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.
This post is by Open2Study's blog writer, Peta Brady.
Peta Brady is a freelance copywriter, editor, social media enthusiast, and grammar pest.