Word Choice – Organize or Organise

Gail’s question: “It is becoming more difficult to remember the correct Canadian spelling of words, especially since Microsoft software only references American grammar and spelling.  For example, I would spell “organisation” with an ‘s.’ Is this correct?”

BizWritingTip response: My favourite reference books for Canadian spelling are The Canadian Press Caps and Spelling and the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Both books claim that organize is spelled with a “z.”  This is also the American spelling.

Organise and organize are both accepted in British spelling.  However, a 2004 UK survey stated that 60% of the respondents favoured the –ise ending.

If you want more information on the differences between Canadian, British and American spelling, check out the earlier BizWritingTip Blog: How should I spell it?

By the way, you might want to ask your IT department how to set up a Canadian English dictionary in your version of Word.

Sign Errors – A Sign of Our Times

BizWritingTip wants to make a conscious effort this year to clean up the grammar on the signs we see around us. Help us out. Whenever you see an error on a sign or in an article or newspaper advertisement, send us a photo of it. We would also like to know where you saw the problem.

We’ll post the most interesting signs under the “sign errors” category above. There is no prize — just the knowledge you’re making a small difference in the improvement of the English language.

By pointing out the errors, hopefully, we will get them fixed. Additionally, we will put a stop to readers thinking that the error is correct just because they saw it in print.

Here’s an example of what we are looking for.

This is a sign I saw in an office building in Richmond Hill, Ontario.
There are three grammar errors. Can you spot them?


Please send your 1) photo and 2) where you saw it by email to

Please send  a photo of errors you spot on signs, packaging, and in newspapers or magazines.