Apr 18, 2008 - ..Children, Anything & Everything    2 Comments    10,347 views

What are some commonly misspelled English words?

Kids ASK! about Anything & Everything

According to a few websites (such as this, this and this), these are some of the most commonly misspelled words in the English language:
- accommodate
- acknowledgement
- commitment
- definitely
- formaldehyde
- grammer
- indispensible
- judgement
- liaison
- license
- lieutenant
- mischief
- perseverance
- seperate
- weird

Did you spot the words that were misspelled in the above list? Check the end of this entry for the answers!

Do not confuse words such as color, realise and traveled as being wrongly spelled. These words have American and British spellings due to dictionaries written by different people – Samuel Johnson, a British, and Noah Webster, an American. In Singapore, we follow the British spelling system, as Singapore was once under British colonial rule and hence we inherited British Commonwealth educational and legal legacies.

Here are some books on spelling you may be interested in:

Spelling, by John Butterworth
Publisher : Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1999.
Call No. : J 428.1 BUT

Spelling and grammar, by Audrey Daly
Publisher : Loughborough : Ladybird, [1997].
Call No. : J 428.1 DAL

I can spell! series, by Rod Campbell
Publisher : London : Campbell Books, 1994.
Call No. : JP 428 CAM

I can spell! : with consonants b c d f g h, by Rod Campbell
Publisher : London : Campbell Books, 1994.
Call No. : JP 428 CAM

100 words every high school freshman should know, by the editors of the American heritage dictionaries
Publisher : Boston : Houghton Mifflin, c2004.
Call No. : 428.1 ONE

Painless spelling, by Mary Elizabeth Podhaizer
Publisher : Hauppauge, NY : Barron’s Educational Series, 1998.
Call No. : 372.632 POD

The misspelled words were indispensable, judgment, separate and grammar. :)

All websites were last accessed on 18 April 2008. Please check the websites’ homepages for the terms and conditions of use.
All images were extracted from www.amazon.com and www.bn.com.

For the availability of the above book titles, please check the library catalogue.

Galv.JPGPosted by Galvin Soh
Children’s Services

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If you have a different question, please email to ask@nlb.gov.sg instead of sending a comment.


  • American English spells it without the “e”, but under British English, I think “judgement” is the right spelling.

    I’m quite surprised “diarrhoea” isn’t listed though. Will never forget the classic example I read from the book “Anguished English”.

  • Hi keroro, yes you’re right about judgement being the British spelling of the word. Slipped by my spell check, that one! As with diarrhoea which is the British equivalent for ‘diarrhea’. :)

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