Top Spelling Blunders

Increase Your Credibility by Watching Out for These Commonly Misspelled Words

Grab your dictionaries and flip on your spell-checkers, because we are in for one exciting ride! We recently collected the most common spelling mistakes even the most credible expert authors make.

Over the course of the next few weeks, we will present these pesky misspellings to you in order to help you maintain your credibility and build confidence in your writing skills. Without further ado, we give you: The Top 5 Spelling Blunders!

Loosing vs. Losing

Loosing is the number one, most prevailing spelling blunder! It often occurs when the author intended to use the present participle of the word lose, as in losing weight and mistakenly adds a second o. The root of this blunder stems from the confusion between the words: lose and loose.

Here’s the difference: Lose means loss and loose means something is, or has been, released (or something not firmly held in place).

Example: Sam tightened his loose belt after losing weight.

Key: What do winning and losing have in common? Both have only two vowels (winning = ii, losing = oi).

Todays vs. Today’s

Today can be defined as in the course of present time or this present time. The word today can be used as an adverb (qualifies or modifies an adjective) or a noun (person, place or thing). For the sake of brevity, we are going to concentrate on the noun: today.

Here’s our issue with todays: it is a noun, sorely missing its good old friend the apostrophe. In order to form the possessive form of a singular noun, no matter what the last consonant is of the noun, you must always add an ‘s. To do otherwise, you will end up with the plural form of the noun (e.g. dog’s vs. dogs, cat’s vs. cats, etc.)

Example: John was featured in today’s newspaper!

Key: If you state todays, you are essentially stating many present time, which would suggest a bend in the space-time continuum – present time overlapping present time… To fix this, simply add the apostrophe before the s: today’s.

Everytime vs. Every Time

Unless you are referring to the Britney Spears pop song “Everytime”, every and time should be written as two separate words. The confusion often occurs when writers think about compound words, such as everywhere. Compound words take on a whole new meaning than if they were separated. For instance, everywhere (all places) = every (each, all, any) where (place or position).

Example: Every time you publish an article, your exposure increases.

Key: Everyone, everywhere, should add a space every time.

Aircrafts vs. Aircraft

Here’s the deal with aircrafts: Whether it be singular or plural, the word aircraft is spelled the same way. Similar words include: moose, fish, and species.

Example: The aircraft are positioned on the carrier. Please watch your step when entering the aircraft.

Key: The pilot of the aircraft won’t land when other aircraft are on the runway.

Alternately, this issue with aircrafts may be similar to our previously discussed issue of the possessive form: todays vs. today’s.

Example: Please watch your step when descending the aircraft’s staircase.

Ect. vs. Etc.

No “ifs, ands, or buts,” ect is not the correct abbreviation for et cetera. Et Cetera is a Latin expression meaning and so forth or and other things. Its correct abbreviation is etc.

Example: Writing supplies may include pens, pencils, paper, etc.

Key: Don’t forget to pack eggplant, tomatoes, carrots, etc. in your lunch.

Catch today’s top blunders every time: losing, aircraft, etc.

There you have it – the top 5 most common spelling blunders! Take these five words and post them next to your computer. Over the next week, make it a point to train your eyes to catch these errors in your articles. And who knows? You might find more!

We will be trickling in more spelling blunders over the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for our spelling keys to ensure your articles are error free. Doing so will increase your credibility and drive more traffic to your blog or website!

69 Comments »


1
Greg Hall writes:

I am guilty of “everytime” and believe it stems from “everything.” But thanks, this was helpful!

Comment provided December 27, 2011 at 9:24 AM

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…these articles are very informative and useful…thank you for ‘helping’ us all out so we can be the best authors we can be…of course this sets EzineArticles apart from all other online directories as one that has accurate stellar authors…makes for a ‘ continued ‘ good reputation :-)

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2
Britt Malka writes:

Noone – is not on your list.

As you know, there is no such word. It’s either “no one” or a “nooner”, which is quite different ;-)

Fish can be “fishes” in plural according to my dictionary, by the way.

