Saturday, October 5, 2013

Random-ise: The Spectator and the spelling of -ize suffix verbs

The Spectator started off life as a liberal-radical periodical, and is now the intellectual forum of modern conservatism. It bears the same name as, but has nothing to do with, a famous 18th century magazine published by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele from 1711 to 1712.
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.

The Spectator - 1828 to today

The Spectator’s founding editor, the Dundonian reformer Robert Stephen Rintoul, launched the paper on 5 December 1828. Rintoul initially insisted on "absolute power" over content, commencing a longlasting tradition of the paper’s editor and proprietor being one and the same person. The Spectator’s political outlook in its first thirty years reflected Rintoul’s liberal-radical agenda. Under Rintoul The Spectator came out strongly for the Great Reform Act of 1832, coining a famous phrase, "The Bill, the whole Bill and nothing but the Bill", in its support.
adapted from Wikipedia
The first issue of the magazine is listed as being printed by Joseph Clayton and published by F.C.Westley, both of the Strand. By 1831, Clayton is also being credited as publisher as well as printer, a situation which would remain until 1861.
In 1861 The Spectator was bought by a journalist, Meredith Townsend, who soon went into partnership with Richard Holt Hutton, a theologian whose friend William Gladstone later called him "the first critic of the nineteenth century"
Wikipedia
From 1862 until at least 1880, the magazine is listed as being printed and published by John Cambell, at 1 Wellington Street, The Strand, London.

Results at Google Books

There is a pretty good, easily searchable collection at Google Books, and an excellent, easy to use archive at The Spectator website. Unlike other British periodicals at the time, the number of s endings seems to have remained relatively constant, rather than rapidly growing, and always staying under the ten percent mark before the final change.
From about 1863 (roughly coinciding with the new ownership) till 1871, there appears to have been a deliberate attempt to eliminate s endings. Something strange happened in 1872, and then from 1873 it was all change to s endings. This swing to z before the final definitive change to s seems to have been quite typical, and a similar trend can be seen at The Quarterly Review and at Blackwood's Magazine.
The first changes, in 1873, could have had something to do with the change of printer and publisher, but both the swing to z and the corresponding counterswing to s occurred when John Campbell was printer and publisher, so we need to look elsewhere if we want to find out why the change happened.

Searching at The Spectator archive

This gives some strange results. I think it's quite accurate for -ise spellings, but is converting -ize spellings to -ise spellings for search purposes (which makes life easier for everyone except me!)
It gives an interesting overall bar chart of s spellings though. For authorise, civilise, organise, realise and recognise and their variations for example, very few s spellings occur from the 1820s to the 1860s, but they dramatically increase in the 1870s, in line with my findings. However, and this is something I haven't investigated, there seems to have been a pretty comprehensive shift back to z during the first two decades of the twentieth century, with s endings taking over again in the 1930s and remaining till today.
Click on any word to see its use over the life of the Spectator from 1828 to today.

How s spellings rose, fell and rose again during the life of the Spectator

authorise authorised authorising authorisation
civilise civilised civilising civilisation
organise organised organising organisation
realise realised realising realisation
recognise recognised recognising

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

From search results at Google Books. All figures are checkable at the entries for individual volumes, in the next section.
-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-izationtotal-ise-ised-ising-isationtotal
Vol 6 1833 1273154068550 16226751
Vol 10 1837 14329165119618 143731872
Vol 15 1842 781623960339 351312
Vol 20 1847 14434778105674 781319
Vol 25 1852 16134882153744 491317
Vol 32 1859 7924426106455 10192233
Vol 35 1862 11818649135488 20139648
Vol 37 1864 12520339113480 50106
Vol 41 1868 1171594195412 11114
Vol 43 1870 12822045154547 12104
Vol 44 1871 1121494599405 31105
Vol 45 1872 941493897378 41561319129
Vol 46 1873 13037 16523966150620
Vol 48 1875 10023 276379116220991
Vol 51 1878 10001 17027943154646
Vol 54 1881 02046 19427246175687
Vol 60 1887 00000 20424573164686

Individual volumes

All figures are checkable by clicking on them.

