Does British English only have ”-ise” for you?

4 Nov 2011

Timez are changing! British English (or what we think is British English) is having to evolve.

Should we organize or organise? Although many thought the divide was simple here (-ize is US English and -ise is British English), it’s not that straightforward (you may not be surpiZEd to learn)… Oxford Spelling, or the spelling used by Oxford University Press (OUP), combines British spelling with the use of the -ize suffix, instead of -ise. The z version is more ”correct” in terms of phonetics/pronunciation. Furthermore, the Oxford spelling is the de facto spelling standard used in style guides of international organizations that belong to the UN System.

The use of -ize instead of -ise does not affect the spelling of words ending in -yse, such as analyse, paralyse and catalyse, which come from the Greek verb λύω, lyo, not from an -izo verb.

And, according to some well-known standards and style guides (personally, I don’t understand this at all; why must there always be exceptions?!), there are of course exceptions. Some words ”must be spelt -ise”!!* These include advertise, advise, devise and disguise, revise and televise….

For more info, click here:

*Source: FOUR COURTS PRESS House Style Guide

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