“fish 1 |fiSH|
noun ( pl. same or fishes )”

To avoid spelling errors in my articles, I run the through WhiteSmoke, and if I’m not in a hurry, I send them to my proofreader to go through them first.

Comment provided December 27, 2011 at 10:17 AM

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CL Parks writes:

Yep! I’m extremely guilty of “noone”!

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Yup, I have to admit to doing the noone when I’m doing drafts. I always catch it and I know better, but I can’t seem to help it. My brain thinks it should go together!

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3
Frank Adamo writes:

I would think that simple spell checkers would catch most of these errors. My pet peeves are interchangable words such as:

you’re and your
their and there
deserts and desserts
to and too and [sometimes] two
lightening and lightning
week and weak [sometimes]

ect [oops, etc.]. And my favorite, since I’m now a speaker, lectern and podium. You place a lectern on a podium. A podium is not a lectern, yet so many use podium as a lectern. A podiatrist is a “foot” doctor. “pod” means “foot.” You stand on a podium.

Comment provided December 27, 2011 at 10:46 AM

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Homonyms, is what those are. They are NOT actually interchangeable. Each has a very different meaning.

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4
Sharon writes:

The misuse of loose/lose is such a common thing these days, particularly in facebook ads! Just saw one this morning.
As far as I’m concerned, you ‘loose’ all credibility when you consistently choose the wrong one.
Don’t forget There/They’re/Their, Your/You’re and its/it’s. Also very commonly misused.

Comment provided December 27, 2011 at 11:45 AM

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5
coyotech writes:

One mistake that you see really often, and a mistake I make even though I’m conscious of it, is “its” vs. “it’s”.
“Its” is the possessive form of “it”, but no apostrophe. “It’s” is the contraction for “it is”. “Monday? It’s the day my car gets its wash and wax!”

Comment provided December 27, 2011 at 11:53 AM

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6
Fisayo@Iroyin writes:

Yes, I normally make the first mistake but now I know better. Thanks for sharing!

Comment provided December 27, 2011 at 1:47 PM

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7
Cindy Cohen writes:

Thanks for the great article.

I just loved it. The article is charming, interesting and informative. It’s great to be reminded how important correct spelling is.

I found your readers to be informative as well. They inspired me to take one more look at my material before I submit it to you.

Comment provided December 27, 2011 at 3:11 PM

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8
greg prince writes:

I always use the spell checker before publishing an article, and last week I had something happen that has never happened before. I don’t remember the word right off hand, but it showed up as a mispelling from the draft stage, and when I would go to the preview stage it would show that it was spelled correctly. So I changed it, and then it showed up just the opposite. One spell checker was telling me to spell it one way, and the other was telling me to spell it another way. So I just picked the one that looked right to me. I figured if the spell checker doesn’t know, then neither will anyone else.

Comment provided December 27, 2011 at 3:22 PM

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George writes:

Really…How about using a dictionary?

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9
Ed writes:

My biggest gripe is the continuing indiscriminate use of the plural instead of the singular when, at least in the English language, the latter is correct when referring to groups.

How many times am I going to have to cringe when I read, “Google are changing the way …” or “Microsoft are releasing another version of …” all over the place?

It’s “Google IS changing …” and “Microsoft IS releasing …” and so forth – sheesh! Why is it so difficult to understand that Google is a singular entity, a business?

This is so wide spread that it’s quite apparent we’re “loosing” ground in the battle against illiteracy!

Comment provided December 27, 2011 at 3:25 PM

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Pssttttt: Widespread is one word, not two!

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10
Al McCartan writes:

Love Britt’s comment on fish/fishes. sorry, Britt I’m a fish (plural) man. In my ‘clumsy’ sentence book I have: Erin fishes for edible fishes and its other form, Erin fishes for edible fish.

My other bugbear is stationary and stationery. One means to be still and the other a seller of office supplies – stationer.

