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Words frequently misspelled-CSEET

Words frequently misspelled-CSEET

According to the Oxford Dictionary, spelling is hard and misspellings are not only common, but also awkward in professional contexts.

When you receive an email or document with spelling errors, it is difficult to trust the person sending it. Correct spelling used in written communication shows the attention as well as level of education of the person sending it.

There are a lot of tricky spelling rules in the English language. Following is a list of some of the most commonly misspelled words.

Some examples:

Correct wordCommonly misspelt as
absenceabcense, absance
accommodateaccomodate
achieveacheive
calendarcalender
liaisonliason
receiptreciept
tomorrowtommorow, tomorow

Spellings and Pronounciation

English is an infamously difficult language to spell and pronounce. Students are often bewildered by the seemingly anarchic sound/spelling system of English. There often seem to be more exceptions than the rules, and the mastery of accurate spelling and pronunciation appears a daunting and demotivating task.

Though there is a relationship between a sound and the way it is expressed in writing, the same sound is often conveyed through different spellings.

For example

The sound in the middle of words ‘steep’ and ‘breach’ is the same and phonetically shown as [i] in the dictionary.

The letter ‘a’ may be pronounced in several different ways. In words like brag, flap, grab, have, etc, the sound is phonetically shown as [ae], in barge, false, half, ask, etc. as [a:], in words may, tray, stay, way, etc. as [ei], and in call, flaw, raw, talk, etc. as [o:].

Good dictionaries also have a phonetic chart, which helps to learn the correct pronunciation of different words.

Specialized dictionaries of pronunciation are also available for consultation.

Spelling Errors

Adequate care should be taken to spell words correctly in all communications so that you are able to communicate effectively and impressively.

Spelling errors are common when :

(i)    certain alphabets/letters are repeated in a word. For example, tomorrow, occasion, beginning, profession, etc.

(ii)   one has to sometimes choose between ‘ei’ and ‘ie’. For example, receive and believe. It is interesting to note that we always use ‘ei’ after ‘c’ (conceive, deceive, perceive, etc.) and ‘ie’ in the rest (achieve, chief, convenience, etc.)

(iii)   ‘e’ can be either dropped or retained when changing the root word. For example, true changes into truly but sincere changes into sincerely.

(iv)  an extra letter at times alters the meaning of the word. For example, lose and loose.

(v)   when noun and verb forms of the same word have different spellings. For example, advice/ advise or practice/practise.

(vi)  words have the same pronunciation but different spellings. For example, whether/weather, brake/break, there/their.

(vii) when a choice has to be made between ise(merchandise, enterprise, franchise, etc.) and ‘ize’ (size, prize, etc.). Some words are spelt differently by the Britishers and Americans, the latter prefer ‘z’ over ‘s’,

e.g. criticise/criticize, realise/realize, recognise/recognize, etc. Though both the spellings are acceptable, one should stick to either ‘s’ or ‘z’ for the sake of consistency.

(viii) when a word similarly spelt has two variants with different meanings in past and past participle forms. For example:

Lie-lied-lied

Lie-lay-laid.

Stress and Rhythm

A syllable is the minimum rhythmic sound of a spoken language. A word may have one or more syllables. For example, there is only one syllable in fame, name, claim, train, etc., two in address, confess, redress, transgress, and three in credentials, sacrifice, tarpaulin, etc., four in retribution, satisfaction, transatlantic and even five in words like conglomeration.

Good to know!!!

Dictionaries generally show the main stress marks by putting the symbol /’/ above and before the stressed syllable e.g. re’port. It is also important to know that the same word when used as a noun, is stressed differently e.g. ‘re port. Only one syllable in a word carries the main stress; other syllables are unstressed.

In order to achieve good and clear speech, we must learn to recognize the stressed syllable in a word.

Because many words can be extended with prefixes (such as “un-” or “anti-” or “re-“) or suffixes (such as “-ly” or “-ing” or “-ness”), a comprehensive list of words prone to misspelling would contain thousands of variations from combining prefixes or suffixes (or both) added to the root words. To limit the scope to common words, the top 350 words are considered (according to various sources).

The following list, of about 350 words, is based on documented lists of the top 100, 200, or 400 most commonly misspelled words in all variants of the English language, rather than listing every conceivable misspelled word. Each word is followed by examples of misspellings:

A–B

  • absence – abcense, absance
  • acceptable – acceptible
  • accidentally/accidently – accidentaly
  • accommodate – accomodate, acommodate
  • achieve – acheive
  • acknowledge – acknowlege, aknowledge
  • acquaintance – acquaintence, aquaintance
  • acquire – aquire, adquire
  • acquit – aquit
  • acreage – acrage, acerage
  • address – adress
  • adultery – adultary
  • advisable – adviseable, advizable
  • affect – effect aggression – agression
  • aggressive – agressive
  • allegiance – allegaince, allegience, alegiance
  • almost – allmost
  • a lot – alot (must be two words), allot
  • amateur – amatuer, amature
  • annually – anually, annualy
  • apparent – apparant, aparent
  • arctic – artic
  • argument – arguement
  • atheist – athiest, athist
  • awful – awfull, aweful
  • because – becuase
  • beautiful – beatuful
  • becoming – becomeing
  • beginning – begining
  • believe – beleive
  • bellwether – bellweather
  • buoy/buoyant – bouy/bouyant
  • business – buisness

