... ize - Americanism?

I watched some Never Mind the Full Stops this evening. I do enjoy it purely because it tells people off for saying "I was told to not walk" and other cardinal sins.

For example, Julian Fellowes accused people of spelling words like "surprise" with a 'z' ("surprize") of succumbing to Americanisms. But one of the contestants countered that it was in Jane Austen. So I thought I'd check it out.

And do you know, he's right? Search for "ize" in the following copy of Emma (from the Gutenberg Project) and you'll find surprize.

How marvellous my mother tongue.


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