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momatu in hp_britglish


Hello All!

I'm beta reading my first Harry Potter fic, and I just have a quick spelling question--stylized or stylised?  I have my spellchecker set to British English, but it didn't catch this.  Is this an either/or, or would it definitely be spelled with the -ised ending in British English?  The spell checker also didn't catch realized and suggest realised instead, so same question there.  It did catch a few missed American spellings like -or- instead of -our- and one "L" vs. two, but not these two with the -ise as opposed to the -ize.  Before I suggest the author change them, I want to make sure the should be changed.  She did a really good job with British spellings most places, just a couple American spellings that slipped in.

Thank you to everyone who replied for all your help and suggestions.  I believe I've replied to everyone, but the way it displays comments and replies makes it hard for me to be sure I didn't accidentally miss a comment and not say thank you.


Ize/ise is a very complex question, because modern British spelling normally uses -ise but some sources actually say that that's an ignorant misusage and that -ize is more correct, in British as well as American English. And there are some words which are always -ise even in the US (but stylize isn't one of them).
Thanks for you reply. Which spelling would you use naturally, do you think? She has -ise on a lot of other words, so I think I'm going to point out these few, and then she can decide if she wants to change them. Do you think someone would be more likely to use the -ise ending (or the -ize ending) universally, or sometimes one and other times the other, depending on the word?
Either stylized or stylised is fine, just as long as only one spelling per word is used in the fic! The OED actually goes with -ize in the case of stylized.

Personally I don't think British vs American spellings is really a major issue in fic, as opposed to word choice in dialogue in particular. But I can see that a writer who did care would want to get them all right!
It only matters imo when it affects the pronunciation, as with aluminum/aluminium and specialty/speciality.
Thanks for your reply. It seems kind of sometimes -ise, sometimes - ize then, depending on the word? Can I ask which spelling you would use naturally?

Ooh, bad word choice. Can I ask if there is a particular offender that gets under your skin? Do you mean something like using have gotten rather than have got?
Have gotten, to be done, go do - actual vocal and syntax differences between US and UK English. (Not that all of them are unknown in English - some formerly exclusive US phrasing is used here, and some was always used in certain dialects.)
The matter of verbal endings is rather confused, but I hope this little guide is useful: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/ize-ise-or-yse

Like others, I don't think this is a big deal, word choice and phrasing is much more important. My personal peeve is 'visit with' said by any of HP characters, though I don't have anything against the expression as such.
Thanks for your reply. Which spelling would you use naturally, do you think? She has -ise on a lot of other words, so I think I'm going to point out these few, and then she can decide if she wants to change them. Do you think someone would be more likely to use the -ise ending (or the -ize ending) universally, or sometimes one and other times the other, depending on the word?

Winces, what's wrong with visit with? Should it just be visit? I do think I'd naturally just say visit, but I don't think I'd think anything about visit with. Are there any other pet peeves you'd like to get off your chest? If those are the things that really get under British skin, it'd be really helpful to know.
Nearly sixty years ago in my schooldays I was taught to use "ize" in words that come from Greek, e.g. "Synthesize", but "ise" for the rest, e.g. "randomise". This was very elitist because only posh schools taught Greek, and partly for this reason we standardised on "ise".

To say "A visited with B" would mean that A went with B to visit someone else; it would have to be just "visit"

Other problem areas: in English English, to "wait on" someone means to "serve" for example in a restaurant; we would only use "wait for".

"Wash up" relates to washing crockery, cutlery, pots and pans, never oneself (either just "wash" or "wash one's hands". Alternatively, something left on the shore by waves. However, "all washed up" is a very old-fashioned expression meaning "finished, failed"

Over-use of "ocean". If it's not the Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, Antarctic or Indian Ocean, I would use "sea" (in particular, the Mediterranean should never be referred to as "the ocean."
I would just uniformly go for -ise/-yse and so I suspect does almost everybody else here, unless there is a particular reason to use the Oxford spelling.

Oh, nothing wrong with 'visit with' - it's just a very very American thing to say. In BrE 'visit' is only used as a transitive verb - to visit Bristol; to visit parents; I'll come visit (you) - and never to mean 'having a chat'. For example, there is a fic I like where Neville says 'We are going to visit with Aberforth' - and this is just a bit disorientating, something you are not supposed to hear from a British character in a UK location.

Lately I've been seeing 'copacetic' in a couple of fics and had the same feeling of disorientation. :) Other than that, there is 'fall' for 'autumn' - though I actually find the word poetic, in a UK-based fic it looks out of place.

ETA. Oh, and how could I forget 'going forward'? This one, I just hate, though I can't even blame it on AmE tbh, it's bloody everywhere...

Edited at 2016-08-23 09:30 am (UTC)
We don't graduate from school, only university (and "college" means something different; although confusingly it might be for 17-18 year olds, it might be for older students doing non-academic things, or it might be part of a university...)

And food. I dunno why, but US/UK differences in food-words are both really glaring to me and almost invisible to a lot of US folk.
As others have said, both are correct. Most people and, indeed, most publishing houses, use 'ise'. However, the Oxford University Press went with 'ize' right from the beginning, and insisted that it was the only one that was correct, As they publish the Oxford English Dictionary, this got into print and Oxford Scholars tend to insist on the 'ize'. (It also made it into an episode of Morse where the titular hero lectured his sidekick on the subject and naturally went with 'ize'

The OED has modified its stance, though it still prefers 'ize'. Most other folk continue to ignore that and use 'ise'. Just be consistent. By the way, what does Rowling use?

RE: "By the way, what does Rowling use?"

I found "paralysed" and "realised" on my Bloomsbury copy of GoF, so that's probably what Rowling uses. The Scholastic copies all go with -ize.

The spelling differences between British and American English actually *do* catch my attention whilst reading and can put me off a bit. But that's just me, someone who is incredibly nitpicky, especially considering English isn't even my first language.

Edited at 2016-08-23 06:15 am (UTC)

Re: "By the way, what does Rowling use?"

Thank you for your response. It catches my eye as well, and I'm American. American spellings and words stick out a mile to me when I'm reading an HP fic--at least the ones I'm aware of, of course. There are tons (I mean loads) I don't know are Americanisms that I make in my own writing.
Thanks for your reply. I can only speak for the American versions, which isn't at all helpful in this case, but they have -ize. Pretty much all of the British English got lost in translation. I wouldn't normally be in favor of that, but since the books were originally intended for a child-aged audience, it makes sense.