Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 decade ago

Why did Americans change "s" to "z" in many english words?

cant think of examples now but u know what i mean?


oh yeah i meanto add that too, taking the u out of colour and etc....

Update 2:

amelia - i dont wanna doubt u - but u mean to say the irish accent was invented in the last 100 years to seperate us from the brits? we didnt av an english accent to begin with AND we have a totaly different language - do u mean idioms and slang and stuff? hardly accent....explain....! :)

15 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    The Americans starting with Noah Webster are in my opinion simplifying an extremely complicated English vocabulary, it is much simpler and makes a lot more sense.

    I see no reason why the Americans can't change the English language, after all we changed Latin, Greek and French to form our own.

    The letter Z for instance can only be pronounced one way as a rule while S can be pronounced in two.

    Your example of colour is a good one, the Americans spell it color, what do we want a U in it for? also if we add colour to something we 'colourise' it, the Americans would colorize it, much more sensible and only one way it can be pronounced.

    Source(s): I'm Welsh by the way, our language is even easier, we have no Z and all the letters of our alphabet are always pronounced the same.
  • 7 years ago

    Noah Webster, an extremely clever man, more than likely dyslexic, made a language which is extremely simplified.

    The fact that he made claims back to Latin, may well be correct, but this English language is English, it has been changed so much that you can call the so called 'American English' just American now, changing of common words like sidewalk, which we had originally made it pavement made it simpler for Americans to understand, this in turn goes with color and specialize etc.

    Another thing people will not think about, the accent in America is completely different (what a shock) so when they pronounce the words it genuinely sounds more correct to them, where to us English, we speak properly in my mind (excuse the want to be gangsters) - I don't understand why they want to call it British English however, it should just be English, other Brits outside of England tend to hate us and I do not affiliate myself with them either.

    Perhaps the Americans should make up their own language if they do not respect the way it was originally created.

    The End

  • 5 years ago

    The use of Z in English is not an American spelling specifically, though they use it in more words than is correct in English. Words such as realize, organize, agonize, oxidize etc are correct and were in common use in the UK till around WWII. They stem from Latin via Greek. It is NOT an Americanizm to use them. However, the use of S crept in more as people became confused as to which words should end in -ize and which -ise. The use of S has become accepted as correct in Britain (though it derives from a different route), but the Z endings are correct (moreso) when used appropriately.

  • 1 decade ago

    During the revolutionary war, the "Americans" changed their language to differentiate themselves from the British. They wanted to have nothing in common with the British. Same reason the Australians and Irish developed their own accents. Both the Irish and Australian accents were developed within the last 100 years to separate themselves from the Brits.

    Interestingly enough, towards the end of WWII, after the British and Americans fought along side each other and the Allied force eventually won the war, the British accent made a huge comeback in the USA - everyone wanted to talk like them.

    Source(s): I study this stuff -- it's awesome.
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  • 1 decade ago


    Typical such words are organize, recognize, realize (all USA spellings.).

    As you may know, Noah Webster made most of the spelling changes from English to American English. He reportedly made the changes --according to him--for logical and esthetic reasons. As I understand it, both the Greek and Latin base words had the -ize spelling. I further understand that the

    -ise of the British spelling comes from a French rendering of the base word. Webster said that both etymologically and phonetically -ize was better. So, he changed the -ise spelling to -ize. Webster was a very clever guy, so if you plan to challenge him, you're dealing wit

  • 5 years ago

    It's getting so one can't say ANYTHING without offending SOMEBODY, but Grandma used to bake up a big, old dark fruitcake around Thanksgiving, wrap it up in cheesecloth soaked in rum, and leave it in a tin boc on a closet shelf 'till Christmas. Deeeeelish!

  • 1 decade ago

    Noah Webster compilled a dictionary of English in 1806 in which he changed the spelling of many words in order for them to be easier to spell. Therefore the "s" in many words that really sounds like ''z" was changed e.g. "realise" vs "realize".

    He also changed many words containing the "ou" combination to "o" e.g. "colour"= "color".

    There are various other "american spellings" similar to these for the same reason.

    Because the dictionary became so popular the spelling of the words changed for the people using the dictionary (American people).

    Its very annoying when you're using microsoft word and its telling you your words are spelt wrong!

    Source(s): wikipedia
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Recognise - Recognize

    Realise - Realize

    It's probably for the same reason they take the letter u out of words like colour, flavour, etc. It's just to stamp their identity on the English language.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yeah! I've always wondered that, Im afraid I have no idea. Maybe their attempt to make the language more their own??

    Things like:

    Analyse: Analyze

  • 1 decade ago

    There are several words like 'spaces' where the last letter is pronounced like z. Try to say it with an s at the end- doesnt it sound awkward?

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