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The 100 Most Commonly Misspelled Words in English: How to Avoid Them


Morgan Crockett

Here's a comprehensive list of the 100 most commonly misspelled words in English and tips on how to avoid making these mistakes.

firewire publishing colorful illustration of woman proofreading document at her desk

Spelling mistakes can be embarrassing, especially when they occur in your book. Even authors who consider themselves to be good spellers can make mistakes, particularly when it comes to words that are commonly misspelled. However, with a little practice and attention to detail, you can avoid these mistakes and improve your writing skills. In this article, we'll explore the 100 most commonly misspelled words in English and some tips on how to avoid them.

Commonly Misspelled Words

  1. Accommodate
  2. Acquire
  3. Aggressive
  4. Amateur
  5. Apparent
  6. Argument
  7. Atheist
  8. Believe
  9. Calendar
  10. Cemetery
  11. Changeable
  12. Collectible
  13. Commitment
  14. Conscience
  15. Conscientious
  16. Conscious
  17. Definitely
  18. Dilemma
  19. Disappear
  20. Disappoint
  21. Embarrass
  22. Environment
  23. Existence
  24. Experience
  25. Fiery
  26. Foreign
  27. Foreseeable
  28. Gauge
  29. Grateful
  30. Guarantee
  31. Harass
  32. Height
  33. Humorous
  34. Immediate
  35. Independent
  36. Inoculate
  37. Intelligence
  38. Irresistible
  39. Judgment
  40. Knowledge
  41. Leisure
  42. Liaison
  43. Lightning
  44. Loneliness
  45. Lose
  46. Maintenance
  47. Manageable
  48. Millennium
  49. Miniatures
  50. Mischievous
  51. Misspell
  52. Mortgage
  53. Necessary
  54. Noticeable
  55. Occasion
  56. Occurrence
  57. Parallel
  58. Pastime
  59. Perseverance
  60. Personnel
  61. Pharmaceutical
  62. Playwright
  63. Possession
  64. Potato
  65. Precede
  66. Preferred
  67. Preparation
  68. Privilege
  69. Pronunciation
  70. Psychology
  71. Publicize
  72. Questionnaire
  73. Receive
  74. Recommend
  75. Relevant
  76. Religious
  77. Restaurant
  78. Rhythm
  79. Ridiculous
  80. Schedule
  81. Separate
  82. Similar
  83. Sincerely
  84. Sophomore
  85. Stationary
  86. Statistics
  87. Succeeding
  88. Successful
  89. Supersede
  90. Surprise
  91. Suspicious
  92. Tattoo
  93. Temperature
  94. Tendency
  95. Thorough
  96. Threshold
  97. Tomorrow
  98. Vacuum
  99. Weird
  100. Writing

Why Does Everyone Misspell the Same Words?

1. Lack of familiarity

People may be unfamiliar with certain words and their correct spelling, particularly if they are not words they encounter frequently. If someone has not seen or used a particular word before, they may struggle to spell it correctly.

2. Phonetics

The English language can be phonetically inconsistent, meaning that the spelling of a word does not always match its pronunciation. This can make it difficult to remember the correct spelling of certain words.

3. Carelessness

Some people may not take the time to check their spelling or may be careless in their writing, leading to repeated errors.

4. Confusion with similar words

There are many words in the English language that are spelled similarly but have different meanings, such as "affect" and "effect." If someone is unsure about the correct spelling or meaning of a word, they may make repeated errors.

5. Learning difficulties

People with certain learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, may struggle with spelling and may make repeated errors even with practice and effort.

Just remember that everyone makes spelling mistakes from time to time, and that it's okay to ask for help or use resources like dictionaries and spell check to improve your spelling skills. It's easy to get discouraged as an author when you find errors in your printed book, even after multiple editing rounds and printing. But, most readers will never catch them, and if they do, they'll be understanding. Don't sweat it too much. If you're planning to reprint, plan to fix the errors before then.

Top Tips to Avoid Misspelled Words In Your Writing

Good spelling skills are essential for effective communication. However, spelling mistakes are a common problem that can make your writing appear unprofessional and undermine your credibility. The good news is that there are several tips you can use to avoid spelling errors. We'll explore them below. By following these tips, you can improve your spelling skills and produce polished and professional writing.

Good spelling skills are essential for effective communication.

1. Use spell check

Most word processing software programs, including Microsoft Word and Google Docs, have built-in spell checkers that can identify spelling errors as you type. When a misspelled word is detected, it will be underlined in red or flagged by the software. By using spell check, you can catch most spelling errors and correct them as you go. However, it's important to remember that spell check is not foolproof and may not catch all errors. It's still a good idea to proofread your manuscript before submitting it to the printer.

2. Proofread your work

Proofreading is the process of reviewing your work to check for errors and make sure it makes sense. To proofread effectively, you should take a break from your writing and come back to it with fresh eyes. Reading your work out loud can also help you identify errors and awkward phrasing. When proofreading, pay close attention to commonly misspelled words and words that you know you have had trouble with in the past.

3. Memorize common spelling rules

There are many rules and patterns in the English language that can help you spell words correctly. For example, "i before e, except after c" is a well-known spelling rule that can help you avoid misspelling words like "believe" and "receive." Other rules include the use of silent letters, suffixes and prefixes, and word endings. By memorizing common spelling rules, you can improve your spelling skills and reduce the number of errors you make.

4. Use a proofreader

As you finalize your manuscript, you may want to consider hiring a professional proofreader to review your work. A proofreader can provide a fresh perspective and catch errors that you may have missed. They can also provide feedback on the overall clarity and effectiveness of your writing. While using a proofreader may add to your overall project budget, it can be a worthwhile investment in ensuring that your writing is of the highest quality. If you can't afford a professional proofreader, consider asking a friend or family member with strong writing skills to review your work instead.

To Wrap Up

Spelling errors can detract from the quality of your writing and can make you appear careless or unprofessional. However, with practice and attention to detail, you can avoid making common spelling mistakes. By reviewing the list of the 100 most commonly misspelled words in English and following the tips provided, you can improve your spelling skills and produce more polished and professional writing. If you need help with proofreading or editing, reach out and our team of professionals would be happy to assist you.

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