Comment provided December 27, 2011 at 3:34 PM

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11
Julia Andersson writes:

Okay, can you shed some light on this one for me please? Two words that I ALWAYS get befuddled with are AFFECT and EFFECT.

In general my spelling is excellent as I’ve always been an avid reader. You will find that I sometimes use UK spelling rather than US spelling. For example: neighbour rather than neighbor. But that’s a cultural difference since we use UK spelling here in Australia. I do try to convert to US spelling for my articles but am not always able to figure out what the US spelling is.

Comment provided December 27, 2011 at 4:10 PM

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Julia –

Here’s a quick response for you on AFFECT vs. EFFECT. It was posted by Frank Adamo: “Effect is generally a noun, though it can be a verb. Affect is always a verb, if I recall correctly. For example, ‘The effect of the blizzard last year, affected the transportation system.'”

Hope this helps!

– Marc

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Julia Andersson writes:

Oooooooooh… I’m privileged! Got answered by a staff member!!! LOL

Thanks Marc. That does help! Now I just have to remember it! LOL

And thank you Frank Adamo for posting that info elsewhere… seems I’m not the only one confused by that one :)

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12
Kalifer Deil writes:

My most common errors are left hand typing errors, many of which are not caught by the spell checker. on top of the list is ‘out’ instead of ‘our’ since r and t are neighbor keys. Along the same lines is ‘you’ instead of ‘your’ since my finger often doesn’t hit the ‘r’ key hard enough. A left handed typist might have similar errors with their right hand typing ‘put’ for ‘pit’ or the reverse. I’ve collected many of these and put them in my free “Editor’s Notebook” your readers might like. http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/28825

Comment provided December 27, 2011 at 4:19 PM

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Yes! I do this too – for example, I frequently mess up: it, if, is. It’s typo, though, not spelling so much, and sadly, since they are all words, spell check doesn’t get it. That’s why it’s a good thing to read out loud when proofing, to catch these little buggers!

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13
Frank Adamo writes:

I generally don’t get confused with its and it’s. First, for some reason, because I rarely use its. Also, if I happened to be unsure, I always read the sentence with “it is.” If it makes sense, I’ll use it’s. If not, I use its.

Another one is we’re and were. As for AFFECT and EFFECT, I also get confused sometimes. Effect is generally a noun, though it can be a verb. Affect is always a verb, if I recall correctly. For example, “The effect of the blizzard last year, affected the transportation system.”

Comment provided December 27, 2011 at 4:24 PM

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14
Rick Vidallon writes:

What about gray versus grey?

Comment provided December 27, 2011 at 5:05 PM

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15
Beverly Boisen writes:

Boy, some of these words are certainly tricky
I try to read the word first like you’re and your I say you are and that helps quite a lot
Thanks so much for the reminder.
I keep my dictionary close by to find the right words spelling>

Comment provided December 27, 2011 at 6:00 PM

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16
Kalifer Deil writes:

If you and your spell checker is mystified about the correct spelling of a word type it phonetically into Google. It is great at figuring out what you intended and some other variations you didn’t intend. It’s faster and far more interesting that using a dictionary

Comment provided December 27, 2011 at 6:30 PM

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Kalifer Deil writes:

are mystified – sorry

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17

I’m really looking forward to the rest of this series. I catch these online all the time, so I know this is much needed information. I shared it on Facebook so others who write can come and learn more too! Great blog topic!

Comment provided December 27, 2011 at 6:48 PM

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18
Lance Winslow writes:

Yes, sure all of these, but also beware if you use voice software, it can mess you up putting “their” instead of there, or vice-versa. Voice software is nice because it does better at spelling – but still makes some errors when it puts up a work close to what you said. It takes special editing time, and you cannot do this while you watch TV, trust me, I’ve tried. Please consider all this.

Comment provided December 27, 2011 at 6:52 PM

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19
Maria Caniedo writes:

Most of the time those words are misused but thanks

Comment provided December 27, 2011 at 8:12 PM

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20
M Aguilar writes:

What do I do to prevent spelling errors? I paid attention in school. I also do a huge amount of reading. And I end up catching, and usually reporting, many errors in the books I read.

