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  • 1. VOCABULARY SPELLINGS THE MOST FREQUENTLY MISSPELLED WORDS The following 4 words are, perhaps the most commonly misspelled words in the English language: allright coming receive separate School children commonly misspelled the following: bicycle description really similar writing For office workers, secretaries and businessmen, the culprits are the following: advertisement correspondence definite envelope recommend schedule Housewives most frequently misspelled any of these words: acquaintance development pleasant spinach Following is a list of some of the most spelling demons of sixth-graders in U.S. schools. Make a quick check to see whether you need to relearn any of them. accommodate across already (one word) arithmetic athletics, athlete balloon bicycle business ceiling challenge Christmas coming deceive description, describe February forty fourth good night (two words) grammar Halloween minute missile niece really separate similar sincerely studying surprise writing, written High School Spelling Demons The following list of 87 words is compiled from studies in the American School Board Journal, college entrance and placement exams. The list is based on tests given to more than 87000 high school graduates from 750 different American high schools. The words in bold are the words appearing in the list above, which would mean that the students have been misspelling them since the sixth grade! absence across athletics business conscious definite desperate dispensable escape experience foreign guidance independent losing neighbor occurrence parliament possess receive rhythm success villain absurd advertisement attendance coming convenient dependent develop eHMrrass exaggerate familiar forty humorous irresistible lovely niece omitted performance prejudice recommend schedule surprise weird accidentally all right beginning committee correspondence descend difference environment excellent fascinate government imaginary laboratory misspelled occasion opportunity permanent privilege repetition separate tragedy writing accommodate amateur believe condemn criticize description disappoint equipped existence February grammar immediately lightning necessary occurred parallel pleasant professor restaurant similar truly Collegian Demons The following list which has 67 words is based on spelling tests given to more than 27,000 students and adults who had completed two years of college at 135 institutions. Note that 42 of these words, printed in bold, are carried over from the high-school list. absence all right accidentally amateur achieve appearance aggravate argument
  • 2. athlete coming conscious criticize desirable disappear enforcement exercise government laboratory mischievous occurrence permissible procedure recommend rhythm supersede believe committee convenience definitely despair disappoint environment existence grievance losing noticeable omitted precede proceed repetition schedule tragedy benefited competition correspondence dependent develop dispensable exaggerate foreign irresistible maintenance occasion parallel prejudice pronunciation responsibility separate villain cemetery conscientious council descendant dining eHMrrass exceed forty knowledge marriage occurred permanent privilege receive restaurant superintendent weird Spelling Problems of Professionals Many business executives and professionals still have spelling problems. Following are the 50 words which they misspell most often. The words printed in bold are carried over from the collegian list. accessible acquainted all right analyze appearance assistant burglar campaign canceled coming conscientious coolly correspondence desirable develop dispensable drunkenness eHMrrass envelope exceed existence incidentally insistent intercede irresistible irritable laboratory license loneliness mortgage occasion occurred occurrence ommitted permissible perseverance precede prejudice privilege proceed recognize recommend repetition restaurant schedule seize superintendent supersede villain weird withhold QUIZ – 1 (Time: 2 minutes) Choose the correctly spelled word from each pair below. This quiz comes from the high school college lists. Repeat the test until you can give all the correct answers in two minutes. (Answer below) 1. (a) rhythm (b) rhithm 2. (a) foreign (b) foriegn 3. (a) equiped (b) equipped 4. (a) absence (b) abcense 5. (a) criticise (b) criticize 6. (a) priviledge (b) privilege 7. (a) prejudise (b) prejudice 8. (a) omitted (b) omited 9. (a) dependant (b) dependent 10. (a) irresistible (b) irresistable 11. (a) recommend (b) reccommend 12. (a) occurred (b) occured 13. (a) occassion (b) occasion 14. (a) professor (b) proffesor 15. (a) committee (b) commitee 16. (a) permanant (b) permanent 17. (a) independent (b) independant 18. (a) eHMrass (b) eHMrrass 19. (a) escape (b) excape 20. (a) humourus (b) humorous 21. (a) argument (b) arguement 22. (a) performence (b) performance 23. (a) indifferance (b) indifference 