Dictionary.com

Misspelling of the Year 2013

misspelling

To explore the psyche of a people, do not look at what they do–look at what they do wrong. Today, we introduce the Misspelling of the Year. A word that was looked up significantly more this year than the year before. A word with lots of different misspellings. A word in the news. The word: furlough.

In 2013, Dictionary.com saw tens of thousands of lookups of this word, often spelled without the ugh. Though the correct spelling is furlough, three variants ballooned in lookup volume: furlow was looked up 66 percent more in 2013 than it was in 2012, and furlo was looked up 60 percent more. We can’t calculate how many more times ferlow, which was in the top 10,000 words of 2013, was searched for because no one was searching for it in 2012.

The main reason folks were talking about furloughs was the October shutdown of the US government (sequester and sequestration searches also jumped 2.3 and 2.8 times relative to last year, but no one was misspelling those).

As for the misspellings. Well, it’s a rough road. The first uses in English were close to the Dutch: vorloffe and fore-loofe in the 1630s. You also get furloghs, furlows, and foreloffs in the early centuries of its use. Why on earth would we pronounce it “oh” but spell it “ough”? Cough cough. That’s tough. Though I have a few thoughts. Let’s step under this lovely bough. (It’s not as bad as it could be: hiccup was standardly spelled as hiccough for a few hundred years.) There are a lot of ways to say ‘g’, but we can’t go into all of them here.

Furlough wasn’t the only word that was giving folks trouble in 2013. In reviewing Dictionary.com’s misspellings of the year (I’d prefer to call them “nonstandard spellings” but the Spelling Despots among you would be at me with pitchphorks), three categories for types of misspellings emerged:

Prefix/suffix troubles

  • PERJUDICE and PERDJUICE for prejudice (think “pre judge” not “smoothie of perdition”)
  • PERCISE for precise (the -cise here is like in incision, so think “pre cut”)
  • ADAMIT for adamant (think “Wolverine has adamantium claws, not adamittens”)
  • AMETURE for amateur (the ama is about love, the -teur is for a doer, like actor in French is acteur; so think “French lover”)

Missing letters

  • AQUAINTED for acquainted (from the 1300s to about 1600 it didn’t have a “c” in English, you were born too late)
  • IFARED for infrared (awesome, don’t ever change)
  • TONSILECTOMY for tonsillectomy (two tonsils, two l’s to remove them)
  • ACHIEVMENT for achievement (spell “achieve” then add “ment”)
  • HIERACHICAL for hierarchical (sound it out?)

Just plain hard

  • EARY for eerie (at the end of the 18th century, suddenly English writers decided this word really needed a double “e,” sorry)
  • THROROUGH for thorough (this is probably just a typo)
  • INDITE for indict (the ending is related to dictionary or dictate–it’s talking about “saying,” you’re declaring an accusation)
  • IMAGRATION for immigration (look for “migrant” inside the word)

Studying nonstandard spellings also suggests some words that need to exist. An argu(e)ment can be made that assertation is a misspelling of assertion, but I would like to think it means something else. Like when someone just goes on and on asserting stuff to point that it feels like they’re reading you a dissertation.

But the word that is the best word in the whole data set and most needs your use and definitions: indiscrepancy. Go get it, Internet.

(Want to learn more about the many pronunciations of -ough? Check out our slideshow here.)

136 Comments

  1. web hosting -  February 4, 2014 - 11:53 am

    I remember writing “cushion” for ‘Cousin’ only once though!
    semele.com.tr

    Reply
  2. THE REAL wolf tamer and coal miner -  February 3, 2014 - 3:30 am

    @ the “wolf tamer and coal miner” who posted:

    “So, I’ve decided to quit minecraft because I think it’s really lame. Also I’d like to take this opportunity to admit that I have no idea how to tame wolves or punch trees or anything else like that. I’m very sorry.”

    Why, exactly, did you steal my name? For goodness’ sake, you don’t have to go using someone else’s screen name. If you’re trying to be funny, it’s not working. If you think I talk about Minecraft too much, I haven’t been – not for a long time. If you’re just being mean, get a life! Don’t you have anything better to do than trolling on a dictionary forum? And, fyi, I do know how to tame wolves (right-click them with bones until hearts bubble up from them) and punch trees (left-click on one until a block of wood pops out) and “anything else like that.” I realize some people may not like Minecraft, but you don’t have to go around saying it’s “really lame.” :|

    Reply
  3. wolf tamer and coal miner -  January 29, 2014 - 8:16 pm

    So, I’ve decided to quit minecraft because I think it’s really lame. Also I’d like to take this opportunity to admit that I have no idea how to tame wolves or punch trees or anything like that. I’m very sorry.

    Reply
  4. wolf tamer and coal miner -  January 29, 2014 - 1:30 am

    I have trouble spelling “excite” (exite), “experiment” (expirement), and “exercise” (excercise).

    Reply
  5. An Awesome Minecrafter -  January 29, 2014 - 1:23 am

    A few minutes ago I saw an ad for a website called Lookany. Here is what it said:

    “Lookany Your Ultimate Web Ressource”

    :)

    Reply
  6. Poonam -  January 27, 2014 - 10:44 pm

    I remember writing “cushion” for ‘Cousin’ only once though!

    Reply
  7. An Awesome Minecrafter -  January 27, 2014 - 3:16 am

    Another thing that gets under my skin: people saying “wallah” instead of “voila.” I’m not sure why it bothers me so much, but it does.

