8/06/2010

Don't embarrass yourself by botching these words

Mr. Rewrite (@irewrite) loves Twitter. It forces tight writing and leads to ideas for posts. The downside: After 140 characters it cuts you

Hoping everyone got that joke, Mr. Rewrite directs the Community of Concern to a site called AllWorldPhone.com, which offers a character calculator that helped him get the phrase above to the magic 140.

Anyway, Mr. Rewrite is following up on yesterday's tweet about a British poll that ranks words misspelled most commonly – at least in British English. Its list (along with the most common misspelling Mr. Rewrite could find):
  1. separate (not seperate)
  2. definitely (not definately)
  3. manoeuvre (a concern only for Brits)
  4. embarrass (not embarass)
  5. occurrence (not ocurrence)
  6. consensus (not concensus)
  7. unnecessary (not unecessary)
  8. acceptable (not acceptible)
  9. broccoli (not brocolli)
  10. referred (not refered)
Mr. Rewrite added Google News links to articles misspelling these words. The biggest problems in the media realm seem to be occurrence, embarrass, unnecessary and referred.

Mr. Rewrite wasn't able to find the poll, only an article mentioning it, so he can't vouch for the methodology. But most of these words have hit his most-misspelled radar over the years.

Here are some other highlights from the week's tweets:

– A TV station highlighted a school sign misspelling "school." Strangely, Mr. Rewrite feels a little sorry for the school. http://bit.ly/9CGN5p.

– Mr. Rewrite was surprised to learn that AP's style is farmworker, not farm worker. He was thinking along the lines of United Farm Workers.

– Pilgrims who misspell Lourdes as Lourde in a rental car's GPS often wind up in a real and bleak French town called Lourde, 70 miles away. http://huff.to/bFXl9I

– Mr. Rewrite shared an everyday/every day error, along with his virtual editing mark, via Twitpic. http://twitpic.com/2bdfni

– This letter to the editor has a fine whine about "you've got." http://bit.ly/blge3u

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