More commonly misspelt words
Several more spelling tips, and a bit more help with spelling. Some of these words are commonly misspelt, some are very similar to others (but different in some important way) which can cause confusion, and some are just … well, odd in one way or another. These spelling tips should clear up confusion in a few places.
Do we need to worry about spelling? Many people would say it doesn’t matter, and as a matter of fact there was a time when it didn’t matter in the slightest. People spelt words any way they felt like. Even Shakespeare spelt his own name differently from one time to another, from the evidence available. It just didn’t matter at that time. Today it’s different.
Since spellings are now standardised (ever since the first dictionary was compiled), it’s as well to take note of any available spelling tips and try to go along with the formal spelling of words. If you don’t, your spellings will look peculiar, and will attract the wrong sort of attention. Trying to be unique and to show creativity in your spelling won’t get you any marks for effort. The simple fact is, it’s either spelt right, or it’s wrong.
Improving spelling with spelling tips
If you take a look through it it’s a pretty fair bet you’ll find at least one or two that you sometimes have trouble with. And with the mnemonics alongside them to help, there’s every chance you might find them a bit less troublesome in the future. In fact, you’ll probably find these spelling tips will improve your spelling noticeably, and struggling to spell correctly will become a thing of the past.
And don’t let’s even get started on things like ‘though’ and ‘through’and ‘throw‘ and ‘thorough’ … or the strange spelling/pronunciation of ‘woman’, ‘women’, ‘one’, ‘two’, ‘eye’, etc. … or the distinction between ‘sewage’ and ‘sewerage’, or why ‘bough’ is pronounced so differently from ‘rough’, or ‘laughter’ so differently from ‘daughter’ … we could (another strange spelling) get way off track if we’re not careful …
It’s true, you could get lost amidst all the complexities of spelling and pronunciation and meaning and start to wonder if you will ever make sense of it all. One page of spelling tips certainly won’t be enough, but at least it’s a start. So let’s get a move on and try to clear up some of the more commonly misspelt words, okay?
supersede – Apparently this is the only word in English ending in -sede, so that alone should make it easy to remember (people often write it as supercede).
stationary, stationery – people often confuse these two words, but there is a way to make them more individual and memorable …
stationary (standing still) ends with ‘ary’ (think of the ‘a’ in stAnd, or pArk)
stationery (papEr and EnvElopEs) has an ‘e’ in the ending, to match all those E’s in the stationery.
dilemma – I remember reading about a teacher who used the simple mnemonic ‘Emma the dilemma’ to help the kids remember how to spell this word. I know a lot of people have trouble with words like this, so a simple mnemonic trick like ‘Emma the dilemma’ can be very useful.
accommodation – This word is big enough to accommodate two double letters! And it’s one of the most commonly misspelt words, judging by ‘To Let’ signs you see here and there. It’s amazing how many people who are trying to let property don’t know how to spell accommodation … or could be bothered to check!
believe – never beLIEve a LIE!
there, their, they’re – a minefield of confusion for many people, and, when they get it wrong, a sure sign that there’s a vocabulary malfunction going on. Here’s how to spell these words correctly, and how to distinguish them from one another …
their – this is a possessive, meaning it indicates that someone has something or owns something – just remember that it starts with ‘the’
there – one meaning of this word refers to place, as in ‘that one, over there!’ – If you have trouble remembering which is which, just remember that this one refers to THEre-and-heRE
they’re – this is a contraction (two words squashing up together) – the apostrophe is there to indicate a missing letter (in this case, ‘a’). It’s a shortened form of ‘they are’
Wanna see a few more misspelled signs? Who wouldn’t! This site is showing what happens when people are careless with the language. Maybe they should check out these spelling tips … nah, probably way too late!
Mediterranean – people sometimes get confused as to whether there are two ‘t’s or two ‘r’s or even two ‘n’s (well, there are two ‘n’s, but I mean two at the end of the word). Just remember that the word originally meant the sea at the middle (medi) of the Earth (terra), since the known world at the time bordered the Mediterranean Sea.
Caribbean – Oh, to be (2b) on a Caribbean cruise – there’s that one sorted!
playwright – the wright in playwright is nothing to do with the fact that a playwright writes. It refers to the work of writing. Wright is a common surname in England, and refers to a person’s occupation (originally with wood). As well as Wright there is Wheelwright, Cartwright, Shipwright, Arkwright, and others.
privilege – note the two ‘i’s, one either side of the ‘v’, all standing together on the ‘lege’.
It’s not just on billboards and road signs that you see spelling mistakes, they’re everywhere! Here’s 20 funny typos for a kick-off!
rhyme – apparently the word is spelt this way purely to match rhythm (and for no other good reason), but it was originally spelt ‘rime’, as in the title of the wonderful poem,The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
Spelling mistakes are harmless? Montgomery County, Philadelphia would disagree. A ‘harmless’ mistake cost them $4,000!
commitment – often misspelt with ‘tt’ in the middle, but there’s just one. Committed though has two.
More spelling tips on the next page >>