Friday, August 16, 2013

Random-ise: Congreve's The Way of the World, -ize and -ise 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.

I'm also interested in the development of the use of -ize suffix verbs (eg realize/realise), compared with the use of French-based -ise verbs (eg surprise). And in the extent to which there was consistency in the spelling of these verbs, or a lack of it, in early publishing.

William Congreve - The Way of the World 1756

Notice how all three instances of surprised are spelt with a z in the First Edition. They are also spelt with an apostrophe - surpriz'd. Neither the spelling nor the apostrophe are unusual for the period.
In the First Edition all the -ize suffix verbs are spelt with z, but in the 1895 Methuen edition, which the Project Gutenberg version is taken from, as well as correcting surprised, all -ize verb endings have changed to -ise
Click on the numbers to see the verbs at Google Books
17561895
-ize-ise
authorised(1)11
catechised(1)11
monopolise(1)11
tantalised(1)11

French -ise verbs - 6 instances of 4 verbs

17561895
-ise-ise
despise(1)33
despised(1)11
disguised(1)12
-ize-ise
surprised(3)33

All

1756
repartee: since you monopolise the wit that-ize
now come to despise 'em; the next-ise
since I have despised him, he's too-ise
MRS. MAR. I'm surprised to find your-ize
know; I'll be surprised. I'll be taken-ize
start and be surprised, and rise to-ize
to genuine and authorised tea-table talk, such-ize
person, I am tantalised on the rack,-ize
brought Mr. Mirabell disguised to Madam Millamant-ise
to have been catechised by him, and-ize

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