Bloody Well Write

May 14, 2009

Misspellings, mispellings, miss pellings

Here’s a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. Not sure why I can’t just let them go; I think it’s just my nature, good or bad. I was a pretty decent speller growing up and did well in the school competitions (although it peeves me to no end that I never won a title of any sort). Even today, there are some (what I consider to be) basic words that I have to look up to make sure that I’m getting them down correctly. Or at the very least, I have to type them two ways to know which one is the correct one.

Example? Weird. Or wierd. Nope, it’s weird. The i-before-e-except-after-c rule doesn’t apply. Isn’t that weird?

So what bothers me enough to write an entry on it are those misspellings that I see frequently, some from people who have multiple degrees and make — I’m guessing — six times more money than I do (sniff) and some from average Joes and Normal Nancys. ’Cause there are SO MANY average and normal folks running around, right? Yeah, sure. You let me know when you meet just one.

And what’s perhaps worse than seeing misspellings in other people’s writing is finding out that I’ve been misspelling something my entire life, thinking it was just fine and dandy. So I try to remain vigilant in my journey. But by all means, folks, if you see something from me that ain’t right, please tell me. As Arlo sings it (17:37), “I’m still not proud.”

Anyway, here is a list of words that I often see misspelled (followed by how they are misspelled):
Accommodate (accomodate, acommodate)
A lot (alot)
Amateur (amature)
Apparent (apparant)
Barbecue (barbeque)
Broccoli (brocolli)
Calendar (calender)
Cannot (can not)
Cantaloupe (cantelope)
Carburetor (carborator)
Caribbean (Carribean)
Cartilage (cartillage)
Cemetery (cematery)
Chili (chile)
Collectible (collectable)
Committed (commited)
Congratulations (congradulations)
Copyright (copywrite, copywright)
Daiquiri (daquiri)
Defendant (defendent)
Definite (definate)
Desperate (despirate)

Disappear (dissappear)

Ecstasy (extasy)
(guage, gage)
(grammer — ha!)
Handkerchief (hankerchief)
Harass (harrass)
Health care (healthcare)
Independent (independant)
Indispensable (indispensible)
Inoculate (innoculate — I would’ve missed this in the spelling bee)
Irresistible (irresistable)
Its (it’s)
Jeweler (jeweller)
Judgment (judgement)
Kernel (colonel)
Knowledge (knowlege)
Led (lead)
Leisure (liesure)
Liaison (liason)
License (licence, lisense)
Lieutenant (leutenant)
Lightning (lightening)
Maneuver (manuever)
Marshmallow (marshmellow — just learned this one a few years ago)
Medieval (medeival — I always look this sucker up)
Memento (momento)
Minuscule (miniscule)
Mischievous (mischeivous, mischievious, mischevious)
Misspell (mispell — aha!)
Nauseous (nauseus)
Neighbor (nieghbor, neighbour)
Noticeable (noticable)
Occurrence (ocurrence, occurence)
Parliament (parlament)
Pastime (passtime, pasttime)
Perseverance (perserverance, perseverence)
Personnel (personel, personnell, personell)
Pigeon (pidgeon)
Playwright (playwrite)
Plenitude (plentitude)
Possession (posession)
Precede (presede)
Preferable (preferrable)
Principal (principle)
Principle (principal)
Privilege (priviledge)
Pronunciation (pronounciation)
Publicly (publically)
Questionnaire (questionaire, questionairre)
Raspberry (rasberry)
Recommend (reccommend)
Religious (relegious, religous)
Renowned (reknowned)
Separate (seperate; remember — there is “a rat” in separate)
Sergeant (sargeant, sargent)
Supersede (supercede)
There/Their/They’re (their/they’re/there)
Threshold (threshhold)
To/Too/Two (too/two/to)
Tomorrow (tommorrow)
Truly (truely)
Twelfth (twelvth, twelth — horrible word, really; sounds like a Welsh town)
Tyranny (tyrrany, tyrany)
Until (untill)
Vacuum (vaccuum, vaccum)
Weather (whether)
Whether (weather)
Weird (wierd — very, very weird)
Your/You’re (you’re/your)

Try entering all that data with spell-checker activated. Oy! What a mess. By the way, if you think of any others that I can add to this list, please write them in the Comments section and I can add them.

And — I’m spent. (Name that movie and you get five bonus points!)

Happy trails!


April 3, 2009

The affect effect

Filed under: grammar — bloodywellwrite @ 3:50 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I am lucky. I’m surrounded by really smart people. At work, at home, in my personal life — it’s really fantastic. And yet those two words manage to cause serious confusion. Which is correct, affect or effect? Heck, should I use affect or effect? I sometimes have to think about it; it’s not something that necessarily comes naturally to me. So what gives?

Both words are grammatical over-achievers, acting as verbs and nouns. That complicates things. But really, they boil down pretty well. Here’s the lowdown on their meanings:

Affect (noun) = something to avoid in layman’s terms. If you’re a psychologist who understands the following description, by all means, go to town using affect in the noun form (this is directly from Merriam-Webster): the conscious subjective aspect of an emotion considered apart from bodily changes. Also: a set of observable manifestations of a subjectively experienced emotion: The patient showed incredibly unusual affects.

Affect (verb) = to influence: The tasty pasta meal she just ate will positively affect her performance in the half-marathon tomorrow.

Effect (noun) = the result: The effect was spectacular. Also: an impression. He screamed just for effect. Also: a symptom: The effects of the sleeping pills hadn’t worn off by lunch. Also: having legal validity: The seat belt law is still in effect.

Effect (verb) = to cause: He will effect several changes throughout the company.

If you don’t want to memorize definitions, here’s an easy way to remember:

Affect is the action word (the verb). You’re doing something, affecting something. I am cooking chili, affecting the outcome by stirring in cilantro.

Effect is the result of what happens after the thing that you did. The effect of serving the chili for dinner was that my kids had full tummies and slept like babies that night — and that’s a terrific effect!

I hope that the effect of this blog entry is to affect your grammar usage in a most positive way.

Happy trails!


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