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A very interesting discussion and what's been said is mostly true. In Britain we do use both ise and ize, and yes ize appears before ise in the OED. I'm also aware that the US spelling uses ize and it's the older form of English, however, I don't know when ise came into use, all I do know is that's how I was taught at school. The reason for both spellings, as I understand it, is the suffix being derived via French -iser from latin -izare and Greek -izein.

I have to say I prefer ise and in my job as proof reader we have that as our house-style. However, we are sometimes forced by some American client companies to use not only ize but all the other American spellings too, even though their products are for the European market which I find extremely irritating - are they trying to sell a product or America?

Was it Churchill who said: "We are are two countries separated by one language" or words to that effect? But to quote the French Vive la diffence!

robbo January 18, 2008, 9:42am

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