The Times (of London) should switch back to -ize again!

Robert   Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:08 pm GMT

I think The Times should switch back to Oxford spelling again (e.g. organize, globalization instead of organise, globalisation).
As far as I know, The Times decided to adopt the French-influenced -ise spellings in the 1980s, at about the time The Independent was launched.
It might have been due to pressure from Rupert Murdoch... (?)

Is there any other Times reader who agrees with me that The Times would be 'classier' if it had stuck with -ize?
Skippy   Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:56 pm GMT
This is interesting. Being born in 1984, I've never known anyone from the British Isles to use the -ize ending... I've only seen them use the -ise ending.

Any ideas?
Liz   Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:08 am GMT
There ARE some British people who use the -ize spelling.
As opposed to them, I prefer the -ise spelling. I don't really know why. Probably because "z" looks slightly weird to me in an English text. But both ways of spelling are equally "correct" and acceptable.

BTW, I was born in 1984, too. :-)
Guest   Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:32 am GMT
Rupert Murdoch is from Australia. In Australia the 'ise' is actually more in use than the 'ize' as oppose to the 'ize' vs 'ise' in Britain.
Adam   Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:49 am GMT
ise / -ize

American spelling accepts only -ize endings in most cases, such as organize, recognize, and realize. British usage accepts both -ize and the more French-looking -ise (organise, recognise, realise). However, the -ize spelling is now rarely used in the UK in the mass media and newspapers, and is hence often incorrectly regarded as an Americanism,[22] despite being preferred by some authoritative British sources, including Fowler's Modern English Usage and the Oxford English Dictionary, which until recently did not list the -ise form of many individual words, even as an alternative. Indeed, it firmly deprecates this usage, stating, "The suffix, whatever the element to which it is added, is in its origin the Greek... (or) Latin -izare; and, as the pronunciation is also with z, there is no reason why in English the special French spelling in -iser should be followed, in opposition to that which is at once etymological and phonetic."[23]

But the OED might be fighting a losing battle. The -ise form is used by the British government and is more prevalent in common usage within the UK today; the ratio between -ise and -ize stands at 3:2 in the British National Corpus[24]. The OED spelling (which can be indicated by the registered IANA language tag en-GB-oed), and thus -ize, is used in many British-based academic publications, such as Nature, the Biochemical Journal and The Times Literary Supplement. In Australia and New Zealand -ise spellings strongly prevail; the Australian Macquarie Dictionary, among other sources, gives the -ise spelling first. Conversely, Canadian usage is essentially like American, although -ise is occasionally found in Canada. Worldwide, -ize endings prevail in scientific writing and are commonly used by many international organizations.

The same pattern applies to derivatives and inflections such as colonisation/colonization.

Endings in -yze are now found only in the U.S. and Canada. Thus, Commonwealth (including sometimes Canada) analyse, catalyse, hydrolyse, paralyse; North American analyze, catalyze, hydrolyze, paralyze. It is worth noting, however, that analyse was commonly spelled analyze from the first — a spelling also accepted by Samuel Johnson; the word, which came probably from French analyser, on Greek analogy would have been analysize, from French analysiser, from which analyser was formed by haplology[25].

Note that not all spellings are interchangeable; some verbs take the -z- form exclusively, for instance capsize, seize (except in the legal phrase to be seised of/to stand seised to), size and prize (only in the "appraise" sense), whereas others take only -s-: advertise, advise, apprise, arise, chastise, circumcise, comprise, compromise, demise, despise, devise, disguise, excise, exercise, franchise, improvise, incise, revise, supervise, surmise, surprise, and televise. Finally, the verb prise (meaning to force or lever) is spelled prize in the U.S. and prise everywhere else, including Canada[26], although in North American English pry (a back-formation from or alteration of prise) is often used in its place[27].
01EB   Thu Mar 01, 2007 10:11 am GMT
Er, frankly, who cares?
10BE   Thu Mar 01, 2007 10:45 am GMT

<<Er, frankly, who cares? >>

People care that's why they are writing endless, endless and more endless drivel on the subject.
Andy   Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:20 am GMT
I agree with Liz. In Britain we can use both "ise" and "ize" but we generally prefer to use "ise". IMO "ise" looks more British. I work for an American company so all the communications from our CEO use "ize". My British boss actually gets quite animated about the spellings so I tell him to chillax.
Guest   Thu Mar 01, 2007 1:12 pm GMT
Liz whereabouts in Britain are you from?.
Skippy   Thu Mar 01, 2007 4:36 pm GMT
I'm weird and spell things like colour, humour, labour...

It drives my professors crazy but I've been doing it since I was young, and I don't remember why I started but it looks weird the other way...

I'm a nerd.
Guest   Thu Mar 01, 2007 4:55 pm GMT
<<I'm a nerd. >>

You are not a nerd but a normal person just like us brits who has learned to write correct spelling of the words right at an early age. Good on ya, mate!
Jim   Fri Mar 02, 2007 12:23 am GMT
The Times (of London) should ... spell however they like and if that means conforming to the spelling prefered by most of their readers good for them.
Guest   Fri Mar 02, 2007 5:05 am GMT
"You are not a nerd but a normal person just like us brits who has learned to write correct spelling of the words right at an early age. Good on ya, mate!"

It seems odd to me that an American would use British spellings.
Guest   Fri Mar 02, 2007 6:40 am GMT
But skiippy is from Texas and an american native born.
Robert   Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:43 am GMT
I'd argue that using -ize is more international, whereas -ise is more British.
What I don't understand: Why did they change their spelling? It was apparently ok for about 200 years to use -ize...

Since most international organizations use "Oxford spelling", I regard it as a more international British spelling standard.

(By the way, the TLS, the Times Literary Supplement, is still using -ize and has always done so)