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-ize/-ise in the same text
Thread poster: Alexandra Speirs

Alexandra Speirs  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:48
Italian to English
+ ...
Apr 23, 2007

I am revising a text (Economy) written in reasonable English by a university lecturer. She has a tendency to write things like organize and later in the same text organise, so I usually change all these to the -ise form: organise, localise, characterise, and so on.
However, in this text there are a lot of quotations from other authors, some using the -ise spelling, some the -ize.
The author most quoted uses -ize.
Is it going to look too bad if I use the -ise form for her text, even if in mid-paragraph she puts a quotation containing -ize forms?
This is really frustrating me!!!


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Robert Tucker
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:48
German to English
+ ...
-ize Apr 23, 2007

The "-ise" form always looks bad to me unless it's in French.

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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:48
Member (2004)
Italian to English
Not too important Apr 23, 2007

Hi Alexandra

Although I would tend to use the -ize form for US authors or audiences and -ise for the rest, organize and characterize are examples where the -ize form is more accepted in the UK (although the latter is very much rarer than caratterizzare in Italian). Localize, on the other hand is very much a US neoligism so you would expect the -ize form.
Personally I wouldn't change any of the quotes, unless these too are translations.
Being from the UK, I usually assume the audience is European rather than American unless I'm specifically told otherwise but I suppose that's not a safe assumption for you, in Italy.
As long as you take a consistent approach and have a logical explanation for it, I don't think you need worry too much about having both forms in the same text.

[Edited at 2007-04-23 15:41]


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:48
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
International English Apr 23, 2007

One solution (if the author agrees) is to use "Internnational English", in which you use American spellings and syntax, but change anything that may be a cultural problem. These "problems" might include:

-- things with diifferent meanings such as trunk/boot
-- words with country-specific meanings such as "rest room"
-- words that are spelled differently (US artifact, UK artefact)
-- different hyphenation (US trium-phant, UK triumph-ant)
-- US phone numers (add the international code)
-- US addresses (add "US" to the address, perhaps spell out the state in full

The -ize ending is correct UK English (see the Oxfird English Dictionary) so that is OK, even though many people use -ise. It is a fallacy that -ise is the only correct UK spelling.

I would therefore use -ize throughout except in direct quotations from authors. To my mind that is not bad -- it just indicates that some quotations are from US authors, some from UK authors.

To revise such texts properly you need good monolingual dictionaries (e.g. Oxford, Merriam-Webster) and specialist books such as "The American-British British-American Dictionary" by Jeremy Smith, ISBN 0-9745934-1-9


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xxxE2efour
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:48
Swedish to English
s or z Spelling Apr 23, 2007

The simplest thing is to change all spellings (except quotes) to -ze, the reason being the small handful of words in British English that cannot be written in this way (e.g. analyse).

But, apart from the consistency, it may be more important to decide on American or British English, in which case you will have to add a lot of commas for the former, among other things!

[Edited at 2007-04-23 17:28].

On second thoughts, there are some words in US English that cannot be written with a z, so I agree with you that it's a nuisance.

[Edited at 2007-04-23 17:29]


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Dr. Jason Faulkner  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:48
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
But it's the only time I get to use -ise! Apr 23, 2007

I use the -ise form whenever possible when translating to UK English (Mark I English). I do it for consistency throughout the text and because it's the only chance I get to use it. I also use "ae" in UK texts whenever possible, such as paediatrics, haematology, etc. It's more for style and to keep me entertained while translating (word nerd!). I call it making the document "very British."

I like Peter's guidelines better. I will certainly make a note of them.

SaludoZ!


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Alexandra Speirs  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:48
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
usually prefer -ise Apr 23, 2007

Thanks to all for the suggestions.

As I said, I usually prefer -ise and keep things as British as possible!
It just so happens that there are so many quotes with -ize, I felt I had to do something about it. They are from a British writer, however (Alfred Marshall, Principles of Economics, published in London).
I certainly wouldn't meddle with any of the quotes, it's only the lecturer's text that worries me.
I know -ize is a perfectly acceptable spelling in British English, I just don't like to see the two forms mixed, that's why I usually "homogenise" the text with -ise.
Considering the enormous amount of quotes with-ize, I guess I'll do it the other way this time!