    @Inept Nico:
    You could be right about the dash. I’m only in 7th grade, so I still have plenty to learn about grammar… And I didn’t know about the “Syldexics of the world, untie” thing.

    Reply
  8. Spelling Queen -  January 25, 2014 - 4:44 pm

    I misspelled without for the longest time (withought) as well as maybe (mabye) As I type this, spell check attempts to correct me. (No wonder so many kids nowadays would be lost without it, maybe…) I would love to write a novel called “No Spell Check on a Typewriter”: a dystopian novel about when all the power goes out and no one can spell anything.

    Reply
  9. Pookypooky -  January 18, 2014 - 12:00 pm

    My worst spelled word is fart because I keep putting part instead- do any other find this! ALso I forgot I love you Collins

    Reply
  10. Inept Nico -  January 13, 2014 - 12:59 am

    @Awesome Minecrafter
    :¬)

    > The hyphen (little dash; this thing: -)
    Isn’t the ndash, and not a hyphen, used to indicate a pause – for the reader to take stock of the sentence?
    And is not the mdash another punctuation mark entirely — one can digress from the main thought — without breaking stride between sentences?

    > Minecrafters, unite! (or maybe, “untie”?)
    You usurpers, it was originally
    SYLDEXICS OF THE WORLD – UNTIE!

    > ignoramuses
    I know this is the correct plural, but it does sound kind of effected. Wouldn’t “ignorami” go down much better? This latitutude is granted to the other word that pluralises in a whole mouthful :
    hip·po·pot·a·mus
    noun, plural hip·po·pot·a·mus·es, hip·po·pot·a·mi

    “Education is one of those things where every ignoramus and his brother is an expert” – unknown

    Is there a problem with the second verb’s number here? (I think that Fowler may call this something like the “singular by proximity” issue). Surely it should be
    … every ignoramus and his brother are experts ?

    Noetic
    :¬)

    Reply
  11. Hilton -  January 9, 2014 - 4:03 am

    Nice thread/ conversation all! I had a similar conversation recently about American English dialect (yes it is a dialect)
    You can aks anyone.

    Language tends to evolve from the lowest common denominator amongst it’s users…Hence: ‘Me and John’
    instead of ‘John and I’ ….and what about the general use of z’ in words that should have an ‘s’ eg sympathise…
    Even Spellcheck has those incorrect.

    Reply
  12. Gramma Nazi -  January 8, 2014 - 6:55 am

    “I always try to spell things right” – my gramma says that you should try to spell correctly

    Reply
  13. Collins -  January 7, 2014 - 3:58 pm

    Speaking as a teenager who frequents social media from time to time and therefore sees some quite unfortunate postings by her peers… I say the most misspelled word of 2013 was, indubitably, “awkward.”
    That akward? awkard? awkaward? awkwerd? moment when many high schoolers can’t spell a 5th-grade vocab word.

    Oh, and don’t even get me started on “psycho.” How many tweets have I seen where some poor misguided female soul refers to that crazy girl liking her boyfriend’s pictures on Instagram as a #physco…?

    Reply
  14. ShorePatrol -  January 7, 2014 - 1:44 pm

    Well I had the opportunity to spend some time in Kentucky in the early 80′s and- hear- are a few of their phrases: “It got broke half in two”, “Taint Neither” with the reply of “Tis Too”. I’m from Chicago and continue to use them whenever possible, try it if just for the looks back! And to anon-e-mouse well done.

    Reply
  15. MRBSOK -  January 7, 2014 - 11:33 am

    @ Levi Payne Sloane
    I have a friend that says the same thing….lol I correct her, I figure she’s my friend so I have the right…. hahahaha

    Reply
  16. Bill Landy -  January 7, 2014 - 11:29 am

    My favorite OOPS is when people say “I could care less about that” rather than “I couldn’t care less about that”. But who cares?

    Reply
  17. pitboxer -  January 7, 2014 - 11:20 am

    My spelling problems have disappeared since I started using spill chick.

    Reply
  18. Ole professor Bill -  January 7, 2014 - 6:02 am

    The most common spelling error I see …

    Reply
  19. Ole professor Bill -  January 7, 2014 - 6:01 am

    The most spelling error among my student is an inability to discern between “its” and “it’s.” From from time to time, I see “its’.”

    Reply
  20. Levi Payne Sloane -  January 6, 2014 - 1:54 pm

    I have a friend who uses “I took her a bath” rather than ‘I gave her a bath,’ and “We are going to make her a party” instead of ‘….give her a party.’ Drives me nuts, but he’s so sweet that I haven’t the heart to correct him!

    Reply
  21. guidedAuspex -  January 6, 2014 - 8:47 am

    @wordo

    I know that.

    I was referencing a TV show. :)

    Reply
  22. jon free -  January 6, 2014 - 6:54 am

    won off thu moist come on mis pelling sandnon scents wurds iz of .instead of have . it comes from mis pronounciation., lazy english .of becomes have ..of is pertaining to wheras have is equal parts of a hole !!!!!

    Reply
  23. MzKK -  January 6, 2014 - 5:55 am

    Wallah for voila does irritate me a bit!

    Prawbully for probably is pretty high up on my annoy-o-rama scale too.

