"Bee holed! Wear wood wee bee without the my tea spell checker? God only nose."— Jason Ohler
By Scoti Springfield Domeij
- Set your writing aside for a day.
- Proof read carefully on hard copy—not the computer screen.
- Check your dictionary, either a hard copy or online, then click "Add to Dictionary" tab to add the correct spelling into your "Spelling and Grammar" check. This is especially useful for Bible names and commonly used "web words."
- Don't rely on spell check. It's not the infallible last word. However, do turn on Microsoft Word's auto-correct feature. When it flags a misspelled work, select the correct usage, then click on the auto correct button. Warning: Auto-correct doesn't review every misspelling. Also, watch things it flags as potentially wrong. If you just blindly follow the recommendations of spell check, you will introduce new errors into your manuscript.
- Look for homonyms. (One of two or more words that have the same sound and often the same spelling but differ in meaning, i.e. Their/they're/there.)
- Watch for potential spectacularly embarrassing misspellings. Spell checker will not catch misspellings that form other valid words. I routinely misspell marital. My fingers always Freudian-type "martial." Public is another word that you don't want leave out the letter "l." Trust me on this one. A "faculty person" can become a "faulty person."
- Right spelling, but wrong words spell check misses include: accept/except, affect/effect, among/between, anxious/eager, bad/badly, desert/dessert, Earth/earth, farther/further, foreword/forward, irregardless/regardless, It's/Its, lead/led; passed/past; than/then, your/you're.
- Make a list of words you usually misspell.
- Double check dates. You don't want 1997 to rewind back to 1967 or 1897.
- Read your copy aloud. Often, our ears hear the mistake our eyes miss.
Fun Web Sites
How Well Can You Spell? Take this test and find out.
Improve your spelling. Learn the one hundred words most often misspelled.
Regret the Error: Mistakes Happen This web site reports on corrections, retractions, clarifications, and trends regarding accuracy in the media. Some of the posts are hilarious.
Quiz: Are You Smarter Than a Spell Checker?
Word Finder finds words with any combination of listed parameters. For example, you can find all 6-letter words that start with "d" and end with "n". Or find words that rhyme by searching for words ending in the same letters. If you enter letters into the "Unscramble" box, it finds any words formed from those letters.
I have a spelling checker,
It came with My PC
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss steaks eye can knot sea.
Eye ran this poem threw it.
You sure reel glad two no
Its vary polished in it's weigh,
My checker tolled me sew.
A checker is a bless sing.
It freeze yew lodes of thymes.
It helps me right awl stiles two reeds,
And aides me when aye rime.
To rite with care is quite a feet
Of witch won should be proud.
Their are know faults with in my cite.
Of none eye am a wear.
Each frays come posed up on my screen
Eye trussed to be a joule.
The checker poured oar every word
To cheque sum spelling rule.
That's why aye brake in two averse
By righting wants two pleas.
Sow now ewe sea why aye dew prays
Such soft wear for pea seas!