Ten words you need to stop misspelling

There are a few words that are commonly misspelled or simply used incorrectly. I’m quickly becoming a fan The Oatmeal comics and today they’ve got a good list of ten commonly misspelled words, along with that special brand of Oatmeal drawing and comedy. The words they cover are:

Lose/Loose

Weird not Wierd

Their/They’re/There

Your/You’re

It’s/Its

Definitely

Effect/Affect

Weather/Whether

A lot not alot*

Then/Than

Find the comic and explanations here.

* Also in this category there should be a discussion of any+, such as anywhere or any more. Or Anymore and any where. There’s no clear line here and some people connect any word with any in it and some are selective. Personally, I’m selective. Your thoughts?

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15 thoughts on “Ten words you need to stop misspelling

  1. Consistency + consensus = clarity. Grammar rules may seem overly oppressive to some linguistic free spirits, but if the rules are consistently applied and agreed to by just about everyone, the resulting writing is more clear and more effective. I have spoken.

  2. My 9th grade teacher sniffed at me and said ‘If you MUST use a lot, remember that it’s 2 words.’ I never forgot that, or the haughtiness she displayed. 🙂

  3. Though I enjoyed all of the comic, especially drinking malt liquor with the panda, one thing I found helpful: you don’t say alittle, thus you don’t say alot.

    I come down on the side of anywhere being a compound word, but any more being two words.

  4. Dave – I think anywhere, anything and anyone are compound words. Anything else is two words. At least, I can’t think of any more compounds.

    Laura – You can’t do that! Gah!

  5. Maybe, US is usually wrong. 🙂

    According to MacQuarie (Australian dictionary) the only compound words are: anybody, anyhow, anyone, anything, anyway, anywhere and anywise.

    The Cassell (UK dictionary) adds anyplace, anywhen and anywhither.

    Neither of them allow anytime.

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