Friday, August 16, 2013

Random-ise: Jonathan Swift, ise 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.

Jonathan Swift 1667 – 1745

Image from Wikimedia Commons
Swift apparently uses relatively few -ize verbs. Apart from familiarize, all the examples in Gulliver's Travels are variations on civilize, and in the very long A Journal to Stella, I can only find one, naturalizing.

List of verbs

Links are to (Dict), which includes etymology, and the Online Etymology Dictionary
authoriseDictOE 1350–1400earlier auctorize < Medieval Latin aucto-riza-re; replacing Middle English autorisen < Middle French autoriser < Medieval Latin
civilizeDictOE 1595–1605 < French civiliser
criticize DictOE 1640–50 critic + -ize
familiarizeDictOE 1600–10 familiar + -ize
mythologizeDict 1595–1605 mytholog(y) + -ize; compare French mythologiser
naturalizeDictOE 1585–95 natural + -ize
spiritualiseDict 1625–35 spiritual + -ize
Only one of these -ize verbs appears to have come from Latin, two are from French and the rest simply add an -ize suffix to existing English words

1704 Tale of a Tub

This parable was immediately mythologisedizeise
as they have spiritualised and refined themizeize
This is the utmost I am authorised to sayizeize
that as the most uncivilised parts of mankindizeize
to critise (critick) his gate and ridicule his dress at such a junctureickise

1726 Gulliver's Travels

Appears to show a fairly common process, whereby z predominates in the eighteenth century, but with some inconsistencies. These get tidied up in the early nineteenth century and by the middle of the century s has taken over.
and the most barbarous become civilizedizeizeise
to civilize and reduce them from their barbarous way of livingizeize
only a little more civilized by some tincture of reasoniseizeise
perhaps a little more civilizedizeise
I soon grew so familiarized to the sight of spiritsiseize
a sufficient number of their inhabitants for civilizing Europeizeise
sent to convert and civilize an idolatrous and barbarous peopleizeizeise
that a people who could so far civilise brute animalsiseize
to be understood in all civilised nationsiseizeise

1729 A Modest Proposal

No -ize verbs found

1766 The Journal to Stella

The Bill to repeal the Act for naturalising Protestant foreignersize


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