50 words you need to stop misspelling

Even professional writers and editors get lazy and make spelling errors.

As writers and editors, we are all above-average spellers. We’re the people others call for spelling advice; we’re the ones who kick butt at Words with Friends; we’re the ones who remember the spelling rules we learned in elementary school.

And yet, sometimes even we get stumped and make spelling mistakes.

I’m guilty of misspelling words. Just last week, I had to double-check the spelling of “inoculate.” I could have sworn there were two N’s in that word.

As they say, admitting you have a problem is the first step. So yes, there are words that we can and sometimes do misspell. Here are 50 tricky ones:

• absence
• accommodate
• barbarous
• bellwether
• camaraderie
• cantaloupe
• cellophane
• coolly
• daiquiri
• Dalmatian
• decaffeinated
• deterrence
• doughnut
• dumbbell
• embarrass
• fiery
• fluorescent
• handkerchief
• harass
• heinous
• hindrance
• idiosyncrasy
• inoculate
• jewelry
• lightning (as in an electrical storm; lightening one’s hair is another matter)
• liquefy
• loneliness
• maneuver
• memento
• minuscule
• mischievous
• noticeable
• nuisance
• occasionally
• occurrence
• pastime
• perseverance
• possession
• publicly
• recede
• reminiscence
• resemblance
• sacrilegious
• strenuous
• supersede
• susceptible
• temperamental
• unanimous
• vengeance
• withdrawal

PR Daily readers, any words that trip you up?

Laura Hale Brockway is an Austin-based medical writer and editor. She is also the author of the writing and editing blog, Impertinent Remarks.


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