06-19-2019, 04:24 PM
#1
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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Genuine question.

The British spelling is “sterilised” - with an “s”, and yet on Culmak and Simpson brushes, the word is spelt with a “z”.

It can’t just be marketing to American consumers, surely?

Any speculation as to this interesting anomaly?

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 06-19-2019, 06:35 PM
#2
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I don't remember where I read it, but it was my understanding that Rooney brushes were marked "Sterilised" if they were made for the domestic English market and were labeled "Sterilized" if they were for export.  The same might have been true at one time for other vintage brushes.

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 06-19-2019, 06:39 PM
#3
  • rev579
  • μαθητής
  • East Texas
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The sterilization of brushes became a standard practice after the anthrax scare and the subsequent discovery of anthrax spores on the shaving brushes. Perhaps since the practice had it's origins in the USA(my guess), it stuck.

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 06-20-2019, 04:04 AM
#4
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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I have a Heppell brush, subject of a little research on my part, and despite being from c.1921 and decidedly English, it is stamped “Sterlized”. I doubt it was marketed toward an American market.

Link: http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=50941

English medicos spelled the word with an “s”, but in the brush context, seems “z” was prevalent. This carries through to the present.

Anthrax theory isn’t a bad one, except the pioneering epidemiological research was largely an Australian venture. I posted about it, but will have to dig that link out and note the spelling there, too.

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 06-20-2019, 04:55 AM
#5
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The whole anthrax thing have been discussed before (but never bad to bring up the history again):
http://shavenook.com/search.php?action=r...order=desc

In short;
- Yes, the "sterilized" marking likely have it's root in the anthrax scare.
- No, I have no idea why the Brits misspelled it.
- Yes, it likely caused the downfall of horse hair brushes - even if I find them lovely.

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 06-20-2019, 10:30 AM
#6
  • rev579
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  • East Texas
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In response to Anthrax deaths from shaving brushes, as of July 1, 1920, all brushes coming into New York City must be clearly marked with the word "Sterilized" after being boiled at 212 degrees Fahrenheit for three hours or steamed in an autoclave for three hours.

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 06-20-2019, 11:51 AM
#7
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(06-20-2019, 04:55 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote: - No, I have no idea why the Brits misspelled it.

I knew that Noah Webster's efforts in the 19th century helped make -ize the near-universal standard for such verbs in America.
But what I didn't realize until reading the book The Prodigal Tongue by Lynne Murphy was that -ize was also quite common in England....up until the 1990s, when the pendulum swung firmly in favor of -ise.
Murphy wrote, "-Ise is not just a suffix; it is a badge of honor, declaring to all and sundry, I AM NOT AMERICAN."

The book's subtitle is "The Love-Hate Relationship Between American and British English."

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 06-20-2019, 11:54 AM
#8
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(06-20-2019, 11:51 AM)Rory1262 Wrote:
(06-20-2019, 04:55 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote: - No, I have no idea why the Brits misspelled it.

I knew that Noah Webster's efforts in the 19th century helped make -ize the near-universal standard for such verbs in America.
But what I didn't realize until reading the book The Prodigal Tongue by Lynne Murphy was that -ize was also quite common in England....up until the 1990s, when the pendulum swung firmly in favor of -ise.
Murphy wrote, "-Ise is not just a suffix; it is a badge of honor, declaring to all and sundry, I AM NOT AMERICAN."

The book's subtitle is "The Love-Hate Relationship Between American and British English."

Interesting. I know that when I learned English (the Queens Own, thank you very much) in the early/mid-eighties, writing -ize would make my teacher grab her red pen... and my grades to slip Tongue

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 06-20-2019, 12:42 PM
#9
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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I note that vintage Kent brushes spell it "sterilised" ...with an "s"...

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 06-21-2019, 04:14 AM
#10
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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I love it (not really), the references to British English. English comes from England and that’s why it’s called English. American English, Canadian English, Australian English, South African English, etc. are all derivatives of English. I think that English is the only language that refers to the language as spoken in the homeland with a similar prefix. But, perhaps that’s the beauty and strength of the English language. In the June 15th edition of The Economist magazine the Charlemagne column “A Brexit Dividend” advances the argument that “Britain’s exit is the ideal moment to make English the EU’s common language.”

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