Sunday, 1 May 2016

Well...I never knew this :)

It seems the suffix 'ize' isn't an Americanism so I will be using it more often now.

"Oxford spelling can be recognized by its use of the suffix ‑ize instead of -iseorganizationprivatize and recognizable instead of organisationprivatise andrecognisable. The spelling affects about 200 verbs, and is favoured on etymological grounds, in that -ize corresponds more closely to the Greek root, -izo, of most -ize verbs.[3] The suffix -ize has been in use in the UK since the 15th century,[7] and is the spelling variation used in American English. The belief that -ize is an exclusively American variant is incorrect.[7] The OED lists the -ise form of words separately, as "a frequent spelling of -IZE...":
This practice probably began first in French; in modern French the suffix has become -iser, alike in words from Greek, as baptiser, évangéliser, organiser, and those formed after them from Latin, as civiliser, cicatriser, humaniser.
Hence, some have used the spelling -ise in English, as in French, for all these words, and some prefer -ise in words formed in French or English from Latin elements, retaining -ize for those formed from Greek elements.
But the suffix itself, whatever the element to which it is added, is in its origin the Greek -ιζειν, Latin -izāre; and, as the pronunciation is also with z, there is no reason why in English the special French spelling should be followed, in opposition to that which is at once etymological and phonetic. In this Dictionary the termination is uniformly written -ize. (In the Greek -ιζ-, the i was short, so originally in Latin, but the double consonant z (= dz, ts) made the syllable long; when the z became a simple consonant, /-idz/ became īz, whence English /-aɪz/.)
The use of -ize instead of -ise does not affect the spelling of words that are not traced to the Greek -izo suffix. One group of such words is those that end in -yse, such as analyseparalyse and catalyse, which come from the Greek verb λύω, lyo. Others include arisechastisedisguiseprise (in the sense of open), andtelevise"

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