Words Brits struggle to spell

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I have problems with gauge, occasion and diarrhoea. Actually, writing diarrhoea for this article was actually harder than it seems because the spellchecker kept wanting to change it to the American spelling. It was quite a battle between me and the spell checker. But I prevailed in the end!

As a proofreader, translator, English teacher and former journalist, I can say that people these days really cannot spell. They tend to rely on Google or a spellchecker to help them. I would say that is true for all languages. But really, when you think about it, if the spell checker helps you so much, why not use the energy you save by not having to remember how to spell words, for something else instead?

And if you want to improve your spelling – reading does the trick!

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

6 thoughts

  1. Anything that has 2 sets of double letters gets me double checking, as they never quite look right. The worst for me though has to be occasionally – when I write it down I am always convinced I have it wrong, and then once you´ve looked at it for ages, it´ll never look right. Mischievous is a more complex issue, as I´m sure my mum used to say that my brother was mischievious, not mischievous… 🙂

    1. Yes I have a problem with occasionally too – I always put the double letters in the wrong place. And the more you look at a work the more wrong it looks!

  2. I can never understand why the era of my education was considered to be much lower than that of today, yet everyone I knew at school could spell and put a sentence or paragraph together correctly. We could also do basic maths in our head without the need for a calculator or even writing it down.

    Modern day spelling from the younger generations, and to some extent, those older who have grown idle is nothing short of shambolic.

    The only one in that list I have ever had issues with is RHYTHM – i used to want to put an extra “y” between the th and the m, but that was only a short lived faux pas 😉

  3. I purposely avoid spell checks and rely on a dictionary when I need to correctly spell a word. But then there was George Carlin who said “if you can’t spell a word how can you look it up?”. Yes, but . . .
    I also avoid relying on my phone to recall numbers and prefer using my memory for frequently called ones.
    And yes, Janet, reading also does the trick.

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