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Posts Tagged: 'common+misspellings'

Common Misspellings & Mix-Ups

If it's wrong, why does spellcheck say it's right? A preface:
Otherwise known as: Why spellcheck, predictive text, and autocorrect are making us worse at spelling.

Spellcheck (and predictive text on mobile), on most platforms, can only be so intuitive; which is to say, you are only being checked for spelling most of the time and not context. Applications like Google Docs on Drive will probably catch your contextual errors, but if you type, "Your not spelling that right." on Discord, you won't see an angry red line, because "your" is a correctly spelled word. It just isn't the right word.

When your phone suggests "who's" when you want to ask, "Do you know whose Twitter that post was on?" it's because the word exists, but the system doesn't understand that it's the wrong context for the word. Additionally, with predictive text, it's also taking into account which spelling of the word you use more often and placing it higher on the list of suggestions.
Common Word Mix-Ups
This word
is often misused as
Learning the difference!
accept except
Please accept this humble list of spelling tips! This word means that you're willing to receive something, be it a physical object, or maybe just some advice from an internet weirdo—except when the advice is bad.

affect effect
Is this list going to affect your spelling habits? Maybe! This can be one of the most confusing mix-ups. You can affect something, but you'd have an effect on something. Affect is the impact something makes, like how someone's words affect you. This can also mean to take something on, like affecting an accent.

allot a lot, alot
I've allotted a lot of this list to mixed up words, which you'll see as you go down the list! To allot something is to set it aside. You've allotted a certain amount of time for exercise, or you want to allot five shelves of your bookshelf for graphic novels. Alot, I'm sorry to say, is not a word.

a lot allot, alot
A lot of words are misused or misspelled all across the internet! When there's a lot of something, there's many or a high volume.

bellow below
Coming Soon

below bellow
Coming Soon

brake break
Coming Soon

break brake
Coming Soon

effect affect
Perhaps this list is going to have an effect on how you think about grammar. The effect something has on something is the change it has caused. It's the end result or consequence, not how something is affecting you. This word can mean multiple different other things too, further clouding its use. There are personal effects that belong to you, and special effects in movies!

except accept
We've all heard "I before E, except after C," but did you know there are many exceptions? When you're excepting something, you're excluding it, not taking a gift.

it's its
It's not unheard of to forget what contractions are! A contraction joins two words together to create a shortened version of that word. So it's going to be informative to read this handy guide, because it is going to be useful information.

its it's
A possessive word, its usefulness is invaluable. If "it is" doesn't fit, then it's always "its" you're looking for!

loose lose
Let your inner grammar nerd loose! Or maybe you should check to see if your shoelace came loose? Loose is the opposite of tight in some instances, and in others you can be assured that it means you're relaxing the standard for something.

lose loose
Did you lose your place on this list? Sorry, it's getting pretty long! When you lose something, you can't find it. When someone loses, they have not won.

passed past
Did this list get passed along to you by someone else? Were you at the store the other day and couldn't pass another car? If so, once you were finally able to, you passed that car. "Passed" is direction-based; forward, to be exact! This means it's an action. Verb: It's what you do.

past passed
Don't scroll past this one! "Past" is something that is already done, so if something already happened, it's a past event. Where the confusion comes in: You can go past something, and you drove past that building, going to the further side of it, but you didn't past by that door. Being used this way, it's an adverb and it needs a verb to qualify it.

than then
Is this list more than we actually need? That's going to be subjective. "Than" is used to introduce a second element or an exception, not to indicate a time. You'd rather use the right word than have to edit it later, after all!

their there, they're
This possessive word means that something belongs to someone or multiple people. Whose phone is that? It's theirs!

then than
If you don't know the difference between "then" and "than", then you aren't alone. If you want to express a point in time, or state your case, then "then" is for you. "We went to the movies, then to dinner." Let's avoid some awkward situations where you'd rather donate to a charity, then commit arson. That would just be listing the order you'd like to do this odd combination of events rather than explaining you'd rather do one and not the other.

there their, they're
There's a place for this word, and that's because this adverb is location-based. If someone found the phone you lost in the couch, it was under there!

they're their, there
Not telling you who the phone belongs to or helping you find it when it gets lost, "they're" is a contraction for "they are", and can be applied to people or objects. They're going to help you find your phone, by the way!

to too
To be, or not to be, that is the question. If you're using "to" as an indication that one thing is more than another thing, or in addition to that thing, you're using this spelling wrong. If you're going to a place, or something is supposed to be done, or maybe you just need to indicate to her, then this is the "to" you're looking for.

too to
This is too often confused with "to", and I see it a lot! "Too" is what you mean when you want to express that it's additional or to a higher degree. "The amount of times I see 'too' misused is too damn high!"

wander wonder
Coming Soon

wary weary
Coming Soon

weary wary
Coming Soon

whose who's
Whose bag is this? Did someone drop this? "Whose" is a possessive word, so if you're trying to figure out who something belongs to, you want to know whose it is.

who's whose
Who's guilty of making this spelling mistake? Just remember your contractions and you'll be just fine! "Who's" is short for "who is", so this is what you mean when you ask, "Who's going to the store?"

wonder wander
Coming Soon

worse worst
Coming Soon

worst worse
Coming Soon

yea yeah
Hell yea! Or... maybe not. "Yea" is often used in place of "yeah" since they're both affirmatives meaning "yes", but this word actually rhymes with "yay" and is the opposite of "nay". This is also the word you want when you're describing the extent of something, so maybe he was about yea big.

yeah yea
Yeah, man! Now we're talking. This is the informal slang for "yes".

your you're
Your misuse of this word isn't uncommon, don't worry. "Your" is a possessive, which means that if this bag is yours, it belongs to you, whereas "Is this you're bag?" is actually saying, "Is this you are bag?"

you're your
You're also not alone in using this word wrong. Always keep contractions in mind—or more specifically, what they do. "You're" is a contraction of "you are", and if you're ever not sure if you're using the right one, as shown above, repeat it without the contraction to see if it still makes sense. This item does not belong to you are, but it could be yours!
Common Word Misspellings
This word
is often misspelled as
Learning the difference!
argument arguement
Coming Soon

relevant relevent, relavent
Not knowing quite where to put the A—or if there even is an A—is a common problem. For reference: there is an A, and it always comes last!

whoa woah, whoah, woe
Whoa—hold on there, buddy! You may have been spelling this word wrong. "Woah" and "whoah" are the most common misspellings of this word, and "woe" is sometimes mistaken for "whoa"; this is a real word that actually means great sorrow or distress.

y'all ya'll
Y'all know this is more of an informal contraction, but it does have a correct place for its apostrophe! "Y'all" is short for "you all", and it's common in the south of the US. Since "all" is the full word being used, the contraction is at the start of the word rather than the end, which is probably where the confusion comes in. "Ya'll" is assuming the full phrase is "ya all".
Common Idiom & Phrase Mix-Ups
This phrase
is often missaid as
Learning the difference!
by accident on accident
Maybe this doesn't quite fit the list, but I see it so often! Crap, have you accidentally done something wrong? This was by accident, not on accident. You want "by" because it's an adverb and it's qualifying an action.

first of all firstable
Coming Soon

for all intents and purposes for all intensive purposes
Coming Soon

UPDATED: June 16, 2020
[broke list into sections for ease of use; added upcoming word explanations]