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.