Afternoon Inquisition

AI: teh mispeling

In Linguistics, we distinguish between errors, and mistakes. Errors are incorrect answers because you simply don’t know something, whereas mistakes are incorrect answers to which you know the correct answer…like typos.

For me, I ALWAYS misspell “regards” are regrads” (transposing the letters), “skeptic” as “sketpic” (again, transposing) and “thyroid” as “thyrpid” (cause the ‘p’ is next to the ‘o’…wow, sounds like a Diddy song!).

Anyone could easily trace my anonymous death threat letters on the basis of my infamous misspellings…

As for errors, who knows how to spell “diarrhea” and “hemorrhoid”? Yes, I had to look them both up…

What typos do you make?

What words do you never remember how to spell?

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  1. Just to get things kicked off…I always seem to misspell “wierd.” In fact, I actually just misspelled it there! I didn’t correct it, just to make the point.

    On another subject, a high percentage of the threads that I comment to seem to immediately die. This does not bode well for the fact that I was finally the first poster.

  2. I often make typos but I blame it on the fact that my mother tongue is french. For example, I misspell center with centre. My biggest pet-peeve is neighbor. I NEVER remember how to spell that. Urgh!!

  3. Fushfoofyu … fuchsia.

    I actually have a pretty good spellchecker in my brain. I tend to catch and correct typos as I make them, and I know when I don’t know how to spell a word.

    I admit I tend to sneer at people who post things like “…had the oppertunity (sp?)…” online. Really? You thought you might be wrong but couldn’t take three seconds to pull up I’ve (mostly) learned to let it go, though.

  4. I mainly make mistakes. For a long time, thought, I thought it was spelled definately. :-)

    Of course, it just grinds at my nerves when people can’t tell the difference between they’re/their/there, you’re/your and its/it’s. I know I shouln’t let it bother me so much, but it’s just… ugh! :-)

  5. “‘regards’ are regrads'”? Was that inadvertent, or are you quizzing us?! AAAAAH *runs around like a teenager waiting for his Yale acceptance letter*

    I’m a decent speller, but there are a few buggers that get me from time to time. The one that consistently gives me trouble is “fuchsia.” It’s so illogical! I want to teach that word some linguistic manners.

  6. I’ve been known to occaisionally misspell occasionally. Actually, by now I know I can’t spell it, so I look for the tell-tale dotted line to make sure I did it correctly.

    A worse problem for me is mispronouncing words that I think I know, but apparently have only read and never heard spoken. “Indecorous,” for example. I pronounced it like “indecorum” only with an “us” on the end, but then I finally heard someone else say it and was embarrassed to discover I had been saying it wrong. There are several words like this that I’ve said one way for years in my head, then learned later I was mispronouncing. The curse of the bookworm. :)

  7. I constantly use the “wrong” form of a word — like “meet” instead of “meat”.

    Also, I and think incredibly fast, but sometimes they don’t mesh well, and hilarious results can happen, especially if I get distracted by a thought or something I heard.

    I’m never going to be able to spell “definitely” without a spell-checker.

  8. @Autochton: Recently I was on okcupid or something, I don’t remember exactly where, but some guy ONLY used “too” — even when “to” was needed. It was odd. Usually it’s the other way around. I found his constant misuse of “too” to be even more distracting!’

    ALSO! This reminds me: I hate when people write “use” when they really mean “used” — and the same goes for suppose/supposed. It’s obnoxious. UGH!

    @BarelyKnitTogether: I’m always wanting to use a word in conversation that I’ve only ever read, but then I realize … I don’t know how to pronounce it! I hate that. The curse of a bookworm, indeed!

    @marilove: … and occasionally, I sometimes forget entire words and even sentences, because my fast brain and fast typing don’t always mesh. So, that should read, “I type and think incredibly fast”….

  9. I have always had a lot of trouble with spelling, but I find this makes me particularly unforgiving of those who frequently misspell or misuse words. Part of this is because modern internet browsers will TELL you if you are misspelling something, and it takes almost no effort to fix it.