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Buzzy
Local time: 12:48
French to English
Also - ask your client if she has publication guidelines to follow Apr 23, 2007

Whatever you decide, go for consistency. And if it's an article for submission for publication, ask your client if the journal she intends to submit to has guidelines for contributors and follow those. You could help her "win points" by submitting the sort of spelling the journal wants.
I was recently given a set of such guidelines at the same time as an article to edit (rare foresight on the part of the client) and on the question of -ise and -ize it was fascinating, going into great detail about when to use which. Among other things, this particular journal - which was UK-based - didn't accept, analyze or paralyze with a z on the grounds that it was etymologcally incorrect!


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:48
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
-ize and -ise Apr 23, 2007

Buzzy wrote:
...this particular journal - which was UK-based - didn't accept, analyze or paralyze with a z on the grounds that it was etymologcally incorrect!


Your journal was correct.

The -ize form is ultimately derived from Greek -izein, Latin -izare, to do, make something conform to something else, as in hellenize (to act as a Greek) or baptize, catechize, demonize, evangelize, humanize, civilize. You can see the pattern in these "factitive" verbs (expressing the notion of "making something to be of a certain character" -- source: Oxford English Dictionary). In general, the OED prefers -ize.

Many words, like those above, have come down fo us from the Greek in this form, and that is why the dictionary prefers the -ize form -- it is etymologically correct, and even more important, we pronounce both -ize and -ize correctly as -ize, never -ise. I bet you don't say "humanice" -- always "humanize".

The only reason we have the -ise spelling at all is because the French for some unknown Gallic reason of their own changed -izein to -iser, and many -ize words have come down to us via French -- hence the anomalous spelling in British English.

"Analyse" has a rather chequered history. It was at one time spelled "analyze", but from a doubtful Greek derivation, and the OED prefers analyse to analyze.

The OED accepts paralyze, but prefers paralyse, because the word is derived from a different Greek word, not -izein at all.

In short, there is a simple rule about -ise or -ize that covers most but not all cases -- it all depends on the etymology, and whether the verb is factitive.

Full marks to your journal.


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Giuliana Criscuolo-Bruce
Local time: 11:48
English to Italian
+ ...
Full marks Apr 24, 2007

... and full marks to you, Peter!
It is always very instructive to read your posts.


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Buzzy
Local time: 12:48
French to English
Thanks for the explanations Peter Apr 24, 2007

I have to admit total ignorance of Greek but have always been interested in the history of words. I didn't mean to suggest that the journal was wrong, it was just all new to me.
These guidelines particularly interested me because, like Alexandra, I tended to go spontaneously for -ise endings as more "British". So I learned something!

[Edited at 2007-04-24 09:07]


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Robert Tucker
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:48
German to English
+ ...
It gets worse Apr 24, 2007

It is presumably the decrease in Greek being taught even in the country's most expensive schools and French being the main foreign language that has led to the use of the -ise form even in government documents.

There is, of course, now even the tendency to make up words ending in -ize/-ise that do not mean what the etymology of -ize/-ise would imply that they should mean. "Prioritize" should mean that something is treated as if it has priority not to list a number of tasks into order of priority – and I know there are many other similar examples.

[Edited at 2007-04-24 19:35]


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:48
English to French
+ ...
A quick note Apr 24, 2007

Ask your client which one s/he prefers and stick with it. As long as you stay consistent, you are right in this case.

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transparx  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:48
English to Italian
+ ...
yes, it is instructive... Apr 26, 2007

... but I am not sure I understand the following:

Peter Linton wrote:
Many words, like those above, have come down fo us from the Greek in this form, and that is why the dictionary prefers the -ize form -- it is etymologically correct, and even more important, we pronounce both -ize and -ize correctly as -ize, never -ise. I bet you don't say "humanice" -- always "humanize".


What about advise? Here -ise has nothing to do with -izein --in fact, it isn't even a morpheme, but it is still pronounced the same as the suffix in organize/organise. I am afraid the argument based on phonetics does not go through!


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transparx  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:48
English to Italian
+ ...
yes and no... Apr 26, 2007

Robert Tucker wrote:

There is, of course, now even the tendency to make up words ending in -ize/-ise that do not mean what the etymology of -ize/-ise would imply that they should mean. "Prioritize" should mean that something is treated as if it has priority not to list a number of tasks into order of priority – and I know there are many other similar examples.


Assume there is a set of 10 items. You select one and make it a priority over all the others. Then, you select another one and do the same --until you've gone through the whole set. Once you're done, you have a list of items ordered according to priority.

This is the way I see it. If this is correct, then basically your two interpretations can be said to entail each other.

It'd be interesting to know what the other examples are.


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