Swoopin’ in a little late with this Writing Wednesday, but I had to stop for some ashes after work.
Had today been a Thursday or Saturday or Monday or any day but Wednesday, you’d get a full rundown on my feelings towards Lent.
But today is none of those days. Today is Wednesday, so we’re talkin’ words! (And seeing as my bedtime is roughly 20 minutes from now, this one’s gonna be pretty light.)
Let’s go to town on common misspellings.
I’ll run through what I consider the ugliest and provide a quick take on why each one is the way it is. And wouldn’t you know it—one has already worked its way into this article.
Misspelling: The next time you type this bad boy and reach the double-L, make sure you have the double-S as well! (Because misspelling misspell would be doubly embarrassing.)
SPEAKING OF embarrassing: Another instance where you double up on two consonants. I had this wrong for years, always skipping an R. For a quick reminder, consider what you say when something embarrassing happens, “Arrrre you kidding me?”
Harass is a different story: You only need one R here. Like, you should only have to ask “Are you going to stop?” once for a guy to stop harassing you.
Referred: To remember the double-R, think about the sound this one makes—like a purr.
Reference: Sorry, the double-R doesn’t translate here. BUT, it does make a totally different sound. Just think back to the days of term papers. One reference was more than enough.
Memento: This one is a total brat, because a memento is supposed to remind you of a moment! Honestly, my tip to remembering is it’s the only other logical vowel.
Separate: Separate the Es with As. Boom, done.
Definitely: Easily the most common mess-up in all adult writing. It comes from finite! We all know that’s not spelled fenite, right? Or finate. Also, it’s totally pronounced like a fish fin + it! Spell it how it sounds.
Rhythm and rhyme: Honestly, I don’t have a tip for these. They just remind me of a really great movie.
I’m kidding. Just remember H comes before Y alphabetically. Follow that order!
Restaurant: ‘Ey! You! Wanna hit up that restaurant after work? (Please, please, please get this pun.)*
Occasionally: I would like to C you more than once, but a second S would just be overkill.
Pastime is similar to misspelling but also the complete opposite: Adding the extra T would take longer, and you’d miss your favorite pastime!
I’m lumping changeable and noticeable together: You always keep the E on the root word for a soft consonant—a G like giraffe or an S sound for the C, rather than K like in applicable.
Receive, receipt and believe: You know this! “I before E except after C and when making the A sound like neighbor.”
Weird: Because following the rule above would be too normal.
Amateur: There’s nothing mature about an amateur.
Wrapping things up with a word I hate to spell but love to write, entrepreneur: It’s a very E-centric word, so naturally that last E will butt in before U.
Was this helpful? Did I miss an obvious one? Please let me know. As much as I enjoy doing this kind of thing, it’s a total waste if others can’t benefit.
Well, maybe not a total waste. I did make some pretty great puns…
Title Credit: Aaliyah
*’Ey! You! = A U. Like I said, it’s past my bedtime.