Is it Cognisant or Cognizant

Discussion in 'English Only' started by bethany_1776, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. bethany_1776 New Member

    North Carolina
    I heard the First Lady use the term "cognizant". When I looked it up to make sure I knew what it meant and how how to use it, I saw that it had two spellings. Cognisant and cognizant. Are both acceptable?
  2. steemic

    steemic Senior Member

    Pitman, New Jersey
    English (US)
    I have never seen cognisant (not sure which dictionary you used) used with this spelling, however I have heard people say it with a "s" pronunciation. I would stick with cognizant if you are planning on writing it.
  3. bethany_1776 New Member

    North Carolina
    Thank you for your response, it was that had it as Cognisant. I will stick with the Z version. TY
  4. Lis48

    Lis48 Senior Member

    York, England
    English - British
    It´s an AE/BE difference. We would say cognisant in the UK.
  5. Redshade Banned

    I would use the z version.

    The online Oxford does not recognize the s version,whilst my hardcopy Chambers acknowledges it as a variant of the z form.
  6. Whizbang Senior Member

    English - American
    In fact, if you had to boil down spelling differences between AE and BE, you could say that we are two countries separated by one consonant (-ise/-ize) and one vowel (-our/-or).

  7. Redshade Banned

    Except that I am in the UK and agreeing with a AE speaker whilst at the same time disagreeing with a fellow UK speaker.:)
  8. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The OED lists both spellings without comment.
    Its BE examples use the z version.

    I have always used the z version (when correcting what other people wrote).

    I hate the word, but let's keep personal preferences out of ... ...

    (We need to be careful not to jump onto the AE/BE difference bandwagon without clear evidence.)
  9. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    This septic isle!
    NW Englandish English
    I too would only use cognizant (if I ever used that word, which I don't.) I don't remember ever seeing cognisant before ... it looks kind of ... odd.
  10. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I've always used cognisant because I use recognise [cognate with cognisant, surely], realise, analyse, etc. As Tom Stoppard puts it:

  11. Lis48

    Lis48 Senior Member

    York, England
    English - British
    The OED lists British headword spellings (e.g. labour, centre) with variants following (labor, center, etc.). For the suffix more commonly spelt -ise in British English, their policy has always been to prefer for the spelling -ize, e.g. realize vs realise and globalization vs globalisation.

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