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Top 10 words with challenging spelling [infographic]

  • June 22, 2015
  • Posted by

English is riddled with words from other languages, as if some of our own don’t give us enough trouble! This article and infographic address ten regularly-used words that can give folks fits when trying to spell them.

If you have trouble with any of these words, you are not alone. Misspellings of these ten words are rampant; hopefully, this article and the infographic will help.

10 misspelled words_small

To download high-resolution poster click here and here .

1. Spaghetti

Who doesn’t love a nice plate of Italian pasta? This abused word has a variety of misspellings: with two -Gs, one -T, a -Y, and sometimes the -H is left out completely. If you love to eat it, you will probably be writing it, and if there’s a trick to remembering the spelling, this writer is unaware of it; you’ll probably just need to memorize it.

2. Unnecessary

This word seems to come up a lot and is spelled wrong more often than not. The -Ns, -Cs and -Ss can be hard to keep straight; if you struggle often with this word, try to remember “2 – 1 – 2”: two -Ns, one -C, two -Ss.

3. Connoisseur

Defined as an expert on beauty, quality or skill in art, food or music, this word considers itself better than us and is therefore quite difficult to spell. There are no tips to remembering the correct spelling other than memorizing the snobbish little thing.

4. Referred

Is it two -Fs and one -R, or one -F and two -Rs? The best way to ingrain this into your head is to remember that the past tense does not change the root word, which is “refer.”

5. Diarrhea

How many countless times have you scrambled for a dictionary because you’d forgotten how to spell “diarrhea?” Well, maybe not, but this one does boggle the mind. Like other medical words such as phlebotomist, colostomy and phlebitis, if you think you will be writing it frequently, just memorize it.

6. Restaurant

Unlike the previous word, “restaurant” tends to pop up all the time. That darn -U is probably what confounds most writers. Is it before the -A, after it, next to the second -A? Remember that there is only one -U and it follow the first -A.

7. February

Frequently written, frequently misspelled, and the reason is that sneaky little -R. Since most folks don’t pronounce it, they often forget to include it. Don’t forget the -R!

8. Wednesday

When saying this word, American English-speakers flip the -N and the -D, pronouncing it “Wends-day,” or they will leave the -D out completely, pronouncing it “Wens-day.” There doesn’t seem to be a shortcut to remembering the proper spelling other than to practice saying it as it is spelled, pronouncing the syllables clearly: “Wed-nes-day.”

9. Weird

Once upon a time, American schoolhouses taught a certain grammar rule: “-I before -E except after -C.” Anyone who likes science had an issue with this rule, including Albert Einstein, who broke the rule twice with just his last name. It probably shouldn’t seem strange that the word “weird” breaks the “-I before -E” rule, too.

10. Vacuum

This is another word used quite often; when misspelled, there is a tendency to add an extra -C. If there is a way to remember the correct spelling, yours truly has never learned it and gets honked at by spell checker every single time.

Are there any words that you use fairly often that you can’t seem to hammer into your head? Share them, because others probably hate those words, too!

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