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However to find out which is correct in British English today, all you need to do is look in the Oxford English Dictionary or Oxford Reference Online and you will find that if you are looking for "organisation" or "authorisation", it will say, "see organization" or "see authorization", because the more correct spelling, as far as the academics who compile dictionaries are concerned, is still with a 'Z'! These academics have been fighting a rearguard action over what is sometimes referred to as the "Frenchification" of the English Language where they see no valid reason for the replacement of the 'Z' with an 'S'!
Perhaps the use of the 'S' in Britain comes about because of the softer Southern pronunciation, but whatever the reason most British newspapers will now use the 'S' rather than the 'Z' and this has been so since the 1960's. However I was always taught to use the 'Z' during my UK schooling 50 to 60 years ago.
So both spellings are correct in the UK, but the proliferation of the use of the French 'S' is now so widespread in British publications, that even Australians believe that the 'Z' is American and the 'S' is British!
Mike Cudzich-Madry (British/English despite the Polish name)
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