24. (a) attendence (b) attendance Answers: 1. (a) 2. (a) 3. (b) 4. (a) 5. (b) 6. (b) 7. (b) 8. (a) 9. (b) 10. (a) 11. (a) 12. (a) 13. (b) 14. (a) 15. (a) 16. (b) 17. (a) 18. (b) 19. (a) 20. (b) 21. (a) 22. (b) 23. (b) 24. (b) Experts’ Woes One would expect such people as English teachers, newspaper editors and writers to be particularly good spellers. The following list consists of 62 reasonably plain, everyday words that are most commonly misspelled by even such professionals. Those words in the list that are followed by an asterisk (*) are considered generally confounding. Try how many of the following words you can spell correctly: abscess* annihilate* broccoli* accelerator assassin catalyst* aggressor* battalion* category allotted besiege chrysanthemum*
  • 3. connoisseur* demagogue desiccate* dilapidated discriminate disheveled dissipate ecstasy* effervescent exhilarate* fission* fricassee* fuselage gaiety gynecologist harebrained* hippopotamus* hypocrisy* immaculate innocuous inoculate liquefy* millionaire miscellaneous moccasin* paraffin paralyze pedagogue penitentiary perspiration phlegm picnicking prairie prescription propeller questionnaire* raspberry requiem* rhinoceros sacrilegious* sheriff sieve solder subpoena* tariff tonsillitis tyranny vacillate vanilla victuals* This last list is a tough one. Most college graduates can spell only about thirty-five (56%) of these words. Most experts get about fifty-three (85%) right. QUIZ – 2 (Time: 3 Minutes) Choose the correctly spelled word from each pair below. This quiz is from the college-graduates and experts’ lists. Take the test repeatedly until you can give all the correct answers in three minutes. (Answer below) 1. (a) campagne (b) campaign 2. (a) recognize (b) reconize 3. (a) sherrif (b) sheriff 4. (a) dissipate (b) disippate 5. (a) genealogy (b) geneology 6. (a) develope (b) develop 7. (a) an envelop (b) an envelope 8. (a) sieve (b) seive 9. (a) ecstasy (b) exstacy 10. (a) hypocracy (b) hypocrisy 11. (a) proceed (b) procede 12. (a) exceed (b) excede 13. (a) preceed (b) precede 14. (a) supercede (b) supersede 15. (a) responsability (b) responsibility 16. (a) desireable (b) desirable 17. (a) assistant (b) assistent 18. (a) seize (b) sieze 19. (a) cemetary (b) cemetery 20. (a) mischievious (b) mischievous 21. (a) questionnaire (b) questionaire 22. (a) millionnaire (b) millionaire 23. (a) auxilliary (b) auxiliary 24. (a) perscription (b) prescription Answers: 1. (b) 2. (a) 3. (b) 4. (a) 5. (a) 6. (b) 7. (b) 8. (a) 9. (a) 10. (b) 11. (a) 12. (a) 13. (b) 14. (b) 15. (b) 16. (b) 17. (a) 18. (a) 19. (b) 20. (b) 21. (a) 22. (b) 23. (b) 24. (b) How to improve Spelling It is believed that whether your spelling is good or bad depends largely upon the way you read. If you read with keen critical interest, you form mental pictures of printed words; a careless reader just manages to get a blurred impression. Lazy readers make bad spellers. The first step towards good spelling is - careful reading. The second step is careful pronunciation. The third step, the experts suggest, is to keep a notebook and to write down the correct version of the words whose spelling causes you trouble. WORDS TO WATCH The following are some of the words most commonly misspelt. The figures in the bracket indicate the number of occurrences per million words and are taken from Thorndike’s Junior Dictionary. (—) signifies a frequency of less than (1/2) per million. (A) signifies between 50 and 100 per million (AA) signifies 100 or over per million 1. Words to Make Sure of accommodate (11) address (A) benefited (A) business (AA) convenient (32) correspondence (17) dependent (adj.) (13) develop (A) exceedingly (18) February (A) gramophone (––) harass (7) license (verb) (22) necessary (AA) practice noun (AA) practise (verb) (24) privilege (33) procedure (11) recommend (29) referred (37) stationery (noun) (2) success (AA) Wednesday (28) argument (48) committee (A) definite (33) disappear (A) fulfil (21) interrupt (39) occurred (A) principal (adj.) (A) quarter (AA) separate (A) transferred (28) beginning (44) comparative (17) dependant (noun) (6) eHMrrass (16) governor (A) licence (noun) (22) omitted (14) principle (noun) (A) receive (AA) stationary (adj.) (7) until (AA)
  • 4. 2. Words Commonly Confused accept (AA), except (AA) affect (5), effect (A) bi-annual (––), biennial (1) check (AA), cheque (2) continuous (20), continual (13) current (A), currant (6) dependant (6), dependent (13) draft (30), draught (16) elicit (2), illicit (3) eminent (11), imminent (6) envelop (7), envelope (22) licence (22), license (22) personal (A), personnel (5) principle (A), principal (A) stationery (2), stationary (7) advice (A), advise (49) alternate (11), alternative (9) canvas (21), canvass (2) compliment (17), complement (5) council (A), counsel (40) decease (1), disease (A) devise (17), device (34) dying (1), dyeing (––) emigrate (3), immigrate (––) ensure (2), insure (15) feint (1), faint (A) lightening (7), lightning (1) practice (AA), practise (24) prophecy (12), prophesy (9) their (AA), there (AA) 3. Other Words Used in Business and Commonly Mis-spelt abbreviate (1) abridge (2) accede (1) accentuate (3) accessible (5) accessory (8) accomplish (A) accrue (2) achieve (28) acousties (––) acquaint (32) acquiesce (3) across (AA) adhesive (1) adjourn (5) adjusting (13) admissible (1/2) adolescent (2) advisable (5) adviser (10) advisory (2) affidavit (1) agreeable (16) aggrieved (2) allocate (––) allotment (2) allotted (7) aHMssador (21) ambitious (10) amicable (1) analysis (14) announce (A) annul (2) anxious (48) appalling (10) appetite (24) apprentice (9) article (AA) ascertain (10) assessor (1/2) assimilate (2) atrocious (2) attorney (23) audible (5) audience (42) auxiliary (3) barrister (1) battalion (6) beneficial (7) biased (or biassed) (––) bicycle (11) bouquet (8) budget (19) bulletin (16) bureau (44) calendar (10) campaign (A) cancelling (8) canvass (to solicit) (2) carriage (46) catalogue (12) catarrh (1) ceiling (1) centring (––) century (AA) chagrin (3) chaotic (1) charter (20) cheque (a document) (2) circuit (21) clientele (––) collateral (2) college (AA) collusion (1) colour (AA) commission (A) commissionaire (––) competent (10) conceivable (5) concurrence (1) confident (15) connoisseur (3) conscientious (5) conscious (32) convalescent (2) convenience (16) corrobarate (2) courteous (10) courtesy (19) creditor (12) criticism (25) curriculum (1) customary (12) debris (3) deceit (8) decipher (2) definable (––) demurrage (––) desultory (1) different (AA) disappoint (28) discern (1) discoloration (1) dissent (to disagree) (4) dissipate (3) draught (air) (16) dubious (3) duplicator (––) efficiency (18) eighteenth (13) elapse (6) eliminate (18) emigration (2) encyclopaedia (4) enervate (1/2) ephemeral (––) erroneous (4) evenness (––) eventually (9) evidence (A) excellent (A) exception (31) excessive (12) excitable (1) exercise (AA) exhibit (28) expense (A) facsimile (1/2) fallacy (2) fatigue (19) feasible (19) feasible (3) foreign (AA) forfeit (9) freight (34) accelerate (3) accompany (A) achievement (23) acquire (46) adjujicator (––) advantageous (4) aerial (9) allege (12) altar (a table) (22) anaemic (––) anonymous (3) appreciate (28) assess (1) attitude (A) auditor (2) believe (AA) biscuit (14) buoyant (5) cancellation (1) casualty (3) centre (AA) champagne (4) cipher (3) colleague (8) commemorate (4) concede (9) connoisseur (3) consensus (3) counsel (an adviser) (40) credulous (3) dearth (4) deferred (1/2) difference (AA) discipline (21) dissolve (29) eccentric (5) eligible (3) endeavour (32) etiquette (5) exaggerate (11) excise (1/2) expedite (1/2) fascinate (23) flatation (––) frontispeice (1/2)
  • 5. fullness (7) gradient (––) guest (A) hygiene (6) immersion (1) inconvenience (8) indemnify (1/2) inference (7) installation (5) irritation (5) leisure (19) liquidator (––) marriage (––) metre (measurement) (5) necessitate (6) obsession (2) omission (5) paralyse (10) permissible (1) Piccadilly (––) precede (16) preparation (40) psychology (12) receipt (20) referring (37) repudiate (3) resume (27) rhythm (7) segregate (1) stencilling (2) suburb (13) supersede (4) synonymous (1) television (AA) thermometer (12) tobacco (36) transitory (1) ultimatum (1) unveal (2) wrench (11) gauge (5) grammar (10) guilty (28) illegible (––) immigrate (––) incredible (14) independence (36) infinite (16) instalment (10) issuing (––) liaison (1) maintenance (11) marvellous (33) miniature (12) necessity (A) occasion (A) oscillate (1) parliament (28) permitting (A) platen (––) precocious (2) procession (27) pursue (49) reciprocate (1) regrettable (1) rescind (1) retrievable (––) schedule (14) seize (A) stevedore (1) successful (A) supervisor (5) synopsis (1) temporary (19) thoroughly (13) tolerant (4) traveller (A) unique (13) usable (1) yield (A) glossary (1/2) grievous (7) honorary (2) illicit (3) imminent (6) indefensible (1/2) indispensable (10) innovation (4) intellectual (19) labelled (7) libellous (––) mannequin (1) mathematics (8) miscellaneous (6) neighbourhood (48) occurrence (9) paraffin (3) pavilion (16) persuade (37) plausible (2) preference (14) programme (46) queue (1/2) reducible (––) reimburse (1/2) resistible (––) retrogressive (––) secede (3) series (A) storage (10) summarized (4) susceptible (5) tacitly (1) terrify (17) tidily (––) totally (9) trial (A) unmistakable (4) vertical (10) governor (4) guarantee (15) honourable (29) illiterate (4) incentive (5) indelible (1) infallible (3) insolvent (1/2) irrelevant (1) lacquer (3) licensed (––) manoeuvre (5) Mediterranean (15) mischievous (6) nuisance (10) occurring (A) parallel (23) perceive (47) pessimist (1) possession (A) preferring (A) proprietary (2) receivable (––) referee (3) remittance (2) resources (20) review (to re-exam) (45) secondary (12) skilful (17) stupefy (3) superannuation (1/2) suing (––) technique (6) territory (A) tidiness (––) transferable (––) typical (16) unnecessary (17) wholly (27)