    Reply
  24. An Awesome Minecrafter With Several Awesome Minecrafting Friends -  January 6, 2014 - 1:28 am

    What gets on my nerves:
    >loose/lose – did you press the O key too long?
    >it’s/its – “it’s” = it is; “its” = belonging to it
    >you’re/your – “you’re” = you are; “your” = belonging to you
    >they’re/their/there – “they’re” = they are; “their” = belonging to them; “there” = in that place

    @Elizabeth:
    I can relate, being a writer myself; I sometimes have to search for several minutes before discovering the perfect word.

    @Urmom & Urdad:
    Good grief. The word that comes to mind is “ignoramuses.” But, just so you can understand, I will simplify it for you: DUMB. The hyphen (little dash; this thing: -) shows a pause when reading the sentence. If you did in fact read the sentence at all.

    Minecrafters, unite! (or should I say “untie”?) :D

    Reply
  25. Tony Suckling -  January 5, 2014 - 9:46 pm

    There is an epidemic of people agreeing with themselves, when they pepper their speech with ‘yeah’ and ‘so yeah’. It has been happening for years, but seems to be getting worse. Ugh!

    Reply
  26. Madonna Taylor -  January 5, 2014 - 3:23 pm

    Talking about typing errors versus spelling errors, I knew a fellow who sold prosthetic appliances for a living. He was applying for a new job and was up against a deadline. In his rush, he decided to use a resume’ service and had them send out his resume’ and application without him proof reading it first. It had him selling “artificial limps”. Talk about a Freudian slip!

    Reply
  27. kenzi -  January 5, 2014 - 12:29 pm

    and thank you thesaurus for that amazing way to help spell immigration… migrate isn’t in there anywhere… maybe this is why so many words are spelled horrible… false information haha

    Reply
  28. kenzi -  January 5, 2014 - 12:28 pm

    I always try to spell things right, but especially when I get really mad at someone online, I don’t want to be that moron who’s yelling at someone for something rude or dumb they did and be spelling everything wrong!!! XD

    Reply
  29. kenzi -  January 5, 2014 - 12:27 pm

    I always try to spell things right, but especially when I get really mad at someone online, I don’t want to be that moron who’s yelling at someone for something rude or dumb they did and be spelling everything wrong XD

    Reply
  30. Kevin -  January 5, 2014 - 12:24 pm

    I cannot believe it. I see misspellings and other problems every day.
    In about the 7th grade, I won a spelling Bee with “antidisestablishmentarianism”.

    Reply
  31. Graypelt -  January 4, 2014 - 4:33 pm

    I have several friends who can not stand “chat-speak” (substituting your for ur, are for r, why for y, etc.). I’ve always been fairly good at spelling since kindergarten, and I like to use the trick I was taught to “sound out words”, but sometimes it does not work. Some examples are words like taught (I used to spell it tot when I was little) and what about thyme? I spelled it “time” just like in the sentence, “What time of day is it?”
    You might catch me giggle in disbelief at words like iPhone (no offense intended to the company or its users), because I split the words apart in my mind, “i Phone” and see that it looks capitalized in the wrong word and not capitalized where it should be. I learned when I was very young that you always capitalize the letter “i” because it indicates a (person, place, or thing), which signifies a level of importance. Whereas with the word, “Phone”, you do not need to capitalize it unless it is the first word in a sentence. In my opinion, “iPhone” should be spelled, “Iphone”. Is there anyone who agrees with me on this?

    Reply
  32. cindy -  January 4, 2014 - 3:11 pm

    Social media’s frequent adoption of the phrase ” gone missing”. Haven’t you finished your being missing since it’s gone? Maybe they mean” gone fishing ” instead.

    Reply
  33. Kelsey Grammar -  January 4, 2014 - 2:32 pm

    As an IT professional who can actually write and spell, I’d like to create a usage-checker that immediately disables the keyboard of any geek who converts shutdown, login / logout, setup, or any other compound noun into a verb. I saw a manual that referred to “backupping” a hard drive, groan…

    I’ve named another bête noire “Hyphen the Terrible”: atrocities such as “The omelet was made with 3-eggs” or “He stopped for a red-light”.

    FWIW – I mean, for what it’s worth – “orientate” is an aberration for those of us on the west side of the Atlantic, but it’s very common in British English with usage dating to the early 19th century.

    Reply
  34. bob -  January 4, 2014 - 8:25 am

    Don’t be peeved. Orientate IS a word but chiefly British. Please check OED and Cambridge Dictionary.

    Reply
  35. B. K. -  January 4, 2014 - 8:19 am

    When I write anything, I continually look up words for their correct spelling. I do misspell words unintentionally. ( the word “misspell” doesn’t look right, yet, according to the dictionary this is the correct way to write it. ) Oftentimes when I text I have to mindfully tell myself “don’t be lazy B.” I read what people post on sites and I do get discouraged because of the use of a single letter in place of the actual word. (u r) My son, who is 25 told me it irritates him when he receives a text that is not written properly. I never thought about it until he brought it up, since then I double check myself when I text. It does take longer to try and use proper English and spelling, it is worth every effort put into it. If one knows how to spell correctly then do so, or those like myself who sometimes find the simplest words difficult to spell and have the means to look up the proper spelling of those words I encourage them to look them up. It appears the use of correct spelling is dying off, I am thankful for those who continue to put forth the effort in keeping it alive.

