Spelling. You don’t notice it – until it’s wrong

A word spelt right is a beautiful thing. A word spelled right will often go unnoticed. The flow of the piece just…well, flowing.

A word spelt wrong is like fingers down a blackboard. It interrupts that flow, it jars, it grates. It makes you go back and read the sentence again. And sometimes it can make you lose the meaning of that sentence as you second guess the speller’s intentions.

There are a lot of words that just don’t behave themselves, and get us all in a pickle. Our glorious English language messing with our heads again. So, how do you remember how to spell those words when you’re busy writing your blog post, or marketing bumpf or blockbuster novel?

I’m sure you all had spelling tests at school. Lists of words that you had to learn, and then write down in exam conditions. But how many of you recall them?

I have a plethora of little sayings and rhymes to help me, so I thought I’d share some of them with you – just for fun.

  1. Necessary – one collar, two socks. One ‘c‘, two ‘s‘s.
  2. Separate – it’s a ‘double a’ sandwich. First an ‘e‘, then two ‘a‘s, then an ‘e‘.
  3. Definitely – think ‘fin-ITE‘ then you’ll get it.
  4. Accommodate – two ceilings, two mansions. Two ‘c‘s, two ‘m‘s.
  5. Stationery, stationary – office products is ‘e‘ for envelope.
  6. Lose, loose – lots of ‘o‘s loose. Lots meaning two here.
  7. Tomatoes, potatoes – fruit and veg have ‘toes‘, but only in spelling.
  8. Business – we are all ‘busi‘ in business.
  9. Altogether – Al to get her. Poor girl.

These are just a few. Maybe I’ll add more at a later date.

In writing, it’s important to accept your weaknesses – what you can spell without even thinking, and what you have to think about. If you struggle with a particular word, then try to make up a little rhyme or saying. It’s surprising how easily they stick and then you hopefully will never spell it wrong again.

At least that’s the plan.

But if it counts, get a proofreader. We can spot those mistakes and put them right for you. Remember it’s really hard to do it for yourself.

I know that better than anyone.