Entries linking to particularize
late 14c., "pertaining to or affecting a single thing or person; pertaining to some and not to all," from Old French particuler (14c., Modern French particulier) and directly from Late Latin particularis "of a part, concerning a small part," from Latin particula "little bit or part, grain, jot," diminutive of pars (genitive partis) "a part, piece, division" (from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot"). Meaning "peculiar, singular, standing out from what is usual or ordinary" is by late 15c. Sense of "precise, fastidious, exacting, attentive to details" is by 1814.
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.