Previously, I posted a list of “misspelled” words that spelling checkers don’t flag because the misspelling is itself a real word. But what if you know there are certain words you’re prone to misspelling or that would be really embarrassing to get wrong?
It’s nearly impossible to catch with the eye all of those little slip-ups we’re all prone to, especially in a longer document. Is there a fix for this? Actually, there are a couple of solutions, especially if you’re working in Microsoft Word.
You could keep a list of words by your computer and do a manual search with the Find feature. Or you can create an exclusion dictionary.
Whatever word-processing software you use, it probably has a spelling checker. Spellcheck can be an incredibly useful tool for keeping your writing as error free as possible, but as you have probably already discovered, it’s not infallible.
Generally, your word processor won’t pick up on misspellings if the misspelled word is itself an actual word.
Many editors compile a list of common misspellings to check for, and some eventually create an exclusion dictionary within the software. I recently reached out to my fellow editors online for some of the most common “misspellings” they see in their work to add to my list, and I thought I’d share their generous contributions here.
I’ve broken the list down into three basic categories: words misspelled due to a slip of the fingers on the keyboard, words people often confuse because they sound alike, and a special section to watch out for because confusing those words usually leads to an extra dose of embarrassment.
In this modern world of social media and texting, we’re all familiar with the exclamation point, that little stroke of punctuation that takes a flat declaration and gives it emotion, pizzazz if you will.
Most of us use exclamation points on a daily basis, so we must have it mastered, right? What more could I possibly have to say?
Have you ever read a novel where the first chapter reads like a synopsis of the characters’ backgrounds? By page ten, we already know who they are, where they came from, and what they’ve experienced.
It’s referred to as infodump, and it’s one of the major differences between novice writers and skilled story crafters.
One Word or Two?
Is it everyday or every day? Onto or on to?
English is a funny, complicated language, full of these little questions that trip us all up. As the language changes and evolves, some words get split up or morph into completely new words, while others get glued together to form compounds.
There are four in particular that stump us over and over: everyday/every day, anymore/any more, into/in to, and onto/on to. The problem is that each one can be written as one word or two, depending on the usage.
Rebecca has a passion for helping you fill the world with great literature and making sure said literature doesn't get passed over for the lack of a little editing.