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SubjectRe: [PATCH 1/6] Rewrite MSI-HOWTO
On Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 12:28:08PM -0800, Matthew Wilcox wrote:
>
> > Consistent isation/ization (or ised/ized), please.
>
> The Shorter OED is quite amusing on this point. It lists 'Initialise' as a
> variant, but in the main definition under 'Initialize', the example it
> gives of the computer usage uses 'initialise'. I can only conclude that
> a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds ;-)

A lot depends on whether you are writing English or American. In the UK
both endings (ise and ize) are used, so it can be quite legal to see
both in the same sentence depending on the word, writer and publication.
I believe in American, ize has been standardized (ha) upon.
http://www.askoxford.com/asktheexperts/faq/aboutspelling/ize?view=uk .
I've checked the "big" OED online and it actually didn't find anything
for initialise. Looking for initialize found a match but the only
reference to initialise there was in reference to the initialising the
letters of words of words (and someone who was an initialist). Here's a
quote from the OED entry for initialize.

"2. trans. (Computers.) To set to the value, or put in the condition,
appropriate to the start of an operation.
Const. to.
1957 D. D. MCCRACKEN Digital Computer Programming xi. 146
[Instructions] 18 and 19 initialize the address of the instruction with
which numbers are brought in from temporary storage. 1961 N. CHAPIN
Programming Computers for Business Applic. vii. 188 The failure..to
initialize the switch would produce errors. 1963 P. M. SHERMAN
Programming & Coding..."

Correcting UK usage of ize/ise is a dicey business. Generally the best
course of action seems to be "don't worry about it".

--
Sitsofe | http://sucs.org/~sits/

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