Entries linking to annualize
This is reconstructed to be from Proto-Italic *atno- "year" (compare Oscan akno- "year, holiday, time of offering"), from PIE *at-no- "which goes," also "a year" (as "going around"), suffixed form of root *at- "to go" (source also of Sanskrit atati "goes, wanders," atamana- "to travel, wander," atya- "steed, runner"). The root also has Germanic derivatives meaning "a year," such as Gothic aþnam (dative plural) "year."
word-forming element used to make verbs, Middle English -isen, from Old French -iser/-izer, from Late Latin -izare, from Greek -izein, a verb-forming element denoting the doing of the noun or adjective to which it is attached.
The variation of -ize and -ise began in Old French and Middle English, perhaps aided by a few words (such as surprise, see below) where the ending is French or Latin, not Greek. With the classical revival, English partially reverted to the correct Greek -z- spelling from late 16c. But the 1694 edition of the authoritative French Academy dictionary standardized the spellings as -s-, which influenced English.
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). American English has always favored -ize. The spelling variation involves about 200 English verbs.
updated on January 15, 2017