Monday, August 15, 2016
Know the difference between apologize and apologise
English is a language that is widely spoken in many countries. But because of geographical boundaries and cultural differences, the language has been divided into two variations – the British and the American English. These languages contain words that have the same meaning but are spelled differently. Sometimes, however, the way the words are spelled causes confusion to both the writers and the readers.
For students, it can be difficult to memorize all the words that have the same meaning, let alone which words and their variants are appropriate to either versions of English. The words ‘apologize’ and ‘apologise’ are spelled differently but come from the same word and have the same meaning. One, however, is for American usage while the other is for British usage.
When do we use ‘apologize?’
‘Apologize’ is an action word that means ‘to express remorse or regret over something’ or ‘to admit one’s fault.’ For example “Honey, you should apologize to your brother now.” “To apologize is to admit your fault, but that doesn’t make you a weak person.” “The coach apologized to the team captain for not being present during the final games.”
When do we use ‘apologise?’
Basically, this has the same meaning as ‘apologize.’ But we have to take care of its usage since it is commonly used by Englishmen. Here are some examples: “The newly elected British Prime Minister apologised to the panel for being late by half an hour.” “You need to apologise to the British Foreign Secretary for making offensive comments to the guests.” In these examples, we can see that the context is exclusive to the British people so we used ‘apologise’ instead of ‘apologize.’
When did this confusion begin?
According to the Oxford dictionary, ‘apologize’ had also been used in British English in the past. It is the older form of the verb and has been widely accepted during the 1800s. Thus, the word ‘apologize’ is the standard word used both in British and American periodicals, textbooks, documents and other literary sources. However, it was overtaken by ‘apologise’ in 1990s and became the widely accepted replacement of ‘apologize’ for the Brits.
Tips and tricks:
If you are still having confusion about their correct usage, it is important to make a mnemonic for easier understanding. This will help you choose the appropriate word for your target readers. Again, ‘apologize’ is the American version of the verb. It contains a ‘Z’ just like in the word ‘Arizona,’ a state in the US. Both Arizona and apologize have ‘z’ so it is easy to remember that it is widely accepted in American English. On the other hand, ‘apologise’ and ‘British’ both contain an ‘S,’ which means this verb is commonly accepted in British English.