This is by no means intended to be an exhaustive list. It simply lists misspelled words that I find particularly painful. The painful words are ones that are commonly used, and therefore theoretically easy to remember and naturally commonly misspelt. It is also an ongoing project and I add significant typos as I notice them. Please feel free to /msg me with words that could be appended to this list.

     Instructions for use (AA batteries not included): Commonly encountered misspelling of the word is followed by the correct version.The numbers below each entry refer to the google matches for each version of the word (misspelt version vs. correct version) and this section is intended to show that you are not the only culprit. When in doubt:

  1. Check the Battery status of your Guide
  2. Consult the guide.
  3. Replace misspelt word
  4. Click stumbit
  5. The Guide:

definately - definitely

The word definitely is related to the word finite. Recalling this should expel any doubts concerning the evil introduction of an 'a'.
351,000 vs. 3,460,000

humerous - humorous

The word humour/humor (depending on which side of the Atlantic you're on) is rarely misspelt so the infiltration of this particular horror baffles me no end.
16,500 vs. 684,000

occured - occurred

Also applies to Occurrence.
384,000 vs. 5,270,000

persistant - persistent

Another persistent yet easily avoidable error.
65,300 vs. 1,190,000

mispell - misspell

Duh. The word is a combination of mis and spell.
2,110 vs. 18,200

sentance - sentence

26,400 vs. 2,930,000

tendancy - tendency

30,500 vs. 1,310,000

usefull - useful

Applies to the entire list of words with the same ending such as thoughtful, helpful, plentiful and others.
26,400 vs. 2,930,000

existance - existence

158,000 vs. 4,360,000

diffrent - different

Applies to diffrence (difference). Commonly misspelt because of the way it's pronounced.
56,800 vs. 31,600,000

responsability - responsibility

Pity I can't provide statistics for the even more common responsable (responsible) but the word is correct in french and spanish.
56,600 vs. 3,090,000

commerical - commercial

(Thanks to baffo)
129,000 vs. 15,800,000

wierd - weird

A weird exception to the 'i' before 'e' except after 'c' rule.
129,000 vs. 15,800,000

speach - speech

Well, you write speak, so why not speech? Go figure.
46,700 vs. 6,250,000

See also : "A lot" is two words, commonly misspelled words, misspelt

There's no use having long lists of misspelled words without a way to get people to spell them right! This is a collection of tricky words, and ways to spell them correctly, that I've picked up over the years.


  • 2 couches, 2 mattresses in accommodation

Affect and effect

  • Use the word raven: Remember, affect verb, effect noun
    Affect can be a noun, and effect a verb, but they are very rarely used that way. See affect vs. effect


  • A rat in the house may eat the ice cream


  • Never believe a lie


  • What did the lady say when she saw a ghost at the cemetery? "e-e-e!"


  • There are three pairs of people in a committee - mm, tt and ee
    thanks Hapax for this one


  • Think of the word finite
  • Definitely also has two is in it

Desert and Dessert

  • You can find sweet stuff in desserts...
  • but only sand in a desert


  • u can be four or fourteen, u cannot be forty yet


  • I'll be your friend until the end!


  • Many people died in Medieval times
    Thanks Maylith for this


  • Minuscule things are small. To make something smaller, use the minus sign


  • Just think of poor Miss Pell, don't misspell her name


  • Never eat cakes, eat sausage sandwiches, and remain young
  • 1 coffee, 2 sugars
  • 1 corset, 2 stockings


  • Please take a piece of pie
    thanks XWiz for this one


  • 1 tea, 2 sugars


  • Think of the word ridicule
  • Get rid of the e in ridiculous!
    thanks TenMinJoe for this


  • Rhythm helps your two hips move!


  • There is a rat in separate


  • Why eat? It's really delicious!

The methods listed here are all positive methods - they teach you how to spell words right. Negative methods teach you how not to spell a word wrong. It's a bad idea to try to learn both types at once, lest you get confused and learn the incorrect spellings by mistake.

This far from a complete list; the mnemonics mentioned here are just ones that I've been learning gradually. Many have different versions - necessary can have crisps/chips instead of cakes, for example. If you know any that I have missed, please /msg.

Still stuck?

If you're trying to remember a spelling, and can't remember any of the methods listed above, you could always...

  • Try writing the word down. Sometimes you can tell if it 'feels' wrong.
  • Try saying the word to yourself. "Mispell" sounds a bit like "My Spell", where "Misspell" sounds like it is said.
  • Knock off any endings. "Definately" gets shortened to "Definate", and that doesn't look right...
  • Knock off any beginnings. "Mispell" gets shortened to "Pell", and Miss Pell won't be too happy with that.
  • Use synonyms - if you know what a word means, try using a different one. "Housing" instead of "accommodation", "needed" instead of "necessary", "spelt wrong" instead of "misspelt", for examples.

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