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Spelling, Word comparisons

Note 60 – Do you end words with ‘-ise’ or ‘-ize’?

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 – 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.

Please feel free to comment on this blog if you wish.  Hope you have had a great day.

Until tomorrow…


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My other blog:

My website: (includes first chapter of my book)

Twitter: @madeirasandra and @tipsandluxuries

Reference list:

Bernard C Lamb, The Queen’s English (UK)

The Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus (UK)


About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


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