Worst Spelling Errors

I saw the word “definately” again today and it nearly made me explode.

That is my most hated spelling error.

I think I’m inspired to create a list of my top five — or bottom five, or PH list, if you will.

Here they are:

1) Definately

2) Alot

3) Loose (instead of lose)

4) Everytime

5) Wierd

Have you any others?


33 responses to “Worst Spelling Errors

  1. “Advice” and “advise”, “practice” and “practise” since the spelling errors are sufficient to pique me but additionally they change the word from/to a verb.

    “Sentance” or “independance” instead of “sentence” or “independence” riles me.

    Writing “stationery” instead of “stationary” which makes me think of lever arch files and paper clips.

  2. the secret knitter

    “Rediculous” for “ridiculous” has to be up there.

  3. Calender. Mucous when clearly the writer means mucus.

  4. “Mucous” is the conventional spelling in British English and even American dictionaries do use it too.

    A bit like “colour” and “armour” and the like, in the UK we like our extra “u” in there! 🙂

  5. Reccomend


    Rouge (instead of Rogue)

    Thru (instead of Threw)


    Allot (versus A lot)

    Throws (for Throes)

    Your (instead of You’re)

  6. The Shrink: The Senate in Hawai’i (where I used to work) used advice instead of advise all the time. It was even in their Constitution, so when they confirmed Kate as Chief Grammar Vandal they would “advice and consent to the nomination of Kate.” I liked a lot of the quirky little South Pacific things they did over there, but that drove me nuts!

  7. Apart from the usual mixed-up homonyms, and a million others I don’t even want to go into right now, I absolutely loathe “tounge”.

  8. anyways

    your (when you’re should be used)

  9. I work with med students and they still have problems with prostate/prostrate!

  10. Affect/effect are NOT the same!!! Aaaaarrrrrggggghhhhhh! (Yes, this bothers me slightly.)

  11. Every Day is OFTEN wrongly used by itself as a noun as “Everyday”

    Compliment vs. complement

    Accommodation is often written with only one “m”

    May be vs. maybe

  12. Some others at the top of my list:

    Alright vs. all right

    Literally (when the person actually should use the word “figuratively”…..or should eliminate the word “literally” because the meaning of the sentence would not change) (I cannot believe how MANY educated people have the talking or writing quirk of using this word.)

  13. Adversive instead of aversive.

    Cemetary instead of cemetery.

  14. Two final ones that are priceless……wonderful to hear people mangle while talking:

    – orientated (rather than the correct way: orientation)

    – adaption (rather than the correct way: adaptation)

  15. Daniel, “oriented” and “orientated” are used interchangably nowadays.

    It used to be that the extra syllable changed the meaning of the word.

    “Oriented” means what we think it means. “Orientated” means to orient yourself with respect to the Orient (i.e. the countries of Asia) and thus as one dictionary cites “orientated” means, “To face or turn to the East.

    Most people using “orientated” don’t mean they faced East, they mean they “oriented” themselves instead . . . ho hum!

  16. A recent story in the local paper was about “flouride” in the water. It was spelled that way once in the headline and twice more in the article.

    An official sign at the lithia water fountain (Ashland, Oregon) lists one of the minerals as “sulpher.”

    “Marshal” is frequently misspelled as “marshall.”

    The phrase “to pore over” something is usually misspelled as “to pour over” something.

    “Ordnance” and “ordinance” are frequently mixed up, as are “Calvary” and “cavalry.”

    I was wrong in an earlier post when I said the sports medicine term “tendinitis” was a misspelling for “tendonitis.” I checked a dictionary and found that “tendinitis” is correct.

  17. Okay, I know this is corny, but it was a major peeve of mine as the year 2000 rolled in…
    (I wrote this myself.)

    It’s TIME 2 learn how 2 spell
    It’s LMN-tary! It’s 2, 2 easy!
    I’m gonna tell you Y, 2, K?

    We’re talking about the new year: 2-thousand.
    It has 2 eyes, and 2 Ls,
    With M it starts and ends;
    But don’t forget 2 always use 2 Ns.

  18. I don’t think any words are used improperly moreso than “then” v. “than.” People think they’re completely interchangeable and it infuriates me when one is ignorantly substituted for the other.

  19. My pet peeve is the spelling of “doughnut” as “donut”!

  20. My most disliked pronounciation is:
    comfterbul. The correct way is to say, comfortable. There is, literally and psychologically, no comfort in comfterbul. It causes me a lot of distress that people are so unconscious as to pronounce the word that way as though it is comforting to them to say it so. It is quite pervasive and totally taken for granted. BAH HUMBUG(!!!)
    Doug Rosbury

  21. What can be done to enforce correct spelling? Incorrect spelling and grammatical errors Totally spoil any website for me. When they are imposed on me so cavalierly, I simply move on. It is a blatant case of unconsciousness. Doug Rosbury

  22. I teach 11th-grade English, so the one that irritates me the most is “gramar.” Doesn’t that just say it all?

  23. Refridgerator

  24. My current pet hates include the mixing up of
    “there”, “they’re”, and “their”,
    “stationery” and “stationary”,
    “wether” and “whether”,
    “were” and “where”,
    “quite” and “quiet”,
    “breath” and “breathe”,
    “bath” and “bathe”,
    “affect” and “effect”,
    “currant” and “current”,
    “your” and “you’re”,
    “site” and “sight”,
    “its” and “it’s”,
    “who’s” and “whose”,
    “adverse” and “averse”,
    “now” and “know”,
    plus all the people who make simple spelling errors which would be picked up by a spelling checker if they would only bother to use one.
    To me, the most annoying example in the ‘spelling error’ category is “ect.” for “etc.”, compounded by the number of people who now pronounce it “eksetera”. (I really want to shake people who say “eksetera”, and also sports commentators and news readers who say “vee” instead of “versus”.)

  25. For Kander (and anyone else who cares):
    The beginning of the millennium was not the beginning of the year 2000. It was the beginning of the year 2001. That was one of MY biggest pet peeves. 😉

  26. “Your” and “you’re” are on the top of my own hate-list, I quess. There some people there who steadily use one instead of the other, like “your here” and “you’re book”.

    Once I saw a person who always used ‘s in his plurals and s in his possessive forms.

    PS. I always wonder though how much errors I do myself, as I’m not a native. 🙂

  27. Oh my God! Not “how much errors”, of course, but “how many”… Sorry! *blushes*

  28. Aside from the pervasive misuse of an apostrophe to create a plural – how hard is that rule to remember, people?? – at the top of my list is the adjective everyday in place of every day. Really? You serve happy hour “ordinary” from 4 to 6?!?!

  29. Ackward!

  30. why isn’t there guarantee?! ah gawsh. There’s “garintee” and “garuntee” and.. gah.

  31. Could of, should of and would of, which makes absolutely no sense.
    Entergentic instead of energetic.
    Prostrate instead of prostate.

    And professors, who deduct a point for every spelling error and typo from other students, but have several errors in their own syllanu, files and comments.

    Misspelled names are somewhat funny too: Machelle and Mechelle, Ineater (pronounced Anita), and others. Or maybe they were spelled like that on purpose, I don’t know.

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