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Personalised or Personalized, lets sort this out

Updated on January 9, 2013

This has been annoying me for some time - let's get the facts

Being somewhat of a nerd as far as grammar is concerned it has long annoyed the hell out of me that there has appeared to be a steady increase in the use of the word personalized in preference to what I consider to be the more correct personalised. This came to a head when Google rolled out its new Google Instant search facility which, if you didn't already know, displays a drop down of possible search keywords as you type into the search box. I was incensed when I started typing in a search for personalised gifts and had only got to the first 's' when up came the suggestion personalized gifts, without any reference to my intended query. I immediately put this down to the inexorable Americanisation (Americanization?) of the English language and the fact that the origins of Google are firmly planted on the other side of the Atlantic. Given that I have had some time on my hands over the past few days I decided to do some research into the personalized / personalised issue and have come up with some startling facts.

In the English language there occurs both styles of spelling, both with and -ise and -ize. In fact the suffix -ize derives from Gr[eek] and L[atin] and therefore is far more deep seated in our language than -ise which derives from the French -iser. The famous 18th century lexicographer Noah Webster denounced the use of -ise in favour of -ize as it was more etymologically and phonetically correct. The current ratio of -ise to -ize in the British National Corpus stands at 3:2 so the balance is a lot more finely drawn than I initially thought. The Australians actually have a better grip on personalised over personalized, their ratio is 3:1 in favour of the -ise suffix so this may be the last bastion of the personalised gift before the personalized gift takes over.

My final say on the matter is that based upon this information I have probably been wrong all this time (ouch) and that it has not been our American cousins that have been trying to bastardize (?) our language it is just us British who are being bloody minded.

BTW as a completely undisguised plug , you can buy the personalised doormat that you can see in the picture above at Getting Personal, just click the links below

Popular Personalised Gifts - The Personalised Door Mat

A Personalised door mat makes for a great gift for any occasion.

Wedding Gift - The Home of Mr & Mrs Smith

Anniversaries - Welcome to Chez Nous

New Home - Please wash your feet

Any Occasion - No Wine, No Entry

The combinations are huge as you've got 3 lines of 12 characters to go at.

The mat is made from hardwearing coir so its easy to clean and will last a long time. There are loads of reviews of the mat - just follow the links below to see them

What do you think?

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Shouldn't it be SMITHS'? Unless it is a single person dwelling and then I would expect it to leave out the article 'THE'.

      But what do I know, I'm just an engineer from the colonies.

    • Roksys LM profile image

      Roksys LM 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I think that it was a commercial decision rather than a grammatical one Phil - not enough space on the doormat for an apostrophe!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      So "z" is from Latin and "s" is from French! Interesting! Also, please note that it should be "Smith's" and not "Smiths". (I'm an English teacher in Madrid)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      It should be "SMITH'S" and not "SMITHS" - from an English teacher in Spain!!!

    • Travel Shepherd profile image

      Michael Shepherd 5 years ago from Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland

      Since readers of my personalised travel guides come from both Europe and America I have long wrestled with this issue.

      Thanks for helping?

    • Roksys LM profile image

      Roksys LM 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hey Drew, if you live in London you'll know that as far as grammar goes the Brits are never wrong!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm American but living in London. I often find myself searching for the correct 'British English' spelling of words.This is not the first time I've learned that the Brits are corrupting English words more than Americans.

    Personalised Gift Poll

    Have you ever bought a personalised gift?

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    If you've ever bought a personalised gift for somebody then I'd love to hear about it. Was it for an anniversary, a wedding, a birthday? Did you buy a personalised door mat? Please feel free to write about your experiences here


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      • Nancy S Oram profile image

        Nancy Oram 6 years ago

        Love your work and presentation. I've often wondered about the ise/ize thing. I hope to see more of your writing. Love the style. BTW, small typo in subtitle in the Poll. Angel blessed. Keep them coming!