Editing for Grammarphobes: Red Flag Words

Posted by KAREN WOJCIK BERNER



Everyone who wants to be a writer did not study English in college or work on his or her high school newspaper. Maybe you are following up on a life-long dream that seemed too “pie-in-the-sky” to pursue seriously. Maybe you have come to love writing later in life. Maybe you were paying more attention to the girl across the aisle from you than to how to use an apostrophe correctly.

Whatever the reason, how do you know what to look for when editing and proofreading your novel?

Somewhere along my educational way, probably in journalism class, I received a list of the most commonly misspelled words. We were told to memorize them, not necessarily how to spell them, but rather to commit the words to memory so every time you came across one when you were editing, it would raise a red flag in your mind and remind you to double check the spelling.

Here is the list of 25 Most Commonly Misspelled Words.

accommodate
consensus
acknowledgment
argument
commitment
deductible
dependent
embarrass
harass
liaison
separate
withdrawal
equipment
gauge
lightning
minuscule
achieve
committee
definitely
surprise
weird
supersede
existence
privilege
publicly

Some we have covered here before, but it helps to have them listed like this, don’t you think?

Coming Wednesday – How to edit.



Bio


A professional writer/editor for almost 30 years, Karen Wojcik Berner's wide and varied experience includes such topics as grammar, blog content, book reviews, corporate communications, the arts, paint and coatings, real estate, the fire service, writing and literature, research, and publishing. An award-winning journalist, her work has appeared in several magazines, newspapers, and blogs, including the Chicago Tribune, Writer Unboxed, Women's Fiction Writers, Naperville Magazine, and Fresh Fiction. She also is the author of three contemporary women's fiction novels and is a member of the Chicago Writers’ Association. For more information on Karen, please visit www.karenberner.com.

Comments

Kelly Hashway said…
I see people spelling "definitely" as "defiantly" all the time. They are completely different words. I've also seen "definately," and that bothers me, too. I know not everyone is an English major, but I wish schools would spend more time on spelling. Even though it wasn't in the curriculum, I gave my students spelling tests with words just like these. People should know how to spell correctly.
R. Doug Wicker said…
My pet spelling peeve, and one I see almost daily, is people spelling judgment as "judgement."

Drives me insane.

Great blog by the way. Keep up the good work.
Thanks, R. Doug. I appreciate your kind words.

Way to go, Kelly, making sure kids can spell well. You are correct. It is very important.
Great post, Karen! I'm going to link it on my new writing blog.

Just purchased your book on my Kindle and will review it when I'm done reading it.

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