C–D

  • calendar – calender
  • camouflage – camoflage, camoflague
  • capitol – capital(both words exist, but are distinct)
  • Caribbean – Carribean
  • category – catagory
  • caught – cauhgt, caugt
  • cemetery – cemetary, cematery
  • changeable – changable
  • chief – chei
  • colleague – collaegue, collegue
  • column – colum
  • coming – comming
  • committed – commited, comitted
  • comparison – comparsion
  • concede – conceed
  • congratulate – congradulate
  • conscientious – consciencious
  • conscious – concious, consious
  • consensus – concensus
  • controversy – contraversy
  • coolly – cooly
  • daiquiri – dacquiri, daquiri
  • deceive – decieve
  • definite – definate, definit
  • definitely – definitly, definately defiantly
  • desperate – desparate
  • difference – diffrence
  • dilemma – dilema
  • disappoint – dissapoint
  • disastrous – disasterous
  • drunkenness – drunkeness
  • dumbbell – dumbell

E–H

  • embarrass – embarass
  • equipment – equiptment (wrong in numerous webpages)
  • exceed – excede
  • exhilarate – exilerate
  • existence – existance
  • experience – experiance
  • extreme – extreem
  • fascinating – facinating
  • fiery – firey
  • fluorescent – flourescent
  • foreign – foriegn
  • friend – freind
  • fulfil – fullfil (American: fulfill)
  • gauge – guage
  • grateful – gratefull, greatful
  • guarantee – garantee, garentee, garanty
  • guidance – guidence
  • harass – harrass
  • height – heighth, heigth
  • hierarchy – heirarchy
  • hors d’oeuvres – hors derves, ordeurves
  • humorous – humerous
  • hygiene – hygene, hygine, hiygeine, higeine, hygeine
  • hypocrisy/hypocrite – hipocrit

I–K

  • ignorance – ignorence
  • imitate – immitate
  • immediately – imediately
  • indict – indite
  • independent – independant
  • indispensable – indispensible
  • inoculate – innoculate
  • intelligence – inteligence, intelligance
  • jewelry (UK: jewellery) – jewelery
  • judgment – judgement (issue in the U.S.)
  • kernel – kernal, distinct from homophone “colonel”

L–O

  • leisure – liesure
  • liaison – liason
  • library – libary, liberry
  • license – lisence(US always license, UK noun licence)
  • lightning – lightening
  • lose – loose
  • maintenance – maintainance, maintnance
  • medieval – medeval, medevil, mideval
  • memento – momento
  • millennium – millenium, milennium
  • miniature – miniture
  • minuscule – miniscule
  • mischievous – mischievious, mischevous, mischevious (The spelling “mischievious” and the corresponding pronunciation are still considered non-standard despite being current and existing since at least the 16th century.)
  • misspell – mispell, misspel
  • necessary – neccessary, necessery
  • niece – neice
  • neighbor – nieghbor
  • noticeable – noticable
  • occasion – occassion
  • occasionally – occasionaly, occassionally
  • occurrence – occurrance, occurence
  • occurred – occured
  • omission – ommision, omision
  • original – orignal
  • outrageous – outragous

P–Q

  • parliament – parliment
  • pastime – passtime, pasttime
  • perceive – percieve
  • perseverance – perseverence
  • personnel – personell, personel
  • plagiarize – plagerize
  • playwright – playright, playwrite
  • possession – posession, possesion
  • potatoes – potatos
  • precede – preceed
  • presence – presance
  • principle – principal
  • privilege – privelege, priviledge
  • professor – professer
  • promise – promiss
  • pronunciation – pronounciation
  • proof – prufe
  • prophecy (as noun) – prophesy (valid as verb)
  • publicly – publically
  • quarantine – quarentine
  • queue – que (from Bar-B-Que)
  • questionnaire – questionaire, questionnair

R–S

  • readable – readible
  • really – realy
  • receive – recieve
  • receipt – reciept
  • recommend – recomend, reccommend
  • referred – refered
  • reference – referance, refrence
  • relevant – relevent, revelant
  • religious – religous, religius
  • repetition – repitition
  • restaurant – restarant, restarauntrhyme – rime
  • rhythm – rythm, rythem
  • secretary – secratary, secretery
  • seize – sieze
  • separate – seperate
  • sergeant – sargentimilar – similer
  • skilful – skilfull (American: skillful)
  • speech – speach, speeche (archaic)
  • successful – succesful, successfull, sucessful
  • supersede – supercede
  • surprise – suprise, surprize

T–Z

  • than – then
  • their – there, they’re
  • tomatoes – tomatos
  • tomorrow – tommorow, tommorrow
  • twelfth – twelth
  • tyranny – tyrany
  • underrate – underate
  • until – untill
  • upholstery – upholstry
  • vacuum – vaccuum, vaccum, vacume
  • vehicle – vehical
  • vicious – visious
  • weather – wether, whether
  • weird – wierd
  • welfare – wellfare, welfair
  • whether – wether
  • wilful – wilfull (American: willful)
  • withhold – withold
  • writing – writting, writeing

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