Re: Same language, two locales

From: Antoine Leca (
Date: Wed Sep 06 2000 - 04:53:33 EDT

Sorry if it appears "chauvinism", but it is not, that's really a question:

Michael Everson wrote:
> Ar 16:40 -0800 2000-09-03, scríobh John Cowan:
> >On Sun, 3 Sep 2000, Alistair Vining wrote:
> >
> >> Except that the Oxford dictionaries (and hence many UK users) have gone over
> >> to -ize spellings, so you have to learn to ignore the false negatives and
> >> search for the false positives...
> >
> >In this case it is the Americans and the Oxonians who preserve the
> >traditional spelling of English words derived from Greek words in "-izein".
> >The change "-ize" > "-ise" (doubtless by analogy with non-Greek words
> >in "-ise" such as "advertise") is a 19th-century innovation.
> Oxford notes that it is in imitation of French orthography.

I always was learning that a big number of English words are coming from French.
Of course, these words themselves in French have roots in Latin or (here) Greek,
but the path was --as I learned it-- *with* a stop with French.

I read John's and Michael's posts as implying that this is not the case, and
that (most) words with the '-izein' Greek suffix passed directly from Greek to
English (hence the -ize).

Did I learn wrong?


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