And Lance Winslow? I have to beg to differ. Being ADHD, I HAVE to have something like the TV going in the background or I won’t get anything done.

Comment provided December 27, 2011 at 9:01 PM

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21
Wolfgang writes:

I always have my spell checker set to U.K. English, that way even in America they can’t say that it is not spelled correctly, however the spell checker is not always right.

Comment provided December 28, 2011 at 3:28 AM

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22
leslie writes:

I have serious issues with the words ‘its’ and ‘ones’..I always want to use approstrophe’s…always…

Comment provided December 28, 2011 at 8:25 AM

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23
John writes:

Very useful tips, these tips really gonna help everybody.
Cheers!

Comment provided December 28, 2011 at 11:03 PM

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24
Papasan Chair writes:

I always have confusion about “then” and “than”.

Comment provided December 28, 2011 at 11:54 PM

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25
ExRat writes:

Forgive me if this is slightly off of the spelling topic, but being an Englishman I’m always interested in the differences between American and English words and phrases.

One that fascinates me is that we English say, “I couldn’t care less.” But Americans say, “I could care less.”

The logic behind the English version is that we are saying that it’s not possible for us to care any less about something, which is a different way of saying, “I really don’t care at all.”

Can anyone explain the logic behind the American version? Is it nothing to do with logic, but rather purely because it’s easier to say?

Comment provided December 29, 2011 at 4:50 AM

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ExRat –

You raise a good question. At EzineArticles, we deal with the idiosyncrasies of the English language constantly – both the American and English versions. One thing we’ve realized is that there is no logic behind many of the oddities you encounter. In those cases, we research and try to discover the “most correct” way of stating something based on common opinion and our primary target audience.

In the case of your example, my guess is that we Americans are just being lazy. We have a track record of mucking up the Queen’s English that way. ;-)

– Marc

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It’s not the American version. That’s Americans who are using it incorrectly. Your way is correct, and THIS American uses it properly! LOL

It’s one of my peeves about language. Marc is right – it’s just many Americans don’t know any better, is all! If you break it down, saying “I could care less” makes no sense whatsoever!

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26
Shailendra Sial writes:

Honestly speaking, i always ignored newsletters and other stuffs from EzineArticles but last week i started reading them and they are too useful. Suddenly i realized that till now i was writing wrong English. This post too is very helpful especially “every” and “time”. Thanks!

Comment provided December 29, 2011 at 4:52 AM

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27
Vijay Khosla writes:

Very useful and informative article.

On the other hand, I am much more comfortable with UK English than the US in respect of ‘Spelling’ of ‘favour and favor’ etc.

Good learning!

Comment provided December 29, 2011 at 10:30 AM

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28
Kalifer Deil writes:

I’ve heard it both ways and thought them both valid. I interpreted “I could care less” as “I could care less but that is going to take more effort than I can muster right now.”

Comment provided December 29, 2011 at 12:23 PM

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29
money maker writes:

This is something very imp. for all bloggers like me.

EzineArticles is a great place for learning about all topics as well as its blog helps to write more better always.

Comment provided December 31, 2011 at 1:00 AM

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30
Mark Demers writes:

I could care less but why should I?
You couldn`t write this line the other way like-
I couldn`t care less but why should I?
It just sounds wrong and it don`t make sense.
Maybe this is what they mean to write when removing the n`t from the sentence. Intentions of the writer is what really matter here. If he or she is just lazy or trying to take a short cut it will hurt their credibility and for this reason it should be made quite clear what the meaning is when stating a line like this.
By itself it should always be written – I couldn`t care less.
The “its” versus “it`s” always gives me trouble but I sound it off in my head using “it is” instead of “it`s” and if “it is” don`t sound right I figure the correct spelling is “its”.
Reading aloud while doing your proof read and replacing any contracted forms of words with their original un-contracted forms catches many mistakes like this which normally get overlooked.

