English in the Real World
Spelling mistakes and how to avoid them
Spelling mistakes can ruin what would otherwise be a great piece of writing. They are easy to avoid and here are some ways to do just that.
Switch your spellchecker to English
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Lots of people forget to do this, though. Having a spellchecker set to a language other than the one you’re writing in can be very distracting too. When you see so many words underlined in red makes it difficult to see where the real mistakes are!
Lots of wordprocessing programs allow you to use multiple languages with their spelling and grammar checking facilities. You might need to download an extra plugin or service pack but it will be worth it in the longrun if you write often in English.
Remember to check what you’ve written… twice!
It doesn’t take long to read through a piece of writing and it’s a really worthwhile thing to do if you want to make sure there are no mistakes in it. While you are looking through your writing, focus on checking one thing at a time. This means that if you are reading it once to check it makes sense, you’ll need to do one final check for the spelling.
Look out for homophones
Homophones are words that sound the same but are spelt differently and have different meanings, for example ‘see’ and ‘sea’. If you aren’t sure which spelling of a word to use, make sure to check your dictionary. Also, depending on your pronunciation, some words might sound similar to you even if they sound different to a native speaker. Take the time to check those too.
Don’t rely on autocorrect on your mobile device
Predictive text can save a lot of time when used right. It can also cause a lot of trouble if you don’t check whether it has selected the right words before hitting send!
image: Stewart Black