Hello.
The Americans have made it simple. They spell all the words in the subject (and alike) with z. As for the British spelling I seem to have seen both variants. For example, realize, as I know, is spelled with z. I don't think I've ever seen another word with z rather than s by British authors. But who knows...
Can you tell me a simple rule? Is there one, at all?
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Hello. The Americans have made it simple. They spell all the words in the subject (and alike) with z. As ... than s by British authors. But who knows... Can you tell me a simple rule? Is there one, at all?

There was no simple rule: the z-form was previously used quite extensively. But now, as America's moral standing in the world continues to plummet, we increasingly leave the z-form to them and use the s-form only :-)
John Briggs
Hello. The Americans have made it simple. They spell all the words in the subject (and alike) with z. As ... than s by British authors. But who knows... Can you tell me a simple rule? Is there one, at all?

These days, Brits generally used "s" and Yanks use "z" but, at one time in Britain "s" was the Cambridge spelling while "z" was the Oxford spelling, at least for certain words such as realise.
About 5 years ago when I was working for a different company (in Cambridge) one of our new recruits (an Oxford graduate, IIRC) used "realize" on a marketing stand, but he was soon made to see the error of his ways and the display was changed before the show.

So you see, even the Brits can't decide. I suspect that in these days of mobile phone text messages, "z" is gaining the upper hand among teenagers, but I'll stick to "s", being middle-aged.
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Can you tell me a simple rule? Is there one, at all?

Etymologically, most -ise words derive from Greek -izein, with a zeta. So the z form would be truer to the origin. But 'z's are considered ugly in England, so have been quietly ushered out, like an alcoholic uncle at a wedding.
Paul Burke
Can you tell me a simple rule? Is there one, at all?

Etymologically, most -ise words derive from Greek -izein, with a zeta. So the z form would be truer to the origin. But 'z's are considered ugly in England, so have been quietly ushered out, like an alcoholic uncle at a wedding.

A funny enough comparison Emotion: smile
And how about something like program/programme? Is the latter used exclusively or not?
And how about something like program/programme? Is the latter used exclusively or not?

To me, programming a computer is an international activity, and I use 'program'. I also use 'disk' out of weariness, and 'analog' because I think the -ue form is silly.
For the TV or radio, I seldom write it down, but I think I would use 'programme' normally, in the hope that they would turn out to be British TV programmes rather than American.
Paul Burke
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And how about something like program/programme? Is the latter used exclusively or not?

To me, a computer program is something I run on a computer, and a computer programme is something I watch on TV about computers.

I remember discussing this very point with a colleague back in 1984, and he suggested there was actually an "official" distinction along these lines, but didn't mention a source.
Cheers
Tony

Tony Mountifield
Work: (Email Removed) - http://www.softins.co.uk Play: (Email Removed) - http://tony.mountifield.org
And how about something like program/programme? Is the latter used exclusively or not?

To me, programming a computer is an international activity, and I use 'program'. I also use 'disk' out of weariness, and 'analog' because I think the -ue form is silly.

But a CD-ROM (or DVD) is a 'disc' - the Americans having failed to invent it. And my laser disc player says "LaserDisc" on it :-)
John Briggs
It's damn wise. I really think so. Thanks.
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