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For the Oxford or Harvard comma, see Serial comma. British style guide Hart’s Rules, and by other publishers who are “etymology conscious”, according to Merriam-Webster. Oxford spelling is best known for its preference for the suffix -ize in words like organize and recognize, versus the -ise endings that are download oxford english dictionary pdf commonly used in current British English usage. In addition to the OUP’s “Oxford”-branded dictionaries, other British dictionary publishers that list -ize suffixes first include Cassell, Collins and Longman.


The spelling affects about 200 verbs, and is favoured on etymological grounds, in that -ize corresponds more closely to the Greek root, -izo, of most -ize verbs. The suffix -ize has been in use in the UK since the 15th century, and is the spelling variation used in American English. The belief that -ize is an exclusively American variant is incorrect. Hence, some have used the spelling -ise in English, as in French, for all these words, and some prefer -ise in words formed in French or English from Latin elements, retaining -ize for those formed from Greek elements.

English the special French spelling should be followed, in opposition to that which is at once etymological and phonetic. In this Dictionary the termination is uniformly written -ize. The use of -ize instead of -ise does not affect the spelling of words that are not traced to the Greek -izo suffix. This includes the World Health Organization, the International Telecommunication Union, the International Labour Organization, the World Food Programme, the International Court of Justice, and UNESCO, and all UN treaties and declarations, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Amnesty International and the World Economic Forum. Oxford spelling is used in a number of academic publications, including the London-based scientific journal Nature and all other UK-based “Nature”-branded journals, the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, and the Journal of Physiology. It is used by The Times Literary Supplement, the Encyclopædia Britannica and Cambridge University Press.

Newspapers and magazines in the UK normally use -ise. The style guide of The Times recommended -ize until 1992, when it switched to -ise. In the great -ize versus -ise debate, The Times has opted latterly for simplicity over a sort of erudition  But in the Style Guide of 1992, the following entry appeared: “-ise, -isation : avoid the z construction in almost all cases.