Vol 6 1833

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 31741
authorise 186397
characterise 2226122
civilise 14813455
criticise 4213
monopolise 334
organise 92233012
realise 2157104543
recognise 4073671
sympathise 662
totals 1273154068 162267

Vol 10 1837

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 5125
authorise 19456313
characterise 2040413
civilise 144369613
criticise 6361
monopolise 11414
organise 634540253
realise 28438102512
recognise 30557241
sympathise 17117311
totals 14329165119 1437318

Vol 15 1842

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 531
authorise 41781
characterise 62311
civilise 33033413
criticise 2112
monopolise 141
organise 2155191
realise 18321371
recognise 313431
sympathise 643
totals 781623960 3513

Vol 20 1847

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 2421
authorise 217631211
characterise 93961
civilise 24425712
criticise 61765
monopolise 112
organise 1049103621
realise 29426101
recognise 5272611
sympathise 12371
totals 14434778105 7813

Vol 25 1852

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 1311
authorise 956116131
characterise 1037622
civilise 373561
criticise 10166
monopolise 121
organise 1961117112
realise 355323181
recognise 56761122
sympathise 2079
totals 16134882153 4913

Vol 32 1859

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 1
authorise 22813
characterise 52722111
civilise 39453
criticise 3232
monopolise 221
organise 646105012
realise 15432826
recognise 3554632
sympathise 1323111
totals 7924426106 101922

Vol 35 1862

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 3311
authorise 72352212
characterise 17211
civilise 1241593
criticise 1124322
monopolise 412
organise 11419641122
realise 2733893221
recognise 374512951
sympathise 16761
totals 11818649135 201396

Vol 37 1864

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 682
authorise 42832
characterise 6102
civilise 135354
criticise 975
monopolise 42
organise 10356451
realise 2828612
recognise 46451011
sympathise 11523
totals 12520339113 5010

Vol 41 1868

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 512
authorise 422211
characterise 6112
civilise 140448
criticise 1578
monopolise 34
organise 102624311
realise 211353
recognise 373410
sympathise 15161
totals 1171594195 1111

Vol 45 1872

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 2412
authorise 62781651
characterise 31157
civilise 124142819
criticise 1389632
monopolise 11
organise 5134472718
realise 1921574712
recognise 2737813175
sympathise 1832321
totals 941493897 41561319

Vol 43 1870

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 113
authorise 22531
characterise 1
civilise 130361
criticise 171531
monopolise 431
organise 17541484
realise 2424581
recognise 476391
sympathise 1554
totals 12822045154 1210

Vol 44 1871

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 716
authorise 4172111
characterise 41721
civilise 130251
criticise 12741
monopolise 1
organise 13348401
realise 191396
recognise 34237
sympathise 18741
totals 1121494599 3110

Vol 46 1873

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 642
authorise 143561
characterise 91622
civilise 3437758
criticise 131316
monopolise 142
organise 1137679
realise 1136341210
recognise 159577
sympathise 2226
totals 1303 16523966150

Vol 48 1875

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 1158
authorise 1030143
characterise 62443
civilise 2261697
criticise 322417
monopolise 412
organise 12742297
realise 161501020
recognise 10010020
sympathise 381013
totals 1002 276379116220

Vol 51 1878

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 422
authorise 4356
characterise 4151
civilise 144486
criticise 19127
monopolise 3
organise 1034858
realise 353649
recognise 168946
sympathise 2276
totals 1000 17027943154

Vol 54 1881

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 662
authorise 14204
characterise 81212
civilise 3237573
criticise 26189
monopolise 332
organise 11037484
realise 3757412
recognise 757811
sympathise 12348
totals 0204 19427246175

Vol 60 1887

Verb-ize-ise
-ize-ized-izing-ization-ise-ised-ising-isation
apologise 631
authorise 31631
characterise 62234
civilise 156482
criticise 27118
monopolise 4
organise 12312064
realise 52301513
recognise 757414
sympathise 1825
totals 0000 20424573164

Links

  • Wikipedia
  • Spectator archive
    useful for looking at individual pages. Printer and publisher information can be found at the end of the last page.

At Google Books

Those marked (S) are Snippet View only. They are searchable, but you can't open up individual pages.
  • 1828 The British Essayists
    'Containing the Spectator, Tatler, Guardian, Rambler, Idler, Adventurer, Connoisseur, Mirror, Lounger, World, Observer, Knox's Essays, Olla Podrida, and Microcosm, Volume 1 (Google eBook)'

1 comment:

aliya seen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.