Saturday, September 28, 2013

Random-ise: Blackwood's Magazine, the spelling of -ize suffix verbs

This is part of an investigation I've been doing into the use and spelling of -ize suffix verbs and their spelling (-ize or -ise) in British English. For more details, related posts and the methods I've used, see the -ize / -ise page. For more on the spelling of -ize verbs in periodicals, see the Periodicals start page.
This post shows how in one important nineteenth-century magazine the use of s spellings gradually increased towards the middle of the nineteenth century, and how z spellings fought a rearguard battle, only to virtually disappear from its pages for the rest of the century.

Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine 1817 - 1980

Blackwood's Magazine was a British magazine and miscellany printed between 1817 and 1980. Originally called the Edinburgh Monthly Magazine, it was founded by publisher William Blackwood as a Tory foil to the Edinburgh Review, which was firmly Liberal. It was one of the nineteenth century's most influential literary magazines, along with its fellow Tory-leaning The Quarterly Review, the Edinburgh Review and the short-lived London Magazine.
It had a lively and combative style, encouraged by Blackwood, who for much of its earlier life was its editor, until his death in 1834.

Main table comparing -ize verbs spelt with a z and with an s.

These figures are taken from looking at individual volumes at Google Books. Below these tables you can find checkable tables for the individual volumes.
We can detect several succeding trends:
  • A bit of a mixed bag at the beginning but with z endings a bit ahead
  • A gradual shift towards s endings until about 1836
  • A sharp move back to z endings, peaking around 1839
  • This was followed by a shift back to s in 1846 and early 1947, but with a few z stragglers
  • Finally, there appears to have been a definitive move to s some time in 1847, with infintissimal quantities of z endings after that till at least 1870. A quick look at volume from 1926 suggests that this continued for some time.
-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-izationtotal-ise-ised-ising-isationtotal
Vol 1 1817 93041558 13251140
Vol 7 1820 9215944 814123
Vol 14 1823 2147826122 268
Vol 20 1828 2253940124 7156129
Vol 25 1829 11274547 13326758
Vol 33 1833 23601213108 213032579
Vol 40 1836 845101255 28223964
Vol 46 1839 17561114108 2341432100
Vol 50 1841 21911847177 14145336
Vol 54 1843 35761252175 5193128
Vol 57 1845 233822891 1010727
Vol 60 1846 7171631 3161939140
Vol 61 1847 5132527 3674720127
Vol 62 1847 11 37701928154
Vol 64 1848 0 43971664200
Vol 81 1857 213 33781238161
Vol 91 1862 0 4379736165
Vol 108 1870 0 49731127160
This change is confirmed by search results at the Internet Library of Early Journals, which has a complete run from Volumes 53 - 95. The first table shows Volumes 53 - 61, the bottom table the volumes from Vol 62, when the definitive change seems to have taken place, to Vol 94

Nine volumes 53 - 61

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 1031942
authorise 11202226
characterise 13283110282
civilise 1111813422746
criticise 35119107
monopolise 435141
organise 94112622812
realise 29901219142526
recognise 255537912915
sympathise 19513951
totals 13436852218 1472467618
  • -ize - 772 / 1159 - 66.6%
  • -ise - 387 / 1159 - 33.4%

Thirty-three volumes 62 - 94

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 1904014
authorise 411742012
characterise 10122922
civilise 1239071628
criticise 21347039
monopolise 352910
organise 18738970502
realise 637953082163
recognise 36821082122
sympathise 2273786
totals 482 179933872093677
  • -ize - 14 / 7970 - 0.18%
  • -ise - 7956 / 7970 - 99.82%

A note on printers

The first few volumes appear all to have been printed by Oliver and Boyd of Edinburgh, where Blackwood was based. From at least Vol 10 in 1821, printing was undertaken by James Ballantine and Co, also of Edinburgh, and printers of Sir Walter Scott's Waverley novels. From Vol 22 in 1827, the printer is listed as Ballantyne and Co, and from 1839 Ballantyne and Hughes, which operated from 1839-1847.
From 1847, the listed printer of Blackwood's Magazine is William Blackwood's own company. Can it really be a coincidence that the very year that Balckwood took over the printing of his magazine, the spelling inconsistencies disappeared almost overnight, and a clear policy of printing with s endings was implemented?
It's also noticeable that the period of greatest volatility 1839-1847, with first a swing to z and then back to s, occurred during the period when the magazine was printed by Ballantyne and Hughes.
It's tempting to draw the conclusion that the printer was equally as important in these changes as the publisher.

