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13 frightfully common spelling errors

Today is Friday the 13th, a day connected with horror, fear and misfortune, and nothing sends a shiver down a writer or grammarian’s spine like bad spelling.

Tools like autocorrect have made the gift of learning how to spell less valuable, and spelling errors harder to make, but they remain common in online forums, chat functions and handwritten notes.

Here are 13 words people struggle to spell – all with a vaguely ghoulish, beastly or unsettling theme!

1. Aggression

Keep calm and remember the double ‘g’ here. It’s not unusual to see people mistakenly spell it with just one.

2. Bizarre

A word of French and Italian origin, its spelling is a little bizarre itself. One ‘z’ and two ‘r’s are what to remember with this one.

3. Cemetery

Don’t leave departed writers turning in their graves! Avoid the temptation to put an ‘a’ in this word.

4. Macabre

Sometimes spelled with an -er ending in U.S. English, stick to the French origin -re ending over here.

5. Neanderthal

Often used to describe someone lacking in intelligence or manners, remember to give this one a capital ‘N’, as it refers to a species of homo sapiens. Don’t forget the ‘h’ as well.

6. Peace

Avoid embarrassing yourself by writing the words ‘rest in piece’ this October, unless you’re describing sleeping in small segments.

7. Possessed

The word ‘possesses’ possesses five ‘s’s. That rhyme sounds better read out loud than it does written down.

8. Rogue

Some might consider it roguish behaviour to put the ‘u’ before the ‘g’ in this word. A spellcheck might not pick it up either, since ‘rouge’ is French for ‘red’ and commonly used in English.

9. Siege

The old ‘i before e’ rule will serve you well if you find yourself under siege on this most unfortunate of dates.

10. Tongue

Like with rogue, don’t make a slip of the ‘tounge’ here.

11. Unfamiliar

Spelling this one might not come naturally to you, but don’t forget it ends -iar, not -ar.

12. Weird

The ‘i before e’ rule won’t help you here, which is weird in itself.

13. Witch

Don’t make the spooky mistake of confusing it with ‘which’. Learn which ‘which’ – and which ‘witch’ – is which.

If you’d like to boost your spelling, grammar and all-round writing skills, there’s never a bad date to try one of our courses, like our Business Blogging for Beginners diploma course.

Categories: Words and Language


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