20 Commonly Misused Words

Filed in Writing Tips by on April 1, 2016 7 Comments

We remember it fondly from our elementary school days: if you can’t recall how to spell a word, sound it out! As adults, we might follow the same tactic when trying to rack our brains to produce that one word we know how to spell, but can’t piece together the correct letters.

However, sounding out words in print instead of in conversation could lead to the right word being written, but maybe not the right meaning for the word. For example, “I’m going to take the plain” is not the correct spelling of the word needed: this form means traversing a flat piece of land (plain) instead of boarding a mode of transportation (plane).

Below are several commonly misspelled words that you may not realize had different forms of spelling. Be careful to use these words as they could change how your sentence is read!


commonly misused words

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About the Author ()

Blair Townley joined the Xulon Press family as a Staff Editor in May 2013, helping first-time authors prepare their treasured manuscripts for publication. Prior to Xulon Press, she previously worked as a staff writer/editor for several Central Florida-based magazines over the past decade. What Blair enjoys most about writing and editing is getting to help others share their stories, helping others see themselves as the unique individuals God created them to be.

Comments (7)

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  1. avatar Ty Aldrich says:

    I see so many of those misuses. Most often, it is on social media sites. After being called a “grammar nazi” a few times, I learned to overlook the mistakes.

  2. avatar connie ngware says:

    Thank you alot. Now i have to be more careful with use of words and their meaning.

  3. avatar Solomon Okpali says:

    Hi Blair,
    Thanks for this refreshing teaching. It took me down the memory lane to these overlooked simple words and their meaning.

  4. avatar Jinnie says:

    Thank you, This is interesting.

    • Thank you for your comments and it is amazing how words can be the same in sound but different in meaning and spelling. I enjoyed putting together this blog post for everyone and glad you all benefitted from learning these words as I did. Thank you and God Bless.

  5. avatar Trevor says:

    Thanks for the list – I once remember reading something in a computer magazine where every word in the paragraph had been chosen to pass a spell checker but fail a correct usage test. It’s probably somewhere on the web but not somewhere I’ve been able to find it.

    Of course, what’s correct in one version of English isn’t always correct in another: full stop versus period, that kind of thing.

    Don’t get me started on defiantly being used instead of definitely!

    • We are glad you enjoyed the list of words and agree that there are different versions of words for different languages. It’s an adventure every time in writing. Thanks for reading and God Bless.

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