Does this guy really have no regrets? We all know it’s important to avoid spelling mistakes in our business and personal lives but sometimes it’s easier said than done. The first step is being alert to the most commonly misspelt words and learning to spell them properly.
Commonly misspelt words
Often misspelled as: apparant, apparrent, aparrent
Confusion over exceptions to the rule “I before E except after C” lead to mishaps like these:
Here’s a hint: the exceptions tend to apply to words where the I and E are pronounced “ay” such as “neighbour” and “weigh”.
. . . But not always! “Weird” is an example of an exception that doesn’t follow this rule.
Misspelled versions: priviledge, privelege
Often misspelt as: seperate, separate
It’s very common for people to replace the second ‘e’ with an ‘a’ and misspell this word as tendancy.
This noun is often spelt the American way as “license”, which if you’re in the UK is considered incorrect – unless you’re using it as a verb.
The same applies to “recognize”, “realize”, “idolize”, “authorize” and “cozy” in so-called US English, which are all spelt with an ‘s’ in what I call English English.
How to get them right
Here are some helpful suggestions to avoid these common spelling mistakes:
- Using mnemonic devices like the “I before E” example
- Sounding out the word to hear distinctions in consonants and vowels
- Paying particular attention to homophones – that is different words that sound the same such as there, their and they’re – and ensuring you’re using the right one.
- Considering your location. For example, “judgement” in the UK is spelt as “judgment” in the US.
If you want to be assured there are no embarrassing spelling mistakes in your marketing communications, ask a colleague to check your work before publishing it or, better still, enlist the help of a professional copywriter!