Spell Check Scandal: 8 Unnecessarily Common Misspelled Words of Non-Illiterate People

commonly misspelled wordsThe wise man once warned, “watch your words.” The wise copywriter warns, “watch the watcher of your words.”

Lest you plan to find your embarrassing blunders in my list of sinfully misused words, as seen here:

Spelling Peeve#1: Then or than

Than or then? Which should you use? If you call yourself a writer, you shouldn’t be asking me!  Here’s a hint: “than” implies a comparison; “then” supports before and after;  cause and effect.

If you can’t figure out when to use than, then you are in trouble.

Spell Check Peeve#2:  Their and There

OMG. This is by far the most common misspelled word in the history of letters. We all know what the differences are between using these two words, don’t we?

In the passion-filled heat of a moment, you subconsciously typed the wrong word. But you forgot to correct it.

There is no forgiveness for those who misuse their there’s and theirs.

Misspelled Word Peeve#3: Loose and Lose

If I stood to lose one dollar every time I came across someone with a loose grip on spelling these words correctly, I’d be broke in a week.

Here comes an unnecessary primer: to lose is the opposite of to gain, while something loose is bound to fall off or come undone.

Got it?  Great.

Illiterate Peeve#4: Want and Wont (won’t)”

I find it hard to believe these two contenders even made it to my list of common misspelled words! Who on Gaia’s green Earth confuses such unrelated words?

“I want tell you how many times I see this mistake on blogs, emails and social networks, but I won’t you to quit doing it.”

See what I mean? Terrible! Stop it!

Grammar Peeve#5: Patient and Patience

“Do you have little patients for a bonafide writer who has a problem seeing sick patience in a hospital?”

I lost a few pounds of brain cells just by typing that. While this travesty to the written word doesn’t happen often, it still occurs.

Are YOU guilty of it?

Spell Check Peeve#6: “Myriad” or “A myriad

“There are myriad of people not knowing how the heck to use this term faultlessly.”

Pun intended.  Folks, stop deciding to leave out the all-so-needed “a” for this word! (And save yourself a myriad of embarrassment in the process.)

Justifiable Peeve#7: ize or ise

Disclaimer: If you aren’t from the U.S.–if you live in the UK or other location where “z’s” are replaced by “s’s,” this doesn’t apply to you. Local dialect differs across the globe.

“BUT…if you are from the United States, writing for U.S. consumption, and you don’t recognise how to optimise your grammar for smart readers…”

…you’re just a few s’s away from lost credibility.


Lastly-But-Not-Least-Peeve#8: “Your or You’re”

You’re certifiably insane if your edits fail to catch this slip-up. Even moreso if I’m expected to elaborate further on such a faux pas.

Consider your target audience and don’t be illiterate!  Keep a trigger finger on that spell-check button, or you’ll be a statistic on my next list. 🙂

use the spell check button


I’m sure there are a slew of commonly misspelled words which I failed to include in this post. Which words do YOU see improperly spelled by folks who should know better? Leave your comments below and let the fun continue!


Jarvis Edwards

About Jarvis Edwards

Jarvis Edwards absolutely loves helping companies and individuals find more success with their marketing endeavors. As senior copywriter at Ayiam Digital, he provides his time-tested copywriting ability and hands-on marketing strategy for every project he takes on. Follow him on Twitter @Jarvis_Edwards.
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4 Responses to Spell Check Scandal: 8 Unnecessarily Common Misspelled Words of Non-Illiterate People

  1. kevincarlton says:


    The ironic thing is that, here in the UK, the Oxford English Dictionary actually recommends we use -ize spellings.

    Yet, for some reason, most Brits still think this is wrong.

    I would much rather use the more universal -ize any day. But then my compatriots just think I’m Americanizing everything.

    What’s also irritating is that my web browser always tries to correct my spelling to the so-called UK-English version. Not much help when you’re mainly commenting on US blogs.

    • Kevin…thanks for the input! I had no idea of the “ize” being recommended in the UK nor that browsers actually try to correct your spelling to the “improper” version! We really learn something new everyday. The Internet and its many dialects. *sigh*

      • kevincarlton says:


        I guess I can say that not a lot of people know that. It’s certainly the case that most Brits don’t.

        But then again, many of us over here don’t know the difference between England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom either.

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