    Reply
  36. Emma -  January 4, 2014 - 3:29 am

    Does no one think of ‘adamant’ as Adam Ant? Just me then…

    Reply
  37. TheFlyingSquirrel -  January 4, 2014 - 2:46 am

    One of my favourites was a café that had an all day breakfast menu, including ‘raison toast’ I’m guessing it was their raisin d’etre. :)

    Reply
  38. Bibliophile -  January 3, 2014 - 7:09 pm

    Apparently “Urmom” and “Urdad” (two commenters below, not the beginning of an insult to the world) are both fairly, well…imbecilic comes to mind, but let me translate so they can both understand: DUMB. But then, trolls are not historically known for their intellectual prowess.

    Reply
  39. Caleydog -  January 3, 2014 - 3:02 pm

    I’m the first to admit I can be (okay, I AM) an absolute pain in the posterior when it comes to the English language. Being an editor for several decades will do that to a fella. However, if everyone posting here took 30 seconds to proof prior to hitting submit, youse all would get a good guffaw. To wit:

    …now there’s two worth looking up (there’s doesn’t = there ARE)
    …SMS limitation has had it’s fair share (Uh, maybe its fair share?)
    … one of my biggest pet peeves (Only one peeve can be the biggest.)
    …proof all their correspondences before they are sent (Correspondence as a plural? Learnt something new today!!)
    …a newly graduated, elementary-level, substitute teacher (Calling a new substitute teacher’s skills elementary is cold!)

    None of us should judge too harshly; instead we should enjoy — and learn from — pieces such as this that offer a chance to sharpen our language skills … and our collective sense of humor. Oh, BTW … my 1974 Random House Dictionary, 2nd Edition, Unabridged states “youse” is an acceptable (although not preferred) pluralization of “you.” Talk about a punch to the gut.

    Reply
  40. Corliss D. Gorton -  January 3, 2014 - 12:54 pm

    thats great

    Reply
  41. Kelly Carter -  January 3, 2014 - 10:59 am

    The most frequent misspelled word I see is “loose” when “lose” was intended: “My New Year’s resolution is to loose some weight.” But it’s understandable if you try to “sound out” the word “loose”. “Lose” could be sounded out something like “lohz”. English is so fun!

    Reply
  42. Elizabeth -  January 3, 2014 - 9:16 am

    I blame these misspellings on people who don’t read. Anything other than on the internet, that is. They’ve HEARD the word, and GUESS at it’s spelling. I grew up reading all manner of publications, newspapers, magazines, books, novels. Real, substantial books, with a good use of the English language. I use adjectives and adverbs in my everyday life that most, or at least half the people I interact with, have never heard of. Then I end up explaining their meanings and definitions through more common synonyms and example sentences.
    I don’t use them to impress, or inflate myself, but because I love the English language and all it’s sublte intricacies, There are many words to use for a meaning, but often ONLY ONE has MY EXACT meaning.

    Reply
  43. Sick day. -  January 3, 2014 - 7:51 am

    Since living amongst the colonists of New Jersey, I’ve noticed that American “English” (sometimes erroneously referred to as “American English” ) has a few words which may have been misread, misspelt, or mispronounced into their modern common forms. Immediately coming to mind: “chaise lounge” (chaise longue), “hot flashes” (hot flushes).

    Best to sit back and enjoy how the language continues to evolve – although it’s probably happening at a faster pace than ever before.

    Reply
  44. Sick day. -  January 3, 2014 - 7:41 am

    Amusing one from Brian H; wallah/violá. “Wallah” came to British English in the days of the Raj (yes, I remember it well), most popularly used to denote a man who has a particular job or rôle, hence, “char wallah” (tea-serving man), “bungee wallah” (rubbish collector or street-sweeper), and “pankah wallah” (fan operator). As the French policeman said, when he uncovered a thief, “Et voleur!”

    Speaking of the French, one of my pet peeves is the use of the tautological “please RSVP”.

    Reply
  45. Pedantick -  January 3, 2014 - 6:43 am

    At last, a place to share my frustration about the misspelling of Petrel Blue – usually spelled ‘petrol’ when, in fact it refers to the blue colour of the sea bird.

    Reply
  46. Chris -  January 3, 2014 - 2:40 am

    @Urmom

    That is what is called an em dash. It is, in that sentence, the functional equivalent of a semicolon, though, admittedly, an em dash should be used in a manner similar—but not identical—to pair of parentheses.

    Reply
  47. Chris -  January 3, 2014 - 2:33 am

    Oops as “ops”.

    Reply
  48. Mr. Spelling -  January 2, 2014 - 8:53 pm

    If I had gender reassignment surgery, I’d be a Miss Spelling.

    Reply
  49. wordo -  January 2, 2014 - 4:23 pm

    hey guidedAuspex, is there such a thing as an ‘American language’? I thought you guys spoke English?

    Reply
  50. iam dtaunt -  January 2, 2014 - 11:06 am

    …noww i’me reeley confoosed…

    Reply
  51. arlethia -  January 2, 2014 - 10:44 am

    I hate when people say libary instead of library. Also benarystep is right, so listen to that person

    Reply
  52. Gary Mann -  January 2, 2014 - 9:31 am

    The word “me” used as a nominative case pronoun is repulsive to me. I hear college graduates say “me and Joey went to the movies last Saturday.” I would also like to know how someone “graduates college.” What happens to the college when one graduates it?

    Reply
  53. mhood -  January 2, 2014 - 3:01 am

    Indiscrepancy is probably “a pair of facts which seem to have a lack of compatibility or similarity but which, upon checking, are actually compatible or similar. Such as “I say the moon is made of green cheese,” and “I am an idiot.”

