Spelling Mistakes that Spell Check Won’t Catch

Everyone is now using computer spell check for finishing her/his write-up.
You can count on spell check to catch glaring errors, yet a computer can’t pick up mistakes if you’ve simply used the wrong word.

You will be embarrassed when certain words that share similar spellings and pronunciations but have different meanings. That’s why it’s important to proofread your writing especially considering so much of our professional communication is now done via email and not the telephone.

It could be Your presentation, Sales proposal, Promotion of a project, Your Application, Resume, or Cover letter.

Pay attention to some of frequently missed by spell check-making a less than ideal impression on your reader.

Affect versus Effect
“Affect” means to influence; “effect” pertains to a result, as in the phrase “cause and effect.”

There is a lot of confusion around this one but here’s the rule:
“Affect” is a verb and “effect” is a noun.

Farther versus Further
While both words refer to distance, grammarians distinguish “farther” as physical distance and “further” as metaphorical distance.

You can dive further into a project but you would dive farther into the ocean.

Its versus It’s
Do you know – “It’s” is a contraction of “it is,”
whereas “its” is the possessive form of “it.”
According to a copy editing instructor for California-based copy editing service Edicetera, confusing “its” and “it’s” is the most commonly made error in the English language.
That one little apostrophe (or lack thereof) drastically changes the meaning of the entire sentence.

Supposed To Versus Suppose To
“Suppose” is a verb, meaning to think or to ponder.
“Supposed” is an adjective that refers to things that should have occurred.

The correct way to express a duty is to write,

“I was supposed to walk the dog,” not “suppose to.”

Through versus Threw
“He threw the ball through the window.” “Threw” is a verb and “through” is a preposition.

And speaking of “through,” be careful to make sure you don’t actually mean “thorough” or vice versa.

The slight variation in spelling will not be picked up by a computer, but writing “I am through” when you mean “I am thorough” is rather ironic, don’t you think?

Then versus Than
“Than” refers to a comparison, while “then” refers to a subsequent event.

Six is more than five; after five then comes six.

Their versus There
“Their” is possessive; “there” refers to distance; and “they’re” is a contraction of “they are.” Easy peasy!

Want versus Won’t

‘’Want’’ means need – I want this item.

‘’Won’t’’ means will not – Spell check won’t catch

Would Have NOT Would of
“would of” is not grammatically correct. “Would have” is the appropriate phrase.

The casual way in which we pronounce words when we speak leads to the rampant misuse of this phrase.

Wonder versus Wander
You can wander around while you wonder why “wander” and “wonder” have such different meanings, yet sound so similar.

Senior management in a company always say: We want people who can make things happen; not who wander or wonder.

Your versus You’re
“You’re” is a contraction of “you are,” while “your” is the possessive form of “you.”

This is another all too common mistake, but it’s easy to ensure you’re using the correct word when you stop to think about what you’re typing.

If you think, you have missed many more common errors by now.

What mistakes do you see (or accidentally make!) most often?

Suresh Shah, Managing Director, Pathfinders Enterprise

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