Comment provided January 1, 2012 at 9:05 PM

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31
Jon writes:

I always use to get confused between loosing and losing. Thanks ezine you made it clear for me and remind me my mistake which i often commit :P.

Comment provided January 2, 2012 at 11:06 AM

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32

The one mistake I do make at times are compound words. They can be tricky seeing two words together and sometimes they are spelled as one.
With the help from EzineArticles, I am getting better! Thank you.

Comment provided January 2, 2012 at 7:41 PM

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33
Albert writes:

Nice stuff shared by you. These mistakes are small but make a big difference. Thanks.

Comment provided January 10, 2012 at 11:23 AM

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34
Daphna writes:

My mother-in-law takes grat pride as a language critic and I have a hard time accepting her opinion that “healthy” and “healthful” have no occasion to be interchangeable. Please help

Comment provided January 13, 2012 at 2:23 PM

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Daphna –

According to EnglishPlus.com …

In formal English, things are healthful (i.e., good for one’s health). People or other creatures are healthy (i.e., in a state of good health).
Incorrect: Eat a healthy breakfast.
Correct: Eat a healthful breakfast.
Correct: You look healthy today.

I hope that helps!

– Marc

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35
Vijay Khosla writes:

Hi Marc,

You are welcome to give healthful tips to get our grammar healthy!

Never mind. The above is said in a lighter mood. I do appreciate the corrections being brought out in the article. After all, it is for our own good.

Thanks.

Comment provided January 13, 2012 at 4:02 PM

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36

Is it wrong to say “Eat healthy, think better” ?(some company tagline). I have hardly used the word ‘healthful’. Anyway that was very informative. Thanks

Comment provided January 13, 2012 at 11:56 PM

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We asked a similar question amongst ourselves here at EzineArticles. We came to the conclusion that although “healthful” might be grammatically correct in certain circumstances, it rarely gets used. It appears that even those who know the correct usage rarely, if ever, use it. So although that company tagline is probably incorrect … chances are that almost nobody’s going to notice.

– Marc

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37
Carl writes:

Very helpful and to think when I first started reading this I didn’t think it pertained to me until you started talking about the words – Today’s and Every Time.

Whoops guilty but I now I will pay better attention – this must be a secret between us here, don’t tell my wife I actually made a mistake. :)

Comment provided January 14, 2012 at 12:08 AM

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38
Christopher Riveral writes:

I often use the term “I could care less” and this is the first time I’ve ever heard someone use the phrase “I couldn’t care less.”

In my opinion, the phrase “I couldn’t care less” appears to be grammatically incorrect if you’re using it as a substitute for “I could care less.” If you take that phrase at its face-value, it really isn’t saying the same thing. If you could “not” care less about something, then that must mean that you do care to a certain degree. However, if you “could” care less about something, then that’s more closely related to you saying that you don’t care; which should be an acronym for “I couldn’t care less,” in my opinion.

Comment provided February 2, 2012 at 2:01 AM

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Julia Andersson writes:

Hi Christopher

That’s a bit of a sticky one. To me, the opposite of what you say is the way I would take it… to say ‘I could care less’ means that you care a little but ‘I couldn’t care less’ means it’s at the very bottom of the pile of things that mean nothing to you.

I think you might find that’s a cultural thing.

I’ve noticed that Americans say, ‘I could care less’. Whereas in my background (U.K. born but living in Australia), we tend to say ‘I couldn’t care less’.

It is used to mean the same thing… basically to blow something of as being inconsequential to us personally.

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Julia Andersson writes:

LOL… that said, I really couldn’t care less whether people say ‘I could care less’ or ‘I couldn’t care less’! No biggie, I know exactly what they mean either way :)

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Christopher Riveral writes:

Julia, it looks like I’ve got A LOT to learn.