    Reply
  54. Ariel -  January 1, 2014 - 8:00 pm

    And I know, my comment is probably filled with grammar mistakes.

    Reply
  55. Ariel -  January 1, 2014 - 7:59 pm

    I’m pretty sure some of these “misspellings” are made when people type too fast or type without looking. Just because people spell something wrong doesn’t mean they’re dumb (unless it’s something like “discorrect” or “unallowable,” or something. Or would those not be counted as misspellings?). Take “perjudice,” for example: after all, the “r” and the “e” are next to each other on the keyboard. It happens to me often. Just a thought…

    Reply
  56. Shirley Zielske -  January 1, 2014 - 8:25 am

    Poor spellers live under a ” care less” spell.

    Reply
  57. Brian H -  January 1, 2014 - 6:42 am

    Could, would, should of. I guess it sounds too much like ‘ve.

    Reply
  58. Douglas Perret Starr -  January 1, 2014 - 6:34 am

    Thank God for copyeditors.

    Reply
  59. Brian H -  January 1, 2014 - 5:52 am

    This is kina ‘orrible, but have seen it often: “wallah”. It means (of course or incredibly) voila.

    Reply
  60. guidedAuspex -  January 1, 2014 - 3:20 am

    Remember the Lost Commandments!

    “Thou Shalt Not Bastardize The American Language”

    Reply
  61. binaryStep -  January 1, 2014 - 2:59 am

    @Wabbajack

    Ironic that you see “facepalm” as a word, but not “orientate”, even though the latter has appeared more widely in dictionaries.

    Reply
  62. binaryStep -  January 1, 2014 - 2:57 am

    @MayBird

    Conversate and irregardless are words though

    All words start off as “made up” words like those

    Once, “eyes” wasn’t a word, people said “eyen”

    Reply
  63. Bob -  December 31, 2013 - 2:24 pm

    indiscrepancy: when you read an e-mail or text and then attempt to correct the sender’s spelling on a word that was already spelled correctly.

    Reply
  64. Brianna -  December 31, 2013 - 1:02 pm

    I love the responses to this.

    Reply
  65. me -  December 31, 2013 - 12:09 pm

    yeah, thanks to the public (government) school system of “education”. Also, add to that social media, and Common Core (a part of Agenda 21, a UN top down requirement turned loose on the American public and their children by the communist left who have been running things for some time now) will be turning out a myriad little idiots.

    Reply
  66. IZOOODUMP -  December 31, 2013 - 11:38 am

    zo manny grammer Natzies

    Reply
  67. Laurie -  December 31, 2013 - 8:46 am

    Really? Hasn’t anyone noticed that if you look for ‘migrant’ inside ‘immigration’ you won’t find it?

    Reply
  68. Catie -  December 31, 2013 - 8:22 am

    I’m the secretary for a contract engineering department. It is my job to proof all their correspondences before they are sent. It is amazing to me how many of them insist on spelling things wrong or using incorrect grammar! Run on sentences are a favorite around here, as well as using “Please advice” instead of “advise” (for some reason MS Word wants to change advise to advice? So they listen to it… regardless of what I tell them.)

    Reply
  69. wolf tamer and tree puncher -  December 31, 2013 - 4:57 am

    @Urmom:
    They’re not saying “Don’t look at what they do look…,” they’re saying “Don’t look at what they do – look at what they do wrong.” The hyphen shows a break in the sentence. Maybe you’re the one who needs to study up on “ur” grammar.

    Reply
  70. John Canterbury -  December 30, 2013 - 9:52 pm

    The grammatical error that has always bothered me the most is when someone is referring to a person performing some task and use “that” instead of “who”. Another is not using to, too, and two correctly. Finally using there, their, and they’re incorrectly sends me through the roof. Happy New Year! Bring on the technology and the new language that comes with it!

    Reply
  71. Josh -  December 30, 2013 - 8:54 pm

    Ha! The comment chain for this article has been nearly as entertaining as the article itself. Nice work, everyone, I’ve learned a bundle. Wait… can a bundle be learned?

    Reply
  72. Nancy Armijo -  December 30, 2013 - 3:36 pm

    Here is a poem, written at least 20 years ago, when spell checkers were new to most of us. I have no idea who wrote it. I would give credit if I knew to whom it belonged. I typed it lower case and punctuated it as it was written on the copy I received.. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it!

    Ode to My Spell Checker

    eye halve a spelling checker
    it came with my pea sea.
    it plainly marques fore my revue; miss steaks eye kin knot sea
    eye strike a key and type a word; and weight fore it to say;
    weather eye am wrong oar write. it shows me strait a weigh;
    as soon as a mist ache is maid, it nose bee fore two long,
    and eye can put the error rite. its rare lea ever wrong.
    eye have run this poem threw it; i am shore your pleased two no.
    its letter perfect awl the weigh, my checker tolled me sew.

    Reply
  73. Amy -  December 30, 2013 - 3:33 pm

    My pet peeve is all the people that want to axe me a question. If I actually see you with an axe in your hand, I will run rather than answer.

    Reply
  74. Mary -  December 30, 2013 - 12:10 pm

    as a student, their(pronoun) possessive for they, and there (adverb) are two different things. yet I see quite often the direction (there) is being used in place of personal possessive. also thanks to the person that pointed out “you are” and ” your ” does not mean the same. We have a noun and a verb, any “your” is a pronoun

    Reply
  75. Nancy Armijo -  December 30, 2013 - 11:21 am

    @Cowbell Blues – Regarding your father saying, “Very instiresting” (sic) — From the way you wrote it, he probably was imitating the comedian Arte Johnson who frequently said that phrase during the TV program “Laugh-In” in the late 1960s. If you’ve never seen the original, Arte Johnson version, I imagine you can find it on youtube.

