Quora – Why did the English spell closer with an “s” instead of a “z”?

Original question: Why did the English spell closer with an “s” instead of a “z”? Was it a Friday before a long weekend when they decided to spell it the same way as another word that has a different meaning?

Well, I can definitely guarantee that it wasn’t a Friday before a long weekend. This is a process that happened over a long period of time. As Jeff Green mentioned in his answer, the word close first entered the English language during the Middle English period. Before then, the Old French word was clos. In turn, it entered Old French via way of Latin clausus, which is the past participle of the Latin verb claudere, meaning “to shut, close; to block up, make inaccessible; put an end to; shut in, enclose, confine”.

Another reason that “close” is spelt with an “s” instead of a “z” is that some of us still pronounce it that way. Using the International Phonetic Alphabet, my pronunciation of the word is /ˈkləʊsə/. Notice the /s/ phoneme. I pronounce that “s” just as I would the words “sick” and “sausage”.

Source for word etymology: Origin and meaning of close by Online Etymology Dictionary

Read James Brooksanswer to Why did the English spell closer with an “s” instead of a “z”? Was it a Friday before a long weekend when they decided to spell it the same way as another word that has a different meaning? on Quora

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