    I do depend on the browser spell-check a lot though. I am constantly trying to improve my spelling, but I think I will always require a dictionary and computer checkers.

    Luckily I do NOT have trouble with homonyms. I’m not sure why, but the “there, their, they’re” type of issues have never given me any trouble at all. Since browser spell-check can’t catch those, I’m glad I know how to use them correctly.

  10. More as a force of habit, on the rare occasions I write about “jeans” I invariably find myself typing “genes” instead. Working in genetics will do that to you.

  11. Typos: from/form, there/theer/their/thier

    Can’t remember: Piranha, chihuahua, parallel and to a lesser extent psycho, physics, physical

    And I have a hard time remembering ance/ence, ant/ent/, cious/sious/tious, sion/tion

    Biggest pet peeve that others do: there/their and your/you’re

    Well, their they are. Your Welcome!

  12. I keep accidentally adding ‘e’ on the end of words that don’t need it. Like ‘both’ I keep typing ‘bothe’.

    I’m not a great speller, I’d say I was about average. I make mistakes when there isn’t a spell check to point them out. I rely on them a bit much, but I’m not really concerned about it because I don’t write much without one.

    I have the same troubles as the poster above with the ance/ence, ant/ent, cious/sious/tious, sion/tion.

    I don’t like it when people point out other people’s spelling mistakes as if that’s a good argument against their point. If you can read it, then just let the little things go.

  13. Heehee – best thing I’ve read all day. I’m a superfreak about spelling, but crack up at other people’s typos – however, I can’t spell the word misspell (or is it mispell?). Oh, the irony!
    Also, I’m from Indiana and have been known to type Forty Wayne very frequently. Sounds like a boy band name!

  14. On the whole, I’m an excellent speller, the one people often go to for proof-reading. Homonyms like all those mentioned above never really gave me any problems.

    However, I can never – NEVER, no matter how many times I look them up – remember how to spell “Renaissance”, “silhouette”, and (my secret shame, since it’s a simple word) “separate”.

  15. I too always spell “separate” as “seperate” on first try. Same thing with “definitely” (definately).

    And as a Canadian living in the US who was educated in both countries, the differences between spelling systems are often very confusing. I’ve chosen to actually just use standard British spelling instead of the confusing British + American hodgepodge that is standard Canadian spelling.

  16. For me, “in the” frequently becomes “int he”, probably because I’m one of those computer science nerds. I end up declaring a lot of male integers in my papers for other classes.

  17. I’m usually pretty good at spelling, although I sometimes have difficulty remembering “receive” is not spelled “recieve”. Arrg.
    And, am I the only one who gets incredibly pissed off when people misuse “discrete” and “discreet”, believing them to be interchangeable (or identical)? I don’t know why that bothers me so much…

  18. @advocatus, I do that “e” thing too, and it drives me bonkers. It’s not such a big deal when typing (thanks to spellcheck), but I’m always doing that on the whiteboard in class.

    As a physicist, it annoys me that I have a mental block on the word absorbsion absorbtion absorpsion absorption.

  19. Honestly, I have one of those kick ass memories where, if I have seen it spelled once, I can always remember how it is spelled. That said, I will often type my name as Fatih. Which is unflattering.

  20. I’m a decent speller normally, although I’m much better at spelling when writing words than either typing or speaking (i.e. spelling bees were always difficult for me. Spell bowl anyone? Anyone?). My most common typing error occurs with adding a ‘g’ to words ending in ‘in’. It happens most frequently with my brother’s name, which becomes ‘Keving’. I do that so often that I usually just type ‘Kev’ to be safe. I also mess when typing if my cat is resting on my arm and I have to type one-handed – like right now :).

  21. I’m a pretty good typist. I mess up with homophones quite frequently though, but I usually catch myself.
    I used to have a big problem spelling “tongue”, but becoming aware of it meant being able to fix it.

  22. @Izzy: But of course, everyone knows that centre is the one true spelling!

    Also neighbor – neighbour, diarrhea – diarrhoea, skeptic – sceptic … etc

    Truly two languages separated by a common hatred for the spelling police.

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