Every time I start a new novel I find myself in a quandary. Should I, as a UK author, writing UK-based novels, stick to the ‘ise’ ending, or maybe it’s ‘ize’?
You know what I mean. Is it recognise or recognize / realise or realize / organise or organize?
As a true Brit I have always used ‘ise’, but I can’t think of a novel I’ve read recently by any British author when they’ve done likewise. The alternative verb ending with the ‘z’ seems to the one favoured.
Okay, it’s not earth-shattering, but which one is right?
Confused? …Me too.
While the Oxford English Dictionary favours the ‘z’, the Oxford University website creators are reported to prefer the ‘s’ spellings for their public relations material. Now I am really confused.
Maybe the Cambridge can shed more light on it?
If you type ‘realise’ into the search box of the online Cambridge Dictionaries, it defaults to ‘realize’ with a bracketed explanation that the UK spelling is usually ‘realise’. So what’s that all about? It’s an English dictionary, so why is the English version of a word only the default choice?
Wading through all of this, it would appear that both endings are correct in British English
But maybe the last words of wisdom should go to the blog commentator I came upon while trawling the Net. He suggests a good rule of thumb might be – “If, in your story, someone is driving a car, does it have a trunk or a boot? If the first then use -ize, if the latter then -ise.”
See … simple!
Have a good week, everyone. Rx