    Reply
  76. Samuel Johnson -  December 30, 2013 - 11:12 am

    Those were some hard words, I mean I probably would missed some too.

    Reply
  77. Rabbit5 -  December 30, 2013 - 10:46 am

    Who kares? Oops

    Reply
  78. Nancy Armijo -  December 30, 2013 - 10:35 am

    Some of my pet peeves are:

    The incorrect usage of they’re, their, and there, i.e., Their going to watch a movie after they buy they’re tickets and there popcorn.

    Same as above with its and it’s.

    Putting an apostrophe in a plural, as in trying on shoe’s or knocking down bowling pin’s; and then, the opposite mistake of not using the apostrophe when it really is needed. About six years ago, I even told a newly graduated, elementary-level, substitute teacher not to add apostrophes to non-possessive plurals. The “dumbing-down” of America…

    Reply
  79. tam -  December 30, 2013 - 6:00 am

    Is there a word for the Freudian slips we make in typing? There should be. I have to distinguish between a Freudian typo and a spelling error.

    For furlough to be the winner – I’d like to know who uses the word that often? I haven’t in my life – except for this post.

    Reply
  80. Urdad -  December 29, 2013 - 8:29 pm

    The first sentence of this article has bad grammar. The continuation of the sentence after the comma is incorrect. Also, the title of this article is incorrect. The misspelling of the year 2013.

    Reply
  81. Urmom -  December 29, 2013 - 8:21 pm

    do–look = incorrect

    Reply
  82. R Moulton -  December 29, 2013 - 12:54 pm

    How about the always confusing “peaked my interest” instead of the elegantly spelled piqued? Almost never see this done correctly.

    Reply
  83. ~JaiMe~ -  December 29, 2013 - 12:42 pm

    Something (actually, some things) to contemplate: when searching for any word/string, after typing only a few of the letters, there is already a drop-down menu with suggestions of what the computer ‘thinks’ you want. Such an increase in ‘furlo’ could well be due to this…once you see the correct spelling, you stop there. Also, as for words like ‘lose–loose’ & many of the myriad of other misspellings & typos (such as ‘the’ instead of ‘then’ or ‘for’ instead of ‘form’), remember that spell-check does NOT read for context, only for spelling. You have to thoroughly mess up the word before it will catch the error–and drop-down/pop-up menus offering multiple suggestions are only as functionally useful as the person utilizing them :b
    My question is: what has happened to anyone (especially in media/news agencies) possessing decent proofreading skills?

    Reply
  84. Chris L. -  December 29, 2013 - 9:28 am

    Hailing from a multilingual background, I can sympathize with the embarrassing, but understandable practice of misspelling. English is definitely not a phonetic language, adharwaaiz Aai’d bee tawking laaik dhis. My mom is a native speaker of Hindi and Gujarati, and she’d often find herself wrong in spelling words phonetically. For example, she’d spell apple, “apull,” subtle, “suddle,” and terrific, “tarifik.” Who’s to say misspellings of words are wrong? In defense of “perjudice” and adamit,” many people pronounce the word pretty as “perty,” so “perjudice” may follow the same linguistic pattern. I’ve also heard many people pronounce the word “adamant” as “adamit,” which explains its otherwise more phonetic rendering. Languages always evolve, so there’s no point in being a stickler about it.

    Reply
  85. Henerfia -  December 28, 2013 - 4:07 pm

    Found on a menu: Crispy Brussle Sprouts. What is a Brussle and why is it sprouting?

    Reply
  86. Henerfia -  December 28, 2013 - 4:03 pm

    So glad I found this. Misspellings on signs irritate me! Who would pay a sign painter who couldn’t spell?

    Reply
  87. Robbie Laws -  December 28, 2013 - 11:16 am

    If discrepancy means something wrong or different, would indiscrepancy then mean something correct or the same? My pet peeves are conversate and orientate. I’ve even heard kids saying disorientate! You CONVERSE to engage in conversation and you ORIENT or DISORIENT someone/thing. :)
    Thanks for letting me vent.

    Reply
  88. Saj -  December 28, 2013 - 10:23 am

    How about those who use “than” instead of “then”?! Pet Peeve Alert!!!

    Reply
  89. Gnirol -  December 28, 2013 - 10:09 am

    Teaching in Japan, one encounters a lot of interesting English mistakes. My favorite spelling error was on a vocabulary test in which one student filled in this blank: The trial was unfair because the judge was _____________. The student wrote “prejuiced”.

    Reply
  90. Marty Richert -  December 28, 2013 - 9:44 am

    BAD SPELLERS OF THE WORLD, UNTIE!!

    Reply
  91. Piper -  December 28, 2013 - 8:25 am

    For the hierarchical one you said to sound it out. In England we sometimes pronounce our R’s very softly so that would not work for us.
    Love this info though!

    Reply
  92. Leah -  December 28, 2013 - 3:43 am

    Now I want to know what a smoothie of perdition tastes like.

    Reply
  93. Jennifer J. Johnson -  December 27, 2013 - 7:28 pm

    A boyfriend of mine made a bargain with me: Any auditory, olfactory or other perception encountered while the other is using the bathroom? This was hands-off for teasing or complaining.

