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I can not choose what to write for my project about being organised...

Should I write:

organization

or

organisation

Is it just a spelling difference between American English and British English? (I use British English in my school.)

When I search up and try to get an answer, it will say, "British English uses 's' more than 'z'. But sometimes, they use 'z'."

Can you please help?

Thank you.

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  • The 's' is BrE spelling, but the AmE 'z' is increasingly used. Similarly 'sulphate' was replaced almost overnight by 'sulfate' following the employment of a contractor from Madison, Wisconsin by the National Health Service. – Weather Vane Nov 10 '20 at 13:06
  • I just did site-specific searches for both spellings on a couple of "typical" British websites. The Guardian favours s over z by 285K hits to 216K, and the BBC by 118K hits to 81K. And that's for everything on their websites. It's a safe bet the more recent instances will lean more towards z - probably by now, so much so that it's actually more common today to adopt the "US" spelling. – FumbleFingers Nov 10 '20 at 13:17
  • It's a misconception that -ize is an Americanism. See en.wiktionary.org/wiki/-ize for example. It shouldn't matter as long as you are consistent, but if you're supposed to use British English, be aware that a) many people believe that -ize is an Americanism, and b) this is "Oxford spelling", so if you go with it you might want to follow Oxford conventions across the board, e.g. judgment (no e), use of Oxford commas etc. – rchivers Nov 10 '20 at 13:40
  • @rchivers Spelling choices are arbitrary and insignificant, but it has been shown that using the Oxford comma in some contexts is preferable (disambiguating), not using it in others is preferable, while in yet others it doesn't make any difference and is a style choice. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 10 '20 at 14:14
  • @FumbleFingers, the results of such automated searches are indeed relevant, but may not be dispositive, as they do not separate out the appearances of z within proper names (e.g. in an article about an organisation that calls itself XYZ Organization) and within quotations. – jsw29 Nov 10 '20 at 18:38
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If this is a formal document and you know you are writing for an American audience then use the American spelling convention. However, if the document will be read by British, Australian, Indian and Canadian readers you might prefer the British spelling. In any case, just make sure you are consistent.

Either way, nowadays, I don't think the general public really notices or cares anymore.

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