The trouble is with phonetics. We spent all those long hours at school, fidgeting and passing notes while some teacher tried to explain how two words that sounded exactly the same, were actually spelt completely differently. Ahh, there their.
So how come, many years later, educated adults have such a problem with simple words that are spelt just how they sound? Organized, specialized, mobilization, optimized, prioritize … are all spelt with a Z, not with an S.
There seems to be a dark fear or phobia about using a Z – as though it was some sort of dreadful American spelling.
This mistake has become so common, that replacing it with an S has even made it into the Oxford English Dictionary in recent years as (alternative spelling).
The irony of the situation is that the Americans are using the correct English spelling, whereas we are more frequently using a French alternative.