Realization. Industrialization. Immobilization. We use words ending in the suffix -ization so frequently that many native English speakers might not know what –ization even means and how adding it changes the meaning of a word.
-ization: action, process, or result of making
When we add –ization to the words realize, industrial, and immobile (like we did at the beginning of this post), here’s how their meanings change:
realization: the action of realizing; the state of being realized
Example: This house is the realization of years of planning and building.
In other words: Years of planning and building realized the end product of this house.
industrialization: to make industrial
Example: The industrialization of countries is a major factor in improving economic viability.
In other words: Making countries industrialized is a major factor in improving economic viability.
immobilization: to make immobile
Example: The immobilization of her broken leg aided in its healing.
In other words: Immobilizing her broken leg aided in its healing.
List of –ization words
You can find a longer list of –ization words here.
Alternatives to –ization
Recently, I saw the word professionalization, and I thought, “What an ugly word.” Adding –ization to words often turns them into five syllable plus tongue twisters.
If you also feel that the suffix –ization lacks a certain elegance, there are ways to avoid adding it to the word you’d like to use. For instance, there are many times when you can rewrite a sentence so you simply use the root word.
Here are some examples:
Original: The popularization of vampire movies is astounding.
Rewrite: It’s astounding how popular vampire movies are.
Original: The revitalization of downtown is important.
Rewrite: It is important that we revitalize downtown.
Original: We must achieve optimization of our skills.
Rewrite: We must optimize our skills.
What do you think?
Do you like using –ization words? Or do you find them to be overly complicated? What are your methods to avoid using –ization words? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Erin Servais is the founder of Dot and Dash, LLC, an author-services company focusing on women writers and offering a range of editing, coaching, and social media packages.
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