Just a minute to squeeze this in...

Theorise or theoreticize?

I was editing an article for the upcoming issue of University of Edinburgh’s Science magazine, called EUSci .I started writing and editing for them sometime last year and I am greatly enjoying the process. So today…I was reading a super interesting article and as I read the word theoreticize, I got sucked into it.

And suddenly I felt like what Niall would when he must come across bizzare things himself. For those who don’t know him, please visit his site at English Language Thoughts . His is a blog I greatly enjoy reading…he’s got the greatest collection of bizzare usages and clarifications on what’s right and what isn’t.

Anyway…so for a few minutes I felt like Niall would. So I stopped editing and started my searches on Google. To me…I would use ‘theorise’. That sounds normal to my ears when I say it out loud. But who knows! Maybe I’m just ignorant and my life has been a lie so far! Maybe it is a British vs American English sort of situation. So Google was the way forward.

While I found no dictionary with the work theoreticize in it…I found it on Wikipedia. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say….


theoreticize (third-person singular simple present theoreticizes, present participle theoreticizing, simple past and past participle theoreticized)

  1. Synonym of theoretize (form a theoretical model of)
  2. (rare) To make (something) theoretical, to treat (something) as if it were (merely) theoretical.

Uhh….ok! But it must exist in a dictionary if it is a word! Cambridge, Oxford and Merriam Webster dictionaries say it isn’t a word…theorise, on the other hand, is a word. And here’s what Cambridge dictionary has to say….

theorizeverb [ I ] 

uk usually theorise UK  /ˈθɪə.raɪz/ US  /ˈθɪr.aɪz/

to develop a set of ideas about something:

It’s easy to theorize about what might have happened.
Bummer! While I was right about the usage, I was wrong about the spelling!

2 thoughts on “Theorise or theoreticize?”

    1. That’s what I would’ve thought too! Except…this girl surprised me…and i asked people around before jumping to Google because I wondered what others commonly used and it was sort of 50-50! And it felt great being in your mind space with words and usage and all that… 🙂
      Thank you for stopping by Niall! I really appreciate it 🙂


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