    The bathroom is, he reasoned, just the place for that sort of thing, and thus, should be beyond reproach.

    To me, this concept of assessing “the most misspelled word” based on the number of tries presented to an online dictionary? Well, it is like finding a fart sound emitting from the closed walls of a bathrrom and the muffling bowels of the toilet bowl rude.

    We WANT people who misspell to get help. The insult is not in an attempt to be right. It is only when the failure is beyond the allegorical bathroom walls.
    –jjj

    Reply
  94. Top 8 Misspellings From 2013 | sooziQ -  December 24, 2013 - 2:39 am

    [...] spelling: furlough The misspelling of the year! These six letters capture the phonetic diversity of English as well as the sad impact of the word, [...]

    Reply
  95. Top 8 Misspellings From 2013 - Avidmav -  December 23, 2013 - 9:24 pm

    [...] spelling: furlough The misspelling of the year! These six letters capture the phonetic diversity of English as well as the sad impact of the word, [...]

    Reply
  96. Donna -  December 22, 2013 - 8:27 pm

    I ran into a new one last night at a very upscale restaurant in Sedalia, CO – palette instead of palate – I pointed this out to them, but I’m not holding my breath that they’ll fix it.

    Reply
  97. Renae Lindsay -  December 22, 2013 - 8:21 pm

    I was once called a looser, my response was: “you are absolutely right, I’ve always been a looser. You, however, are a loser.

    Reply
  98. cantspellmyname -  December 22, 2013 - 7:28 pm

    …and the mobile phone 140 characters SMS limitation has had it’s fair share of contribution to general degrading of English and “misspellings innovation”….

    Reply
  99. Cowbell Blues -  December 22, 2013 - 8:08 am

    As my Father would say, “Very instiresting” He also occassionally broke into singing an old commercial jingle for Oscar Meyer, “Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Meyer wiener, then everyone would be in love with me!” It’s all in the reasoning, folks, it’s all in the reasoning. ;)

    Reply
  100. wolf tamer and tree puncher -  December 22, 2013 - 6:36 am

    Huh. I don’t misspell those. Maybe reading “Pride and Prejudice” indelibly stamped the correct spelling of “prejudice” into my brain. :) The ones I have trouble with are “rhyme” and “rhythm.” (I was about to write “ryhthm”!) However, I thought “indict” was pronounced the way it’s spelled, until this afternoon. My mom, my younger brother, and I are reading “A Christmas Carol,” and we came across the word “indict.” My mom used to be an attorney, so she knew how to pronounce it.

    @Jon:
    I am an avid reader (I’ve read Shakespeare and Jane Austen, fyi) and an avid Minecrafter. And I’m 13. I have never had trouble with spelling, except for “rhyme” and “rhythm” (see above comment).

    Reply
  101. Ai Rui Sheng -  December 22, 2013 - 12:33 am

    Loose for lose is just dumb and the use of plural verbs with collective nouns is semi-literate at best.
    The beautiful language is being destroyed by DJ’s, bloggers, commentators and US software companies who supply spell checkers in non-standard dialects. Even newsreaders are barely literate.

    Reply
  102. Karl -  December 21, 2013 - 7:39 pm

    My number one pet peeve is definitely ‘definately’. The number of presumably intelligent people who do this seems almost infinate, lol!

    Reply
  103. Theresa Jones -  December 21, 2013 - 2:49 pm

    Oh my gosh! I am so glad that someone wrote about the dreaded misuse of the word orientate. It is one of my biggest pet peeves although I have no idea why :)

    Reply
  104. Betty -  December 21, 2013 - 1:54 pm

    Has anyone noticed how often (particularly on internet) very simple words are misspelled? One that I see very often is “loose” when the writer means “lose.” Maybe there’s a glitch in the IPhone autocorrect….

    Reply
  105. Stephanie -  December 21, 2013 - 1:47 pm

    “Indiscrepancy” should definitely be a word. It sounds like a cross between “indiscreet” and “discrepancy”. Surely there are enough blatant inconsistencies to merit it’s own term for the phenomena.

    Reply
  106. May Bird -  December 21, 2013 - 11:00 am

    Not to be rude, or anything. ;)

    Reply
  107. tatjy -  December 21, 2013 - 11:00 am

    forgot “to” when they meant “too” and “loose” when they meant “lose”. seen lots of that lately

    Reply
  108. May Bird -  December 21, 2013 - 10:59 am

    -Conversating instead of conversing. (Used more in speech).
    -Economical used incorrectly. (e.g: The political, social, and economical influences of the Second Great Awakening in the 19th century…)
    -Seperate instead of separate.
    -Irregardless rather than just ‘regardless’ (There was a Dictionary.com article on this too, though I don’t hear it often).
    -It’s/its instead of its/it’s (respectively).
    And these are just a few!

    P.S @Jim: done: (adj.) completed; finished; through
    So it can be used to indicate you’re finished with something. Oh, and it’s ‘frightening,’ not “freightening.”

    Reply
  109. Jorginus -  December 21, 2013 - 7:53 am

    ‘Be not the first by whom the new is tried,
    Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.’
    Language lives through change–how about ‘thru’ for spelling of Chaucer’s time? And those double ‘nn’s from the ‘Frogs’?

