewhere very modern Because! (I use -ise all the time.)

BecauseImWorthIt Thu 28-Jul-11 12:36:13

Only if you count Leeds as modern, Longtime!

TheRealMBJ Thu 28-Jul-11 12:37:21

AFAIK, both are acceptable, as long as you are consistent. I prefer -ise, as I do think that the z gives it an American look.

Best is to choose one and stick with it.

SarkySpanner Thu 28-Jul-11 12:38:04

I use -ize most of the time and have to bite my tongue when people try to prove their cleverness by correcting me.

I agree that consistency is a good thing.

CrystalQueen Thu 28-Jul-11 12:38:39

So it's burglarise not burglarize then?

TheRealMBJ Thu 28-Jul-11 12:39:11

A little late there, then blush

Longtime Thu 28-Jul-11 12:42:07

Crystal smile

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