I am a bit of a purist when it comes to language and grammar. I mean what’s the point of speaking a language if people don’t adhere to the rules so that everyone knows what everyone else is actually saying? (Of course, on the other end of the spectrum there is something to be said about the amazing flexibility of language – so my love of the rules is by no means set in stone!) So I get a little baffled when I come across little things like the ‘z’ in realise. The spell check insists that it’s realize, but the truth is, both are technically correct. Where instances of both are found in texts from the UK, recently realise has become more popular there and realize has become a “North American thing”. I have always used the ‘s’ and was puzzled by spell check’s insistence that it was wrong, even for Canadian English. I find spell checl to be so terribly annoying and rarely turn it on because of little things like that, but at work that little annoyance turns itself on and that little squiggly red line sticks it’s tongue out at me. But my research has shown that most people (and dictionaries) refer to the -ise version as the original and insist that both are just fine so long as you are consistent!
Upon further snooping around I’ve found that most of my spelling ‘errors’ arise from this peculiar dichotomy. I use colour, rather than color, traveller, rather than traveler, catalogue, rather than catalog, analyze, rather than analyse, and spell check, be it in whatever machine I’m using, has a wee hissy fit over each one. It apparently doesn’t like hissy, either. Slang is obviously not this program’s strong point.