spell checker

26 10, 2015

Editing? 24 Commonly Misspelled Words to Check

By |2015-10-08T14:40:04-05:00October 26th, 2015|Make Me Think Monday|1 Comment

Last week, I discussed how using a wrong word could make readers cringe. Read that post here. Today we’re looking at the problem of misspelled words.

misspelled2Word processors, phones, and pads/tablets have spell checker apps and most word processors offer an auto correct feature to assist in editing. Still, misspellings slip into our writing and Social Media posts. When that happens our readers can think we aren’t trying to write well or do sloppy editing.

Truth is, most of us struggle with all the confusing words in the English language that are exceptions to spelling rules. Spelling bee champions seemed to be the only ones who can whiz through words most of us couldn’t even look up in the dictionary.

Check out this sentence and see how many words you can find misspelled. (HINT: There are a lot.) Ignore the fact the sentence does not make sense. We’re looking for spelling/misuse errors.

You’re acknowlegment of my atempt to accomodate enough wierd camoflage equiptment just shows a concensus would only inadvertantly embarass any seperate liason by the comittee in trying to guage an miniscule withdrawl.

Did you find fourteen spelling mistakes? What about the grammatical errors? There are some tricky English words whose spelling you just have to learn.

Here’s a list of twenty-four most commonly misspelled words that make me crazy. Should you want to see longer lists of the most commonly misspelled words in English, check here or here.

  1. accommodate                                                             13. consensus
  2. acknowledgement                                                      14. argument
  3. commitment                                                                15. deductible
  4. dependent                                                                    16. embarrass
  5. harass                                                                           17. liaison
  6. separate                                                                       18. withdrawal
  7. equipment                                                                   19. gauge
  8. lightning                                                                       20. minuscule
  9. achieve                                                                         21. committee
  10. definitely                                                                     22. surprise
  11. weird                                                                           23. camouflage
  12. existence                                                                    24. privilege

Most spell checkers should catch these for you. Maybe not.

Consider the possessive adjective Its vs the contraction it’s.  Too often my spell checker in Word advises me to write “it’s” when the context calls for its.

You shouldn’t rely on your grammar/spell checkers. I highly recommend mastering correct spellings of troublesome words yourself just to be sure.

6 08, 2012

Spellcheckers and Pullet Surprise Work

By |2012-08-06T10:55:09-05:00August 6th, 2012|Uncategorized|7 Comments

I ran across this poetic reminder not to rely on your spellchecker and had to share. The poem’s 225 words are faulty, although all are correctly spelled. The work is more than an exercise in homophonous humor. It’s a wonderful example of a computer spell checkers’ Cupertino Effect.

“Candidate for a Pullet Surprise” was composed in 1992 by Dr. Jerrold H. Zar, professor emeritus of biology and retired dean of the graduate school at Northern Illinois University.

If you read aloud, you get the full impact.


I have a spelling checker,
It came with my PC.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss steaks aye can knot sea.

Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your sure reel glad two no.
Its vary polished in it’s weigh.
My checker tolled me sew.

A checker is a bless sing,
It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me right awl stiles two reed,
And aides me when eye rime.

Each frays come posed up on my screen
Eye trussed too bee a joule.
The checker pours o’er every word
To cheque sum spelling rule.

Bee fore a veiling checker’s
Hour spelling mite decline,
And if we’re lacks oar have a laps,
We wood bee maid too wine.

Butt now bee cause my spelling
Is checked with such grate flare,
Their are know fault’s with in my cite,
Of nun eye am a wear.

Now spelling does knot phase me,
It does knot bring a tier.
My pay purrs awl due glad den
With wrapped word’s fare as hear.

To rite with care is quite a feet
Of witch won should bee proud,
And wee mussed dew the best wee can,
Sew flaw’s are knot aloud.

Sow ewe can sea why aye dew prays
Such soft wear four pea seas,
And why eye brake in two averse
Buy righting want too pleas.

In March 2007, Mark Eckman provided additional information about his role in creating the spell-checker poem. Read his account here.

“Candidate for a Pullet Surprise” endures as a cautionary tale for all of us who place too much trust in our computer’s spell checker. How about you? Any “horror” tales with your spell checker?

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