For 60 days I have consistently blogged, a further 305 to go – I hope you choose stay with me! For the background to my writing challenge, please read my first blog by clicking the following link – http://wp.me/p1x6Ui-4. If you would prefer to dive straight into note 60, then please read on…
Do you end your words with -ise or -ize?
If you were to take the words authorise and authorize, which one would you use? The answer, according to Bernard C Lamb in his book The Queen’s English, is that either is acceptable.
In his book he quotes a passage, by Burchfield in The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage, that explains that American publishers and writers would end a word with -ize, as do the Oxford University Press in Britain.
Bernard C Lamb goes on to say that “at the Queen’s English Society meeting, the informal vote was ten to one in favour of -ise“.
The Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus shows that you can spell such words either way e.g. publicize/publicise and authorize/authorise.
My thoughts: I must admit, I always thought that -ise was the British English way of ending such words and -ize was the American English way, but I stand corrected. I do believe, however, that being consistent with what you use, is the key learning point here; as I have always used -ise, I will continue to do that.
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Bernard C Lamb, The Queen’s English (UK)
The Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus (UK)