The story of recognise

Even when z spellings were dominant, there was a strong tendency to spell the recognise family with an s.
-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izingtotal-ise-ised-isingtotal
Vol 1 1817 4419 48113
Vol 7 1820 32541014
Vol 20 1826 8911847112
Vol 25 1829 11616325
Vol 33 1833 111217231
Vol 40 1836 111816337
Vol 46 1839 1326241
Vol 50 1841 91512579117
Vol 54 1843 1013124214218
Vol 57 1845 14568317
Vol 60 1846 2326554

Individual volumes

Vol 1 1817

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 211
authorise 2123
characterise 1434
civilise 716111
criticise 43
monopolise
organise 382
realise 2712
recognise 441481
sympathise 2131
totals 930415 132511

Vol 7 1820

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise
authorise 122
characterise 12
civilise 107
criticise 1
monopolise
organise 22
realise 12121
recognise 32410
sympathise 4241
totals 92159 8141

Volume 14 1823

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 211
authorise 2211
characterise 482
civilise 11411
criticise 12111
monopolise
organise 1215
realise 231
recognise 51541
sympathise 311
totals 2147826 26

Vol 20 1826

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 331
authorise 1342
characterise 34111
civilise 2201341
criticise 11
monopolise 1322
organise 441
realise 17222
recognise 891471
sympathise 23
totals 2253940 71561

Vol 25 1829

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 212
authorise 52
characterise 124
civilise 111117
criticise 2
monopolise 1111
organise 31
realise 563251
recognise 16163
sympathise 21112
totals 112745 133267
Vol 33 1833
Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 22
authorise 3911
characterise 15101
civilise 19125
criticise 41
monopolise 21
organise 420111
realise 58221
recognise 112172
sympathise 814
totals 23601213 2130325

Vol 40 1836

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 11
authorise 3231
characterise 751
civilise 1188
criticise 12
monopolise 4
organise 1838
realise 2921
recognise 118163
sympathise 421
totals 8451012 282239

Vol 46 1839

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 1111
authorise 11
characterise 610
civilise 231132
criticise 231
monopolise 1
organise 1958
realise 8124611
recognise 13262
sympathise 421
totals 17561114 2341432

Vol 50 1841

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 12
authorise 7111
characterise 11313
civilise 1242353
criticise 1233
monopolise 12
organise 47410
realise 318521
recognise 9151791
sympathise 234
totals 21911847 141453

Vol 54 1843

52
Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 11
authorise 571
characterise 26111
civilise 16311
criticise 2212
monopolise 22
organise 212111
realise 131848
recognise 101312142
sympathise 1121
totals 357612 51931

Vol 57 1845

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 32
authorise 12
characterise 53111
civilise 2015
criticise 2112
monopolise
organise 6110
realise 152
recognise 14683
sympathise 911
totals 2338228 10107

Vol 60 1846

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 1
authorise 1
characterise 1361
civilise 4121131
criticise 12
monopolise 1111
organise 124153
realise 22175
recognise 23265
sympathise 1221
totals 71716 3161939

Vol 61 1847

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 12
authorise 23
characterise 12102
civilise 521118
criticise 3
monopolise 1114
organise 11145111
realise 16241111
recognise 13283
sympathise 1142
totals 51325 3674720

Vol 62 1847

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise
authorise
characterise 373
civilise 15118
criticise 42
monopolise 211
organise 2416
realise 171334
recognise 15285
sympathise 423
totals 1 37701928

Vol 64 1848

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 31
authorise 1
characterise 7111
civilise 142142
criticise 21
monopolise 21
organise 21119
realise 617313
recognise 16224
sympathise 64
totals 43971664

Vol 81 1857 (American edition)

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 11
authorise 11
characterise 29
civilise 111523
criticise 1
monopolise 31
organise 18110
realise 12955
recognise 119312
sympathise 71
totals 21 33781238

Vol 91 1862

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 21
authorise 22
characterise 14
civilise 2123
criticise 461
monopolise 1
organise 2511
realise 15922
recognise 17292
sympathise 322
totals 4379736

Vol 108 1870

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 521
authorise 121
characterise 5
civilise 2219
criticise 11
monopolise 1
organise 3717
realise 1583
recognise 22261
sympathise 311
totals 49731127

Links

About Blackwood's Magazine

Sources for Blackwood's (apart from Google Books)

Other

Blackwood's Magazine at Google Books

  • NF = Not found
  • O&B = Oliver & Boyd (printer)
  • JB&Co = James Ballantyne & Co (printer
  • B&Co = Ballantyne & Co (printer
  • B&H = Ballantyne & Hughes (printer
  • WB = William Blackwood (printer

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