Made in America


We’ve all heard the spelling rule before…“I before E except after C.” It’s something that has been ingrained in our heads since we were in grade school, but we also know that this rule doesn’t even begin to apply to all of the IE/EI nuances in the English language. In a tongue-in-cheek blog post,  Merriam Webster once tried to add to the rhyme to include all of the different parts of this spelling rule. The results? Something no grade school student (or adult) would ever be able to memorize:


I before e, except after c

Or when sounded as ‘a’ as in ‘neighbor’ and ‘weigh’

Unless the ‘c’ is part of a ‘sh’ sound as in ‘glacier’

Or it appears in comparatives and superlatives like ‘fancier’

And also except when the vowels are sounded as ‘e’ as in ‘seize’

Or ‘i’ as in ‘height’

Or also in ‘-ing’ inflections ending in ‘-e’ as in ‘cueing’

Or in compound words as in ‘albeit’

Or occasionally in technical words with strong etymological links to their parent languages as in ‘cuneiform’

Or in other numerous and random exceptions such as ‘science’, ‘forfeit’, and ‘weird’.


Did you get all of that?  Us either.

While it’s great to know we will always have spell check on our sides, it’s also great to be a good speller. Here are a list of 50 of the most commonly misspelled words. You may not have any issues with any of these words, but keeping a list of words you do commonly misspell isn’t a bad idea.  Let’s face it–sometimes seeing the dreaded spellcheck underline can get you out of your writing flow before you really had a chance to get started.

  1. Absence
  2. Accommodate
  3. Achieve
  4. A lot
  5. Amateur
  6. Atheist
  7. Believe
  8. Benefit
  9. Buses
  10. Calendar
  11. Cemetery
  12. Changeable
  13. Colonel
  14. Conscience
  15. Daiquiri
  16. Embarrass
  17. Exaggerate
  18. Existence
  19. Foreign
  20. Guarantee
  21. Harass
  22. its/it’s
  23. Judgment
  24. Knowledge
  25. License
  26. Loneliness
  27. Marshmallow
  28. Mathematics
  29. Memento
  30. Millennium
  31. Misspell
  32. Noticeable
  33. Occasion
  34. Pastime
  35. Peculiar
  36. Pigeon
  37. Prejudice
  38. Probably
  39. Publicly
  40. Queue
  41. Receive
  42. Recommend
  43. Restaurant
  44. Sacrifice
  45. Separate
  46. their/they’re/there
  47. Until
  48. Vacuum
  49. Weird
  50. Whether/weather


Another way to become a better at spelling? Read. The more you read, the more your vocabulary improves. You can also take up crossword puzzles, subscribe to word-of-the-day emails, and become familiar with common rules for prefixes and suffixes.  If you want to be taken seriously as a writer, you need to be able to spell.  Putting a little time and effort into developing this skill will only help you earn more respect in your field.


Ready to Get Started?

Publication via the Dorrance imprint is a perfect choice for the author looking for a complete, high quality, personal publishing program that leverages the expertise of publishing professionals. Find out for yourself today!

Thanks Error