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Most Misspelled Words
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The Top 20 Misspelled Words in EnglishThe first word we need to address is "misspelled." In British English, "misspelt" is an acceptable alternative.
Our "Top 20" list is ordered by the number of times the misspellings were Googled in one month. (Where there are two common misspellings, an average was used.)
Why Is Spelling So Hard in English?Here are the five most common causes of spelling mistakes.
(1) Inconsistency with VowelsIn English, the sounds of the vowels are inconsistent, and this is a main cause of spelling mistakes. Here are some examples that highlight the inconsistency of vowel sounds:
(2) Lack of Clarity with VowelsIn many English words, it is unclear which vowel features in one or more of the syllables. Often, the vowel sounds like a short "uh" sound, leaving the writer guessing which vowel made that sound. (This short "uh" sound is called a schwa. It is represented by this symbol ə, i.e., an upside down "e".)
In these examples, the bold vowels sound like schwas:
|vowel||vowel as a schwa|
(3) Spelling Inconsistency with ConsonantsAs a rule, the sounds of the consonants are more consistent, but not always. For example:
(4) Typing ErrorsTyping errors are another common cause of misspelling. Typically, with typing errors, the letters are transposed (e.g., "teh" instead of "the" or "becuase" instead of "because").
(5) Homophones and Near HomophonesHomophones are words that sound the same but have different meanings. For example:
- John has strong principals, and he refuses to perform this task. (The context tells us that "principals" is the wrong homophone. It should be "principles." However, your spellchecker and your grammar checker might not spot this mistake because "principals" is spelled correctly, and "strong principals" (i.e. strong head teachers) is a grammatically sound piece of English.)
How To Fix Spelling MistakesHere are two useful techniques to improve your spelling:
(1) Tell Yourself a Story
|rhythm||r + helps your two hips move|
|separate||There's "a rat" in separate|
|accommodation||There is enough accommodation for 2 Cs, 2 Ms, and 3 Os.|
(2) Break the Word DownTo help with spelling, break the word down into prefixes, root words, and suffixes.
|Prefix||Root Word||Suffix||Correct Spelling|
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