    Reply
  110. Victor -  December 21, 2013 - 1:01 am

    has anyone else heard of a ‘cockus’ meeting? LOL

    Reply
  111. anonymous -  December 20, 2013 - 10:54 pm

    Honestly, I don’t think this list is very percise. Obviously, ametures made this since it isn’t very throrough and it displays no academic achievment. Not to be perjudice but this makes thing hierachical since it ranks people who can spell over people who can’t. I’d also like to indite the fact that this is a bit eary since it gives strange ways to remember how to spell these words. Sorry if I’m angry, i had to make an imagration from the hospital after my tonsilectomy which I’m still getting aquainted to. So to coat my argument in adamit, you must the writers must have infared vision because it is invisible on the spectrum of what I see is true.

    Reply
  112. Varina Suellen Plonski -  December 20, 2013 - 9:03 pm

    Wabbajack’s word “orientate” is similar to my most vehemently hated pet peeve from the CorpSpeak world – “notate”. Hate it, hate it, HATE IT! You can annotate something, you can note something, and you can make a note of something, but the only thing you can notate is music, science, or math using their specific symbols. ARGH!

    Reply
  113. Vad spellor -  December 20, 2013 - 7:52 pm

    I cen’t blive thet thay cen’t spall thoes werds

    Reply
  114. Mary -  December 20, 2013 - 7:37 pm

    Migrant is not part of immigration.

    Reply
  115. Angie -  December 20, 2013 - 6:52 pm

    LOL. I’m thinking about how anyone would define “indiscrepancy”!

    Reply
  116. Kim -  December 20, 2013 - 4:29 pm

    Looks like ‘frightened’ might also be misspelled often as ‘freightened’, but that’s just my own thought anyweigh.

    Reply
  117. Carl on Duty: Black Cops -  December 20, 2013 - 2:58 pm

    I’m glad I’m realy good at englisch class. peeple are horrorble splellers somethimes. Espesialy my frend. 0.o

    Reply
  118. Carl on Duty: Black Cops -  December 20, 2013 - 2:56 pm

    I’m glad I don’t missplell any words. I lerned Englicsh in hie skhool.

    Reply
  119. Scott Burson -  December 20, 2013 - 1:35 pm

    One that has been bugging me a lot these last couple of years is the misspelling of the past tense and past participle of “to lead”. The correct spelling is “led”, but I’m frequently seeing it spelled “lead”, even in the work of professional writers. (One wrote “Many people have a need to be lead.” I was tempted to comment “Really? I have a need to be gold.”)

    It’s an understandable error, considering that the name of the soft, gray metal is spelled “lead” and pronounced identically to “led”. There’s also the fact that the past tense of “to read” rhymes with “led” but is spelled “read” — obviously, spelling it “red” would engender confusion. So, one could make a good case that the change from “led” to “lead” actually regularizes the language a little bit.

    I’m not prepared to adopt this new spelling myself, but I don’t think my opinion is likely to matter — in 20 years, this will probably be an accepted spelling if not the preferred one.

    Reply
  120. Werd Findor -  December 20, 2013 - 10:38 am

    If I am uncertain of a correct word spelling, I’ll enter a deliberate or obvious mis-spelled version to see what comes up which puts a spin on these statistics.

    Reply
  121. Cyberquill -  December 20, 2013 - 9:42 am

    “Furlow” is furrierspeak to indicate that stocks are low and new merchandise is to be ordered.

    Reply
  122. Joe Menard -  December 20, 2013 - 8:46 am

    Wahts so Worng with mispeliing? Me Liike a bahd Garamar Lmao

    Reply
  123. Tom -  December 20, 2013 - 8:40 am

    How about mayonnaise and vacuum!

    Reply
  124. P&R Fan -  December 20, 2013 - 8:09 am

    Perdjuice. The story behind this word is that it’s a drink that I, Perd Hapley, make from fruit in my house.

    Reply
  125. Jim -  December 20, 2013 - 7:55 am

    “Done” is frequently misused. It is used in place of “finished” and “through”. Are you through yet. Not are you done yet.”Scared” is another misused word. I am afraid or freightened, not i am scared. I am afraid to go into the haunted house. The monster that screamed scared me. At least this is my opinion.

    Reply
  126. Rickedy Rick -  December 20, 2013 - 7:53 am

    The worst has to be the incorrect verb usage of “your” for “you are”.

    For example, found on every internet forum ever, the reply: “Your wrong!”

    Reply
  127. Don -  December 20, 2013 - 5:40 am

    Silhouette & schadenfreude — now there’s two worth looking up, often.

    Reply
  128. Jon -  December 20, 2013 - 5:14 am

    These are so horrible! I learned English in high school and I can’t imagine how someone could misspell so badly, unless they are lysdexic.

    If reading books was as popular as playing video games, kids would have much less trouble with spelling.

    Reply
  129. Ozan -  December 20, 2013 - 4:08 am

    Had a fun time reading this. It’s also nice to know that I have never made any of these mistakes.

    Reply
  130. Wabbajack -  December 19, 2013 - 11:34 pm

    It’s like people saying “defiantly” instead of “definitely”. *facepalm* And when people decide that “to orientate” is more fun to say than “to orient”. Why, English speakers? Why?

    Reply
  131. Malcolm Farr -  December 19, 2013 - 7:19 pm

    The best misspelling to have crossed my path this year was one which didn’t appear in writing at all, but was nonetheless clearly a (notional) misspelling deriving from a particular mispronunciation. And the word? “Mispronounciation!”

    Reply

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