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Some words are written only with -ise, like advetise, advertisers, etc. While others are written only with -ize, like emphasize, etc. Most have double forms, so which system am I to adopt. Microsoft Office makes a distinction b/n BrE and AmE, where in BrE all words are written with the -ise, including for example civilisation, while AmE uses only -ize endings. I am pesonally interested in BrE, and my teacher said I would risk less if I wrote all words with -ise, but what about emphasize; there surely are more words of this kind. Which of the two spellings am I to adopt (in BrE) and are there any exception, possibly someone could provide me with a list or something? Thanks in advance.
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Yes, what you said was true. you are adopt to Microsoft office. But you could do one thing, you can change the language settings in Microsoft Office to reflect either BrE or AmE.

Thanks,

Suren
Actually the Office programme doesn't bother me that much, I just used it to give an example; I was rather wondering which of the two endings is correct according to BrE grammar.
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Hello Anon

In BrE, you can write all '-ize' words as '-ise', incl. emphasize, realize, etc. This is now the norm in everyday usage, and in most newspapers and magazines. (With some obvious exceptions: size, etc.)

Some BrE publishers (Penguin, Oxford University) still use '-ize' for all except a handful of words (improvise, analyse, advertise, etc). A minority of native BrE speakers do the same. But on the whole, the '-ise' ending has prevailed.

MrP
Interesting. Any theories as to why, MrP? Pronunciation would have favoured -ize, I would have thought.
'Hello Anon

In BrE, you can write all '-ize' words as '-ise', incl. emphasize, realize, etc. This is now the norm in everyday usage, and in most newspapers and magazines. (With some obvious exceptions: size, etc.)

Some BrE publishers (Penguin, Oxford University) still use '-ize' for all except a handful of words (improvise, analyse, advertise, etc). A minority of native BrE speakers do the same. But on the whole, the '-ise' ending has prevailed.

MrP'

Thanks a lot! That's just the answer I needed!
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English writing doesn't have much to do with pronunciation! You may have noticed that it's not a phonetic language. Emotion: wink

We were taught "ise" at school. So we use it.
My understanding is that many of our -ise words entered the language from the French, and were originally spelt thus. Then between the 15th and 18th centuries, -ize began to predominate, on the grounds that the suffix related to the Greek suffix -izô.

In the mid 19th century, -ise was rehabilitated, in BrE, on grounds of priority. It also meant you didn't have to worry about which words could legitimately be spelt either way (realize) and which could only be spelt -ise (advertise, improvise).

But I don't think it achieved its present dominance till after WWII. (The Times still used -ize till very recently, for example.)

MrP
You are quite right. I was going to add that but "Edit" still doesn't work.
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