Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold
There's certainly method to their madness. I mean, why the hell is there a U in colour? And words like authorise/authorize are actually pronounced with a zed (or is that a zee??) and not an ess sound......so it does make sense to ammend the spelling and alleviate unnecessary confusion.
That said, it'll be a cold day in hell before I ever pay a Yank their dues and commend them for straightening out the Englishman's mess of a language. :-)
The U is a leftover from the French. As for the Z, it was standard spelling until the 19th century, at which point it was considered archaic and replaced by an S.