Misspelled Words: Get Them Right or Pay the Price

by | Feb 19, 2016 | GrammarSpot, Writing Tips | 0 comments

They had nothing too loose. Wait, what? They had nothing to lose, or all their stuff was tight? Spelling is everything. When you use misspelled words in your writing, you risk looking foolish and can completely confuse your audience. That’s why spellcheck and autocorrect exist.

Just in case you don’t have those tools available or you want to be on top of your game at all times, here are some commonly misspelled words you should avoid like the plaque plague.

Misspell

Ironic, isn’t it? There is a lot going on with misspell, undoubtedly. You’ve got a few multiple letters in there. Just think of it this way: You need the word “spell,” and you need the prefix “mis-.” Put them together, and you’ve done it correctly.

Recommend and Accommodate

I’m lumping these together because they both have that confusing “C” and “M” situation. Here are my tricks for remembering the correct way to spell them:

I see that you recommend one “C” with this word.

We need two “C’s” and two “M’s” to accommodate this word.

Definitely

Raise your hand if you have ever seen someone write on Facebook, “I am defiantly not cheering for that team,” or “I definately don’t like broccoli.”

There is no “A” in definitely. Let’s say it again: There is no “A” in definitely!

Cemetery

Another word with no “A” in it, poor cemetery often gets the shaft. Just remember that it’s all E’s. No one in the cemetery is a-live, so keep those A’s away from that word in your content writing.

A lot

I like correcting misspelled words a lot – two words, not one. Remember Jim Carrey in “Dumb and Dumber”? “I like it a lot.” There are two guys in “Dumb and Dumber” and two words in a lot.

Weird

That “I before E” rule does not apply with weird, though some people keep trying to make it happen. Stop! It’s weird to spell that word “wierd.” Don’t be weird.

Conscious and Conscience

These may fall into more of a “commonly confused words” category, but I think they merit inclusion on this list. I always have to pause and think about this one. Conscience refers to that little voice in your head telling you what to do, and conscious means you are aware of your surroundings. The only trick I can offer is this: A lot of adjectives end in “-ous,” which is how I remember that “conscious” would describe my state of being.

Embarrass and Success

I apply the Danny Tanner rule to this one. Who is Danny Tanner, you ask? Why, he’s the awesome father from the amazing ’80s and ’90s sitcom “Full House” who taught us to “double the C, double the S, and you’ll have success.” I use that trick for embarrass, too: Double the R, double the S, or else you’ll be embarrassed.

What Else?

These are just a few of the primary offenders I see often – or that I have to catch myself from writing. What other words do you see commonly misspelled? Let us know in the comments below!

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