Showing posts with label spelling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spelling. Show all posts

Sunday, 8 March 2015

To -ise or not to -ize

Gielgud as Hamlet
People have become very grumpy about the use of -ize.

We always spell several common words as follows:

advertise, advise, arise, chastise, circumcise, compromise, despise, devise, disenfranchise, enterprise, excise, exercise, franchise, improvise, incise, merchandise, revise, supervise, surmise, surprise, televise.

It is not true that -ize reveals an American usage, as it has been frequently used in British English for centuries.

Those who want to be super-pedantic claim that -ize should be selected in cases where the classical Greek verb deployed the -izo ending.

As far back as the thirteenth century we find examples of usages such as baptize.

My preference is to use -ize. What's yours?


 Dr Ian McCormick is the author of The Art of Connection: the Social Life of Sentences and 11+ English