Self-Editing Tip #22– Commonly Misused/Misspelled Words 2.0

10 Sep

I’m releasing list 2.0 of English’s commonly misused and misspelled words. There are new words on the list for your reference. As always, if you know of any that I’ve left out that REALLY drive you nuts, leave a comment below with the words you’d like me to include when I make list 3.0.

Look at this list of words. Do you know the proper usages?

  • Choose-present tense verb/Chose-past tense verb
  • Loose-adjective/Lose-verb
  • They’re-contraction for “They are”/Their-shows possession of something for more than one person simultaneously/There-points out a place
  • You’re-contraction for “You are”/Your-shows possession
  • To-preposition/Too-adjective/Two-noun, the number
  • Effect-noun/Affect-verb
  • Dessert-what you eat/Desert-where there’s sand
  • Edition-one of a series/Addition-the result of increasing amount or quantity
  • Setup-noun, “The whole thing was a setup, a scam!”/Set Up-verb, “Please set up those folding chairs.”
  • Backup-noun, “Do a full backup of the computer just in case.”/Back Up-verb, “Back up the computer just in case.”
  • Ad-advertisement/Add-addition
  • A lot-This is two words. Always.

NEW EDITIONS as of 9/10/13

  • Breathe-verb/Breath-noun
  • Dose-noun, “A dose of this medicine should make your headache go away.”/ Does-noun, plural of Doe (female deer), “The car almost hit the does.” Verb-third person singular present of Do, “What does the letter say?”
  • Conscience-noun, that part of you that guides morals and inner thought, “My conscience tells me this is wrong.” / Conscious-adjective, having the fully active mental faculties, or being aware of one’s existence, “The patient finally was conscious after three months in a coma, .” OR “He was conscious of his friends’ feelings, so he kept his mouth shut.”
  • The Reese’s Minis Commercial Controversy- Popable vs. Poppable- in order to pronounce the word with the short “o” sound, there must be a double consonant, “p” in this case. However, in this instance, I haven’t found a single dictionary that acknowledges this word with either spelling. The only way to make “popable” correct would be to place a hyphen in there: “pop-able.” Spell check even suggests the hyphenated form when the other two spellings are used. *Side note: does it bother anyone else that huge companies are making mistakes in national (maybe even international) ad campaigns? No one in the company looked at that spelling and pronounced it like “pope?”


This list could go on forever. Additions are imminent.

Originally posted to WordPress and Facebook 7/30/13

Happy spelling!

–Amanda Marsico

Editor, Proofreader, Red Ink Enthusiast

8 Responses to “Self-Editing Tip #22– Commonly Misused/Misspelled Words 2.0”

  1. JT August 19, 2015 at 10:58 pm #

    Shouldn’t it be “new additions”?

    • marsicowritesite August 20, 2015 at 7:21 am #

      It definitely could be. If I wanted it to say new additions as in new items that I had added, that would be correct. In this case, I chose to call it new editions because I add to this list over time, making it a new version of the list every once in a while. The changes as individual units are additions, but the list as a whole is a new edition, just like when books are reprinted with changes from the previous version.

  2. Andrew Toynbee September 11, 2013 at 3:48 am #

    *Growls* the number of eBooks I read where the character stops to take a breathe…
    I posted a photo on Facebook a few months back where a signwriter had declared that a company was ‘expert in ariel erection’. That conjured up a few images, I can tell you.
    I always have trouble with ‘despatch’ and ‘dispatch’ and have to double-check every time I use it. I know the difference, but my fingers always hesitate over the second letter while my brain shakes itself awake and goes ‘huh?’

    • marsicowritesite September 11, 2013 at 8:13 am #

      HAHA ariel erection… that’s awful. Thanks for the suggestion of despatch and dispatch. I’ll add those to the list. Another I’ve noticed in a lot of books is sooth/soothe. I have a feeling version 3.0 will be coming out soon! Thanks for reading and chiming in 🙂

  3. Donna Roberts September 10, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    Uh…could you do one on lie, lay, laid, ….I NEVER know which to use. 🙂

    • marsicowritesite September 10, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

      Absolutely! That one still gets me, too. Thanks for the suggestion.

  4. michaelalexanderchaney September 10, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    Thanks for these Amanda! Although misspellings are usually just silly, sometimes they make so angry. Pet peeve hardly covers the annoyance some of them cause me! Ah well, it’s nice to see like-minded folks who are still verbally conscious in the world!

    • marsicowritesite September 10, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed it! I like that you liked it haha. My biggest pet peeve along this topic is when the news reporters make those type of mistakes. They’re supposed to sound super intelligent!

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