6

I have seen words which are spelled either with a "z" or with a "s" like "optimizer" and " optimiser". I thought that the ones with "z" are wrong but on searching the web I found that both are correct. Why so? Is there any difference in the use also?

12

"-ize" is the common AmE suffix, while in BrE "-ise" is more commonly used:

-ize:

  • word-forming element used to make verbs, Middle English -isen, from Old French -iser, from Late Latin -izare, from Greek -izein, a verb-forming element denoting the doing of the noun or adjective to which it is attached.

  • English picked up the French form, but partially reverted to the correct Greek -z- spelling from late 16c. In Britain, despite the opposition to it (at least formerly) of OED, Encyclopaedia Britannica, the "Times of London," and Fowler, -ise remains dominant.

  • Fowler thinks this is to avoid the difficulty of remembering the short list of common words not from Greek which must be spelled with an -s- (such as advertise, devise, surprise).***

(Etymonline)

optimise vs optimize usages in AmE vs BrE.

2
  • And in Canada it's a crapshoot which one you'd see more. – Sandy Chapman Mar 11 '17 at 20:24
  • @SandyChapman When you type both into your favorite word processor, which, if either, gets flagged as a spelling mistake? – Nat Mar 12 '17 at 2:49
2

According to NGram, both optimizer and optimiser are used in British English. But in American English, the latter isn't used.

0

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.