My Favourite English Spelling Mistakes

Inspired by our article on Top Misspelled Words 2009 I began thinking about my own personal top spelling mistakes. Some of them are pretty common and I’m pretty sure I “share” them with many other people, some, however, might be my own funny quirks. Some of them I still have problems with, some I finally learned once and for all. Here they are:

Wednesday – it’s really embarrassing but for some reason for a long time I believed that this word was spelled Wendesday and it was only a few years ago that I finally got rid of this misconception. And I was always puzzled as to why it is abbreviated to Wed 🙂 One of the reasons I spelled it incorrectly might be the pronunciation –  ‘wenzdeı

Embarrass – speaking of embarrassing; all those double letters in this word always confuse me. I’m not sure why, they just do.

Tomorrow – thank God for spell-check! Now, after years of learning English I know that it’s double ‘r’ and not ‘m’ but I tended to write mm before.

Professor – for some obscure reason I seem to be in favour of the idea of putting an additional ‘f’ in there. It would look weird, I know. That’s why I’m trying to be professional and stick to double ‘s’.

Calendar – maybe that’s the “bad” influence of German on my English (German Kalender) but I always have to think before I write it in English even though it’s similar in Polish – kalendarz.

Cemetery – because of Polish cmentarz I thought for a while that there’s ‘n’ also in the English word.

Committed – a case similar to embarrass. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who is uncertain of the number of double letters in this word.

Definitely – some years ago I was certain it was written definately. I even argued about that with a teacher once, but I have no idea what made me so stubborn and so convinced of this awkward idea.

Normally, I’m quite pedantic about spelling so I’m trying really hard to avoid those mistakes, but some of them won’t go and haunt me like little monsters making me doubt once again if I got them right… Do you have your own “favourite” spelling mistakes? Please share them in comments!

And to practice, you can take our English spelling test.

[Polski]

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9 thoughts on “My Favourite English Spelling Mistakes”

  1. Pingback: Moje ulubione błędy w pisowni angielskiego - Lexiophiles

  2. Pingback: My Favourite English Spelling Mistakes - Lexiophiles M CIKU 词库

  3. Pingback: My Favourite English Spelling Mistakes – Lexiophiles

  4. Many people (including me) tend to have problems with the word loser/looser.
    this is why it is easy to sometimes just write loooooooooooooooooooooooooooser, as a way of putting more emphasis (<- btw the gerund of this word is impossible for me to write) and not being wrong 😀

  5. As a German, I always confuse address and adress. In German, it is Adresse, in English, address – I think…

  6. Related to the ‘committed’ example, I tend to misspelling the word ‘omit’. In some occasions, I write it as ‘ommit’, maybe because the similitude with ‘commit’.

  7. After learning Spanish (I’m a native English speaker), I have had trouble with spelling ‘camera’ (camara in Spanish, I think). Sigh. As a native English speaker, all those double-letters ARE a bit tricky. I’m also a stickler for spelling, but sometimes have trouble remembering them, too.

  8. Interesing article. As a native Spanish speaker and French teacher, I tend to confuse words similar words to these languages, especially when the words are almost alike. I never had problems remembering tomorrow, in Spain everybody accepts and even promotes and double r (drilled) pronounciation. By the way, I always write prononciation, because of prononciation in French and pronunciación en Spanish. As for address, the same thing happens to me: it’s adresse in French. I found funny that the author of the article would have the same experience with cemetery. In Spanish it’s cementerio, whereas in French it’s cimetière. What happened to that “n”, disappeared in French and English, and not surrendering in Polish and Spanish (such distant languages)?

  9. Hi,

    I work as receptionist in a hotel in Ireland. There was a guest checking out today and he was really angry because one of the Irish receptionists misspelled his last name in the registration card and did not correct it during check in. His friends jeered him during the whole trip, instead of Murtagh, the name in the card was Murtagay hahaha.. poor man.. I tried to apologize for my colleagues mistake but he still thought she did on purpose!! I think the words people normally confuse are: strenght, thoroughout, especially because people normally write special.

    Keep up with good work!!

    PS: You should write about pronunciation as well.. I never know how to stress sounds properly!

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