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Eliminating Commonly Misspelled Words

Posted on March 17, 2011 | Comments Off on Eliminating Commonly Misspelled Words

Many words are commonly misspelled. Included in this statement are not the rare typing errors that one may come across: “teh” instead of “the”, “a” when “an” is needed, or “wat” instead of “what.” Those mistake are obvious. Need to know how to check spelling? Read on.

Words that are commonly misspelled make up special lists seen around the Internet, books dedicated to the subject, or a chapter or two written in grammar books. The reason that words typically are misspelled is pretty simple. They are an exception to a spelling rule, or they have been misspelled/ mispronounced/ misused for so long, it just became a habit.

Note the following of the top ten most misspelled words(in no particular order):

1. Misspell: All too often people forget the second ‘s’.
2. Definitely: This word tends to be mispronounced leading it’s misspelling to be“definately.”
3. A lot: Again, this word is probably due to mispronunciation. When speaking, the “a” is automatically booted next to the “lot.”
4. February: Because of mispronunciation, the first “r” is forgotten.
5. Library: Same as February
6. Separate: Often, people pronounce this the same as desperate.
7. Accidentally: The rule for changing a word to an adverb and adding -ly states that for words ending in -l, only the ‘y.’ However, this word is an exception and the extra ‘l’ is needed.
8. Committed: This word defies the rule on adding the -ed ending. The last letter is doubled in single syllable words having a consonant-vowel-consonant spelling. The root word, commit, has two syllables.
9. Principal/Principle: This pair of words are homophones. The first is the head of school, the second refers to an idea or concept. These words will be used incorrectly.
10. your: This word is a pronoun used in 2nd person. Also a homophone with the contraction, “you’re”, it unfortunately is an exceptionally common misspelling.
Incorrect use: “I was wondering if your going to the game with me?”
Correct: “Yesterday, I saw your mom at the store.”

Knowing how to check spelling when so many words are easily overlooked can become a difficult task. Making good use of an internet spell check is a good start. Most word processing programs have a spell checker that can be set up by the user. But if it isn’t set properly, or turned off, it will not be much help. Further, some email programs and programs such as notepad do not have a spell check feature. That makes a free internet spell check program a priceless utility. Even for those documents that have been checked, getting a second opinion and glance over any important text is generally recommended. Spell checking programs vary and can miss even an obvious mistake.

Memorizing commonly misspelled words will make writing and error checking an easier task. Just like cat, bat, and hat became second nature, being aware of the words used – both in spelling and context – will make a huge difference in the end result of that important document.

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