From Word Genius
Is there a pesky word haunting you with its tricky spelling? You know, that one you constantly stumble over whenever you’re typing a text, writing a report, or crafting an email? You’re not alone. Whether it’s because of double consonants, silent letters, or just breaking common language patterns, there’s a whole mass of words that tend to trip us up. Thanks to the patron saints of digital communications – spellcheck and autocorrect – for helping us avoid looking like total ignoramuses! Here’s a refresher on ten commonly misspelled words you might need to double check.
“Separate” and “separately” just feel like they’re wrong, even when they’re right, likely because of those repeating vowels. In the same vein, many people have trouble with desperate, which, while sounding very similar to separate, actually flips the script on separate’s “e-a-a-e” vowel pattern to “e-e-a-e.”
Are you embarrassed by your spelling mistakes? One of the most cringeworthy experiences also happens to be one of the most painful to spell, too. Just remember that embarrassment is usually not a singular experience. There are two “r’s” and two “s’s” in embarrass. Double the letters and double the pain.
Beware the silent letter. That extra “i” is just waiting to be forgotten, or if you do happen to remember it, chances are you try to insert it after the “s” and not before it.
We pronounce this word as “GEH-ruhn-tee,” so it’s no wonder our brains want to kick off the spelling with “gar” or “gare” instead of the correct “guar.” We’re just saying – if “guacamole” has a “guah” sound at the start, why don’t we say this as “GUAH-ruhn-tee” to make it easier to spell?
Everyone wants to drop an “a” somewhere in this common word. But that is definitely not how it’s spelled. Do that and you might end up with “defiantly,” definitely a different word.
Words with unusual vowel patterns tend to break our brains, and vacuum stands almost alone. There are a handful of words that contain a double “u” (not a “w”) – like continuum – but vacuum is probably the one we mix up the most. If you’ve ever been stumped by which letter repeats – the “c”? the “u”? the “m”? – rest assured, you’re not alone.
Double consonants can also be tough to remember, even more so when a word contains not one, but two sets. Leaving out one “c” or “m” is just one of the battles people face with this convoluted word: adding an “a” instead of the second “o” is yet another common gaffe.
As a mirror to “accommodate,” “recommend” stands out because it’s missing that double consonant that seems like it could fit so well. Plus, some people shorten the word to “recco” when sharing their faves, further confusing the issue.
This quirky word pops up because it’s Italian in origin and doesn’t follow the typical rules of the English language. The double “c” and rhythmic “i-n-i” make this veggie a tough one to crack. (If you just can’t remember this one, follow the Brits and call it a “courgette.”)
You know the old grammar rhyme: “i before e except after c.” Well, “receive” follows that supposed rule, but still trips up many writers — who accidentally swap that “i” and “e” without a care.
Honorable mentions for easily misspelled words: Rhythm, silhouette, maintenance, tongue, independent.
What did we miss?
What pesky words do you stumble over when writing? Please put them in the comment!