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Monthly Archives: August 2014

Fifteen Common Spelling Mistakes

Now we all know that people often get their and there mixed up, forget where an apostrophe should go with its/it’s and many confuse of and off. But, there are so many other words which writers have problems with. Today I’m going to give a few examples I’ve come across in the past few months. So, do any of these trip you up?

You might feint in fencing, but it’s a faint smile on someone’s face.

You could have a flair for writing, but it’s your temper which flares up.

We talk of someone’s personal effects, but how a death in the family affects you.

Famous artists might produce works of art on canvas, but politicians canvass voters.

The brakes on your car might fail, but you break a leg. And that means handbrake too.

I wonder what I’ll have for lunch today, as I wander around the park.

Lead has a few meanings, but in this instance I am talking about the verb. Often writers will write ‘lead’ as the past tense of ‘to lead’, when it should be ‘led’. I led him by the hand, but he knows how to lead.

He was prostrate on the bed, ruminating over the fact he had to go and see the doctor about his prostate.  (Prostate without the R is related to the prostate gland, whereas prostrate means lying down.)

You might find the baked beans in aisle 11 of the supermarket, but you reach the isle of Arran by ferry.

You’re a sight for sore eyes. The building site was just past the shops.

I had no idea he had put the TV on mute. Who does the most housework in my house is a moot point. (in the sense of open for debate)

She scolded her toddler for climbing on the table. He scalded himself with boiling water from the kettle.

It might seem like a no-brainer, but the following examples trip up even the most seasoned writer:

You sow your wild oats, but you sew a button on your shirt.

You don’t want to waste a precious moment of your writing time, but watch your waistline when consuming all those chocolate biscuits at your desk.

I’d like to lose a stone in weight, but hopefully I won’t have to wait for my sister’s wedding for a good excuse to do so.

That’s all for now, folks! Happy writing!