Thank you for teaching me something new. =)

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Julia Andersson writes:

Christopher, the cultural differences can be a little confusing. Words have different spellings (like rumor and rumour, favor and favour etc), expressions like the one you mentioned can be a little different. In general I try to write my articles for a US audience as I figure most EzineArticles members would be from the US.

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Mike Aguilar writes:

Julia,

I’ve had a few writing jobs the past couple of years where I was writing articles to be posted to my clients’ ezine profile. All were in the UK.

Because of this, when I do an ezine article for someone, I presume a UK audience unless told otherwise.

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39
travail writes:

Well, I do a lot of reading online, for marketing research and I can’t see a single bit of difference between Americans and Brits as far as the “I couldn’t care less” thing. And I do care.

But one very frustrating thing I see a lot of folks doing is the incredible mangling of the verb “orient.” Geez, how many CEOs and professors do we have to listen to talking like 3 year olds with stuff like, “To make sure the sound was correct, we orientated the microphones at 90 degree angles …” That hurts the brain to hear!

Also, there has been an ongoing assault on the English language by the integration of other languages. For example, more and more often we have to read, “Google are changing their algorithm,” when it’s clear that Google is a single entity and should be treated as such. Thus, we should be hearing, “Google is changing it’s algorithm” (and it sure is – constantly).

Also sounding like fingernails on a blackboard are grossly broken ‘sentences’ and punctuations like, “How to back up a smartphone?” Is this a question? If so, it HAS TO BE “How does one back up a smartphone?” Or maybe, “How do I back up my smartphone?”

We Yanks are just as frustrated at what’s happening to what used to be the “English” language!

Comment provided February 3, 2012 at 3:25 AM

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40
Don Del writes:

Just yesterday I “corrected” lightning to read lightening. I then learned that lightning is the charge that strikes. But lightening is what you do with a dark color. At least I know now!

Comment provided February 16, 2012 at 7:49 PM

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41
Maria Caniedo writes:

Good Day Every one here!
I thought that only we can commit mistakes in making sentences because our first language is Tagalog..Lol, That is why i am very hesitant to talk, Thanks for the help, EzineArticles.

Comment provided February 17, 2012 at 4:57 PM

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42
fordyce spots writes:

Absolutely right. I have faced the same with loosing and losing.

Comment provided May 8, 2012 at 12:03 AM

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43
rakesh kumar writes:

really inspirational article. These articles always give me something new to learn. Keep it up my dear friend.

Comment provided August 4, 2012 at 12:11 AM

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44
Dain Turner writes:

Here’s a few more that I see all the time.

To vs. Too
To is a direction
Too means also

Alright vs. All right
If it’s spelled Alright, it’s all wrong

Already vs. All ready
All ready is spelled with two words, just like “all right” is spelled with two words.

Comment provided October 31, 2012 at 1:39 PM

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Dain Turner, I’m afraid you’re incorrect about “already” and “all ready”. “Already” is an adverb that means something very different from “all ready”.

All ready means “completely ready”.

Already is an adverb that means before the present time or earlier .

You are, however, correct about all right and alright, though it’s been used incorrectly so often, spell checkers now let it pass and there is a dictionary entry for ‘alright’ that shows it as colloquial.

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Dain Turner writes:

I stand corrected.

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45
Vijay Khosla writes:

I am in agreement with the observations made by Michelle Devon (Michy) about ‘all ready & already’.

Comment provided October 31, 2012 at 5:07 PM

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46
Mark writes:

Speaking of people throwing words together…
I run a modelling agency and one common blunder I see is in emails to me stating “I would love to be apart of your agency”.

Each time I avoid the temptation to respond “We already are apart, but should you wish to be a part of my agency please let me know”.

Comment provided October 31, 2012 at 5:57 PM

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47
Sasangka writes:

Thanks for sharing. It means that writing really requires accuracy.

Comment provided November 1, 2012 at 8:58 PM

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48
Alain writes:

As a spanophone, some of these rules make no senses to me, but thank you so much for sharing

Comment provided December 31, 2012 at 6:32 AM

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