User:JackLumber/-ise / -ize
American spelling accepts only -ize endings in most cases, such as organize, recognize, and realize. British usage accepts both -ize and the more French-looking -ise (organise, recognise, realise). However, the -ize spelling is now rarely used in the UK in the mass media and newspapers, and is hence often incorrectly regarded as an Americanism, despite being preferred by some authoritative British sources, including Fowler's Modern English Usage and the Oxford English Dictionary, which until recently did not list the -ise form of many individual words, even as an alternative. Indeed, it firmly deprecates this usage, stating, "[T]he suffix…, whatever the element to which it is added, is in its origin the Gr[eek] -ιζειν, L[atin] -izāre; and, as the pronunciation is also with z, there is no reason why in English the special French spelling in -iser should be followed, in opposition to that which is at once etymological and phonetic." Noah Webster rejected -ise for the same reasons.
But the OED might be fighting a losing battle. The -ise form is used by the British government and is more prevalent in common usage within the UK today; the ratio between -ise and -ize stands at 3:2 in the British National Corpus. The OED spelling (which can be indicated by the registered IANA language tag en-GB-oed), and thus -ize, is used in many British-based academic publications, such as Nature, the Biochemical Journal and The Times Literary Supplement.
Canada and Australia
In Australia and New Zealand -ise spellings strongly prevail; the Australian Macquarie Dictionary, among other sources, gives the -ise spelling first. Conversely, Canadian usage is essentially like American, although -ise is occasionally found in Canada. Worldwide, -ize endings prevail in scientific writing and are commonly used by many international organizations.
-yse / -yze
The distribution of -yse and -yze endings, as in analyse/analyze, is different: the former is British, the latter American. Thus, UK analyse, catalyse, hydrolyse, paralyse; U.S. analyze, catalyze, hydrolyze, paralyze. However, analyse was commonly spelled analyze from the first — a spelling also accepted by Samuel Johnson; the word, which came probably from French analyser, on Greek analogy would have been analysize, from French analysiser, from which analyser was formed by haplology. In Canada, -yze prevails; in Australia, -yse stands alone.
Note that not all spellings are interchangeable; some verbs take the -z- form exclusively, for instance capsize, seize (except in the legal phrase to be seised of/to stand seised to), size and prize (only in the "appraise" sense), whereas others take only -s-: advertise, advise, apprise, arise, chastise, circumcise, incise, excise, comprise, compromise, demise, despise, devise, disguise, exercise, franchise, improvise, merchandise, revise, supervise, surmise, surprise, and televise. Finally, the verb prise (meaning to force or lever) is spelled prize in the U.S. and prise everywhere else, including Canada, although in North American English pry (a back-formation from or alteration of prise) is often used in its place.