Grammar Tips #3: Kryptonite words
Welcome! It’s the last in my series of grammar tips and, probably, the simplest of the 3.
Well, technically, it's tip #4 as my last blog combined 2 tips, but who's counting , really?
This week’s blog should be a quick one, I promise 🤞!
As we’ve worked our way through some of the most common grammar mistakes, we’ve looked at when to use A or AN. We’ve also talked about homophones and looked at the different meanings for the commonly confused groups of homophones; there, their and they’re etc.
We've each had a few w-o-w moments 🤯 and learnt a few new things, too.
I have also spent some time talking about kryptonite words. These are words that you just seem doomed to get wrong. I have them, you have them, we all have them. Having kryptonite 💎 words isn’t a bad thing. What is bad is not knowing what they are!
We must recognise our kryptonite words and figure out ways of trying to remember the correct ones to avoid embarrassing little errors making it out into the world.
Whether you use a simple table/list, a post-it note, or something more creative like a graphic wallpaper designed in Canva, use whatever works for you.
Today’s blog is going to talk purely to words that are commonly spelled wrong. I have a few of these on my list.
Before I get going it’s time for some of Lizzi’s usual bluntness. You know I don’t do this out of malice or meanness. I do this because I want every single one of you to care as much as I do! I do it because I care.
Keep in mind that most word processors, apps and internet browsers now have built-in spellcheckers. If they don’t autocorrect the word for you, they are more than likely going to highlight them or underline them in red.
My biggest tip?
Look at that red underline!
Of course, the spellchecker can get it wrong sometimes, but not as often as you think, so please, please! I’m begging you! Pay attention to those red lines.
Ok, bluntness over!
Below are some examples of commonly misspelled words. I've included the correct spelling along with a few of their common misspells. Let’s see if any of your kryptonite words are on there.
Definitely - Definately, defiantly
Accommodate - Acommodate, accomodate
Achieve - Acheive
Embarrass - Embaras, embarass, embarras
A lot - Alot, allot,
Calendar - Calender, calander
Guarantee - Guarante, garantee, guaranty
Separate - Seperate
Oh boy, did I struggle with those. My spellcheckers were going crazy all over the place trying to autocorrect and then the red lines, argh!
While spelling mistakes are a part of being human, I also find that there are a few common reasons they become a kryptonite word. Below are a few of those reasons.
This is totally me. My fingers fly 💨 across the keyboard so fast and different fingers travel at different speeds. If I don’t rein myself in a little bit I can really pay for it in errors later. So, while fast typing is great and gets things done, you’ve got to balance it with the number of errors you’re making. Take a breath, slow it down and reduce your errors from the beginning.
A lot of us will still use what we were taught in school, phonetic spelling, which is very handy most of the time, but the problem comes when the word isn’t spelled how it sounds. Using phonetic spelling is still great but try to keep in mind it may not always be right! Handy, right? Keeping a dictionary nearby (or bookmarked) is a great back-up.
As I talked about in my last blog (click here), homophones are words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings. Taking the time to ensure you’re using the right one the first time, will help you when it comes to editing your work later.
See, simple, short and sweet. Were any of your kryptonite 💎 words in there? Have you got any you’d add? How do you keep track of them? I'd love to see your lists, graphics or cheat sheets.
If there is a grammar rule that you struggle with, send me a message or pop me an email and let’s see if I can help 🤔.
Do you love creating your content and understand the need for correct grammar but don’t have time to fix it yourself? Get in touch with me. As a copy editor and proofreader, or proof-editor as someone so aptly put it recently, I can polish your content so that you’re not having that, OMG where’s the edit post button!
We’ve all been there 🤦♀️!
If you liked this blog and would like to read more, these posts might be of interest: