Commonly Misspelled Vocabulary Words

Some words just beg to be spelled wrong or otherwise abused. Here are some of them:

Common misspellings
(The bold words are spelled correctly.)

Don’t you just want to take out that extra “c”?

a lot
A lot of the time, you see this written as “alot,” which it’s not.

I’ve misspelled this with an “a” replacing the third “e” more times than I want to admit.

I tend to want to ease out that second “e” and make it “easment” but that would be incorrect.

What a strange spelling to indicate something that’s on fire. This word seems more suited to a mythical forest creature than to indicate the hot nature of one of the planet’s basic elements.

Here’s another example of a word with an “e” (after “for”) that gets left off a lot of the time.

I always have to look twice at this word to make sure I’m not confusing it with gouge.

Unlike “easement” and “foreclosure,” the proper American form of this word doesn’t contain an “e.” If the writer is British, however, chances are you will find the “e” in place, making “judgement” an acceptable spelling.

You can blame this one on the people who lived in France about 400 years ago. We’ve had to live with that extra “i” ever since.

This one has always bothered me. It’s not that the spelling doesn’t make sense, it does. It’s just that it looks funny to me. Other people must agree because it is often misspelled.

Not only does it have two pesky double consonants, but every time I spell it, I want to replace that last “e” with an “a.”

So many people pronounce this purs-er-veer-ance, it’s easy to think it has a third “r.”

If precede is spelled with a “c” and means “to go before,” then why would supersede, which means “to take the place of,” be spelled with an “s”? I have no idea. They both indicate movement and would seem to be related.

words with “or” instead of “er”: lessor, grantor, mortgagor
There are many words that seem like they should end in “er” but instead terminate in “or.” In some cases, such as in “lessor,”swapping the “or” for an “er” (“lesser”) changes the meaning entirely.

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2 Responses to “Commonly Misspelled Vocabulary Words”

  1. Hi. Nice post. I have the same kind of thing with some words.

    Re: precede/supersede, I believe it’s due to the Latin roots, they’re from different verbs. The root verb (minus prefix) of precede is cedo, cedere; meaning I yield, or give way. We have the word cede in English already.

    The root verb of supersede is sedeo, sedere; meaning I sit. Technically the precise translation of supersedeo is ‘I sit upon’, or ‘I sit above’.

    They do both indicate movement, but different kinds. The verbs are similar, however!

  2. Hi, Dave. Thanks so much for the detailed information! 🙂