These Are The Most Misspelled Words On


English spelling can be so inconsistent, so random-seeming, so frustrating that it can make you want to pound out on your keyboard: “Asdjfoaasdasdasdasd!”

Asdjfoaasdasdasdasd” looks like a keysmash, or a random string letters typed out, usually to express intense emotion—such as, you know, your feelings about spelling.

It’s also, according to our data scientists, the #1 top misspelled search term on in 2019 so far.

And #2? “Rayvoli.” Let’s hope we’re all better at cooking pasta (ravioli, we assume) than we are at spelling.

This data comes from when users search for a word on but misspell it (“grammer” for grammar), or when we don’t currently have an entry for a correctly spelled term (yes, we see your searches for Fortnite).

But, don’t feel bad! First, English spelling is hard. Second, our website suggests the word you were trying to spell if a typo or error lands you on “No results found.”

And, as we looked through the data, we discovered that your misspellings can actually teach us a few things about why we misspell the words we do.

"immolete" (immolate)

We misspell many words because, well, we don’t know how to spell them. They’re new to us. Or, maybe we just don’t encounter or have occasion to use them often all that often.

Perhaps this is the case for 8th top misspelled word: “immolete.” We suspect people were looking for immolate, which means “to sacrifice; to kill as a sacrificial victim, as by fire; to destroy by fire.”

(We, um, definitely hope you don’t have occasion to use this word all that often …)

Unfamiliarity or novelty may have motivated these other leading misspelled lookups:

"accomodate" (accommodate)

Two words: double consonants. Major pain in the—spelling.

English has many words that are spelled with two of the same consonants, sometimes even in the same word. Which is why we’re not surprised to find “accomodate” as our ninth-most misspelled search.

It’s properly spelled accommodate, with two Cs and two Ms. (Couldn’t this word be a little more … accommodating?) It variously means “to oblige, “to supply,” or “to provide a room to.”

Other double-letter offenders that show up in our data include:

"seperate" (separate)

Now, one reason English words can be so dang hard to spell is because of this bugger: ə.

That’s the symbol for the schwa, which is an unstressed vowel sound, generally sounding like uh.

Schwa sounds in words can be spelled with a variety of vowels. Tomato. Telephone. And separate, which is #10 in our data—or rather, the misspelled form “seperate” is.

When we use separate as a verb for “keep apart, divide,” we generally pronounce it like [sepuh-reyt]. We’re not surprised people reach for an erroneous E because, when if you stop to sound out how you say this word, it really does seem like we say “sep-er-ate.”

And we when we use separate as an adjective meaning “apart,” separate sounds like it should be spelled “seprit.”

"liason" (liaison)

Another reason English spelling is tricky is because it borrowed so many words from other languages, especially French, which has its own pronunciation and spelling issues, shall we say. (Thanks, French.)

Number 12 in misspelled data is “liason,” which is a very reasonable attempt at liaison.

English lifted liaison straight from French. (Its root is a Latin word that also gives us the word litigation.) Liaison has several meanings in English, but we commonly use when referring to a person who manages the connection between two groups.Liaison is a troublemaker, indeed. Elsewhere in our data is “liasion” and “liase” for liaise, a back-formed verb.

"enviroment" (environment)

Say the word environment aloud. How much are you pronouncing that N? Not all that much, let’s be honest.

That’s because sounds get smushed together when we talk. Sometimes we leave ’em out altogether.

In everyday speech, going from an N sound to an M sound is like Olympic gymnastics for the tongue, so many of us just kinda skip over the N in environment when we’re talking.

This may be why “enviroment,” sans that initial N, was #18 in our list of misspelled searches. We’re guessing this is also why “goverment,” for government, is not far behind at #23.

"succint" (succinct)

Is “succint” an attempt at a more succinct spelling of succinct? Dictionary joke.

Nahh … succinct is just hard to spell (and say, for that matter). It’s a sea of Cs, some soft, some hard, and, well, we don’t blame you if you helped put the misspelling “succint” at the #21 spot.

BTW, it means “concise,” to be succinct about it.

That the letter C can represent an S sound helps explain why “sence” (for sense) was #34 on our list, too.

"greatful" (grateful)

Homophones, you’re in the hot seat here.”Greatful” for grateful ranked as our 27th most misspelled search term.

This is almost certainly because great and the grate sound the same but are spelled differently. This makes them homophones.

It’s great to be grateful, but the words are unrelated. Grateful is related to gratitude, which may help you remember how to spell grateful. Both ultimately come from the Latin gratus, meaning “pleasing.”

"priviledge" (privilege)

You know, sometimes our misspellings just make a lot of sense. Take “priviledge” for privilege (meaning “special right”), which clocked in at #42.

We don’t make a simple, soft G sound at the end of privilege, as in rouge. We make a J sound that we elsewhere spell -dg-, as in judge—or ledge.

Then there’s a similar word, prerogative (“exclusive right”), which we widely pronounce as [puhroguh-tiv] or [per-oguh-tiv]. Spelling this word “perogative,” which was #71, makes so much sense, even though that’s just not how we do it.

Fun fact: Switching around the R sound in pre– and per– is so common in languages that it has name: metathesis.

"recieve" (receive)

As our spelling teacher drilled into our heads: “I before E except after C.”

Most of us can probably recite that mnemonic in our sleep, but that doesn’t stop us from spelling receive as “recieve.” This misspelling made it to #47 in our data. “Decieve” (deceive) and “percieve” (perceive) are on its heels.

At least we’re consistent?

English isn’t though. Consistent and persistent are spelled with an E in their last syllable, where resistant has an A. We feel you, searchers of “consistant” and “persistance.” We feel you.

"layed" (laid)

Let’s lay these misspellings to rest for now.Talk. Talked. Wave. Waved. Laylaid? (Don’t get us started on the whole lie vs. lay business.)

Oh, it seems that the only thing regular about English is that it’s irregular. The past tense and participle form of the verb lay, as in “set down,” is spelled laid. And there’s something of a pattern here, if we look to say/said and pay/payed.

“Layed,” for laid, is the 63rd most misspelled search term so far in 2019. We honor your efforts to bring some order to English spelling!

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