Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Get It Right: Spelling

One of the most annoying things for language enthusiasts is the misspelling of words. We often come across (not accross) a large number of errors, especially when it comes to handwritten notes. Thanks to spell checkers, many people don't make time for spelling things correctly and assume that no matter where they go, they can hope to see a squiggly red line when they need to review the spelling of a word.

This isn't a problem if you're using a computer, but if you don't know how to spell you will definitely (not definately) look like a fool. Bad spelling is basically (not basicly) the best way to show other people that you have a limited knowledge (not knowlege) of the English language. We've lost count of the number of emails sent to us by colleagues (not collegues) that are almost completely (not completly) misspelt.

This sign makes us want to cry.
If you actually care about languages, it can be embarrassing (not embarassing) to see the squiggly red line, the computer's way of telling you that you cannot be trusted to use your own language. If you do struggle with spelling, there are many mnemonic devices you can use to help you.

The word "necessary" (not neccessary) can be easily remembered if you recall that a shirt has one collar (one instance of the letter c) and two sleeves (two instances of the letter s). It's even easier to remember if you're actually wearing a shirt.

Unfortunately (not unfortunatly), this tendency won't change until (not untill) people begin to understand the importance of correct spelling and stop relying on spell checkers. If you couldn't tell, this issue really (not realy) annoys us.

All the underlined words (excluding links, of course) are featured in Oxford Dictionaries' list of common misspellings.