The 25 Most Commonly Misspelled Words in America
These are the everyday words people in the U.S. can't stop spelling wrong.
In this era of autocorrect and spellcheck, it's easier than ever to spell things correctly. But even with cutting-edge technology at our disposal, there are still a handful of words that we consistently misspell. So which ones see the most consistent spelling violations? We consulted a number of resources, including Merriam-Webster, Google, and the Oxford English Corpus (an electronic collection of over 2 billion words that writers of the Oxford English Dictionary use to see how people are using the language). Together, they've helped us narrow it down to a list of the 25 most commonly misspelled words in the English language. And for more spelling mistakes, check out these 33 Celebrity Names You Always Misspell.
Accommodations, whether in reference to a place you're staying for vacation or a place you've lived in for years, are better when they're generous. But we tend to skimp when spelling out the word, giving it just one "m" when it is supposed to have two. The Oxford English Corpus lists "accommodate" as one of its top misspelled words. And for more common words you might be confused about, study these 50 Words You Hear Every Day But Don't Know What They Mean.
That second "i" trips everyone up, earning "liaison" a top score for spelling difficulty in Merriam-Webster's Spell It, a game that tests whether readers can spell frequently messed-up words. It also earned a spot on Oxford's list of the most commonly misspelled words.
We each have our own way of eating these sweet treats—whether it's sucking on it, licking it, or chomping down on it. But there's only one way to correctly spell it, and that's with an "i" and not a "y." Oxford lists this as another one of the most frequently misspelled words.
All those vowels right up front really throw us off. According to Google Trends' list of most misspelled words by state, our attempts to spell "beautiful" can get pretty ugly. "Beautiful" tops the list of hard-to-spell words in a whopping 11 states, by far the most of any word on the list. And for some words we borrowed from around the world, here are 35 Commonly Used Words We Totally Stole From Other Languages.
On the Google Trends list, this one was the most misspelled word in Montana. And according to the Oxford English Corpus, "tomorrow" is a word most of us seem to struggle with. We get mixed up and double the "m" instead of the "r."
To be fair, this one is bound to cause confusion, thanks to its homophones. There's the Halloween kind of "witch" and the edible "sandwich." Our tendency to incorrectly spell the adjective-pronoun hybrid "which" earned it a spot on Oxford's list of commonly misspelled words. And for more fun content delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
You may not have seen this coming, but "unforeseen" landed on Oxford's list, due to the fact that we have a habit of dropping the first "e" from the word.
This is another one from Merriam-Webster's Spell It game. The most common way we mess "idiosyncrasy" up is by swapping out the penultimate "s" for a "c."
Here's another tough-to-spell word, according to Merriam-Webster, thanks to that combo of "s" and "c" at the end. And if you feel like reminiscing, This Is the Most Tubular Slang Word Every Year From 1940 to Today.
Unfortunately, we tend to forget that there is an "e" in this word. It's on Oxford's list of most-misspelled words.
We love to add an extra "c" to this word. That habit helped earn it a spot on Oxford's list of frequent errors.
Turns out, we're not as aggressive with the letter "g" as we should be when it comes to spelling "aggression." We have the opposite problem here than we do with "across," dropping one of its first consonants.
Don't forget that this word has "mem" in the middle of it. We seem to prefer short memories, trimming the word to just "rember" or "remeber" when typing it out. Oxford lists it among the most-misspelled words in the English language.
Any Steven Seagal fan should know how to spell this one, but Under Siege just doesn't seem to have the following it once did. It's become common for us to swap the "i" and "e," which has made "siege" one of Oxford's top misspelled words.
It's understandable that a word that relates to power dynamics would cause us to want to include the word "cede"—as in, give up—but that's not how "supersede" is spelled. Our difficulty getting it straight has led the Oxford English Corpus to list it as one of the most commonly misspelled words.
Maybe we need to permanently write on our bodies that "tattoo" has a second "t." It's one of the most misspelled words in English, according to Oxford.
A government's job is to govern, not to "gover," but we have a habit of forgetting that, often misspelling it "goverment," according to Oxford.
This is one of those words you hear a lot, but might not write down as often, so it's easy to hear "jist." After all, anyone who's debated the proper way to pronounce a ".gif file" can appreciate the trickiness of the "j"/"g" pronunciation challenge. Oxford has it listed as one of the more challenging words to spell.
It's no wonder why we tend to shorten this to "misc." whenever we can—this is a hard one to spell correctly. It's actually one of the toughest to spell in the Merriam-Webster Spell It quiz. We tend to add an "s" that shouldn't be there, or drop an "l" that should.
This one is a perfect storm of spelling traps. There are the two pairs of double letters, and the penultimate "e" that seems like it should be an "a," depending on how you pronounce the word.
Apparently we all need a lesson in how to spell "apparently"—that is, with an "ent," not an "ant." The Oxford English Corpus lists this in its roundup of commonly misspelled words.
With "calendar," we have the opposite problem that we have with "apparently"—swapping an "e" for the final "a" and ending up with "calender," according to Oxford.
This word has nothing to do with a "pendant" you'd wear around your neck, yet we tend to want to switch out the "e" at the end of the word for an "a."
If you keep at it, you'll be able to master the spelling of this oft-misspelled word. Similar to "independent," we have a habit of putting an "a" where the last "e" belongs, making this one of the words we often flub, per Oxford.
We like to spell this one "propoganda," according to Oxford, which lists the word among the most misspelled.