If spelling is a challenge for you, you're not alone. According to a large-scale study of 3,500 English speakers conducted by OnePoll, one in six people says their spelling is occasionally so bad, their computer can't even recognize the word to correct it.

According to a cheeky spokesperson for the company, "[C]onsidering people judge others, yet don't like their intelligence to be judged by how well they spell, they should up their game and pick up a dictionary."

Up your game by spelling these words correctly:

1. Definitely

The study found this to be the most commonly misspelled word in English. Because of how it's pronounced, many people try to spell it "definately" or "defanitely." Remember: the root of the word is "finite." It's all i's and e's. No a's anywhere.

2. A lot

This is one you really want to get correct, because the incorrect version is glaring and a lot of people will notice (see what I did there?).

When there is a large amount of something, there's "a lot" of it. It's always two words, not one. Use "alot" at your own risk.

3. All right

When asked about the progress of a project, it can be tempting to say, "It's going alright."

Don't do it! In the words of Writer's Digest, "'alright' technically isn't, well, a word."

Bryan Garner, the world's leading authority on the English language, agrees. He says that in American English, "Alright for all right has never been accepted as standard." While the combined version "may be gaining a shadowy acceptance in British English ... [it] cannot yet be considered good usage--or even colloquially all right."

4. Necessary (and unnecessary)

This one makes Oxford's list of top 100 misspellings. There is one c and two s's, in that order. It's equally as necessary to spell "unnecessary" correctly.

5. Tomorrow

As one Quora user says, "Often to my surprise, I find a lot of well-educated folks will spell 'tomorrow' as 'tommorrow' or 'tommorow.'"

Brushing up on your Shakespeare can help here: "Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow." In Old English, "morrow" meant "morning," so to-morrow meant towards the new day (the next day).

6. Separate

Time to smell a "rat." The correct spelling is "separate," not "seperate." Just remember to put a "rat" in the middle, and you'll get it right.

7. February

Faced with a list of commonly misspelled words, 38 percent of Americans say they are most bothered by the misspelling of this one. If some of them work in your office, you'll want to make sure to get this one right.

Despite the fact that the first r is silent when it's pronounced aloud, the correct spelling is February (not Febuary).

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"Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words." - Plautus

Published on: Jul 27, 2017
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