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Spelling Matters: 10 Common Misspellings to Avoid

Created on Thu, 09/11/2017 - 11:54 by Peta Brady, Open2Study blog writer 

English is a complicated language, thanks to its many irregularities, conflicting rules and weird exceptions. Spelling mistakes are easy to make, but we all make them, and that’s how we learn!


With this in mind, I thought I’d share 10 of the most common spelling errors.


1. Lose / Loose

These must be two of the most frequently confused words out there. To lose something indicates loss. Add an extra ‘o’ and you’ve got yourself a loose tooth – it’s the opposite of tight.


2. Calendar not Calander

This one I suggest saying out loud before writing it down. Give it a try: “I keep appointments in my CAL‐EN‐DAR.” For some reason it always seems to stick.


3. Commitment not Comittment or Committment

Confession: this almost always trips me up. And I can’t even think of a clever trick to help me remember. Thankfully it’s a word spell check picks up!


4. Definitely not Definately

There is no A in definitely, and remembering this is definitely worth your time.


5. A lot not Alot

Alot is not a word. Try thinking, ‘there’s a lot of space in outer space’, to remember to add a space.


6. Broccoli not Brocolli

Embarrassingly, I made this mistake for a long time! Thankfully no one was proofreading my shopping list… Apparently broccoli contains both vitamin C and calcium – which is helpful in remembering the double C.


7. Weird not Wierd

So much for the ‘I before E except after C’ rule! Just one of the many exceptions out there. How to remember? Well, don’t you think it’s weird that wierd doesn’t follow the standard rule?


8. Stationery / Stationary

I think we’ve all made this mistake. Stationery contains an E for envelope. Stationary, meaning not moving, does not.


9. Separate not Seperate


But they both look correct. Argh! This one I remember from primary school, although the trick doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when I really think about it. But we’ll run with it: there’s a ‘rat’ in separate.


10. Dessert / Desert

Thought I’d end on something sweet… Get it? Dessert (that you eat) requires two s’s, and is twice as nice as the dry old desert.

Peta BradyThis post is by Open2Study's blog writer, Peta Brady.

Peta Brady is a freelance copywriter, editor, social media enthusiast, and grammar pest. 

Contact Peta at www.theword.bird.com.au or on Instagram @thewordbird_.


I remember separate by thinking taking a part from something PAR in the middle. Thanks for those I think I always write stationary no matter the meaning. Oh well now I know.

Highly informative......
There are numerous words which spell wrong but are right .
Let us have more such words from you Peta.

I'm sure I've made all these mistakes and many more. When spell check finds an error I try various changes until I get it right.

i love taking this short course on human resource because will enhance my career in the current filed that i am doing .

I always say stationery for letters and stationary for cars. I seem to have the most trouble with effect and affect. I never can tell which is the correct one to use.

and then there’s the English v American way of spelling trip up! Try completing the NY times crossword puzzle when your english IS english ha ha

Hello Peta,

This article was refreshing, I was smiling the whole time. Thanks for this piece!

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We often tend to expect somebody to focus on the content but on the the quality of expression. Its a fact that what is understood from what is read is more likely to have an outcome on what we expressed. These simple remarks above make an eaverage writing , the best thing that can be expected as a response,Thank you for all the tips

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