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Top 10 Misspelled Words In Blogs

When someone leaves a comment on your blog correcting a spelling error your first thought is usually, “What a jerk! He’s so focused on spelling he completely missed the message of my blog post!” But the fact is, he missed the whole message of your blog post because you didn’t focus on spelling.

misspelling

Spelling and grammar errors are distracting for most readers, whether they’re a spelling Nazi or not. They’re reading along, absorbed in your remarkably brilliant blog post, and oops! There’s a “there’s” that should have been a “theirs”!

Now, they’re distracted. They realize they’re not really reading some Pulitzer Prize-worthy article, they’re just reading an ordinary blog post, written by someone who isn’t any smarter than they are. Why bother sticking around when there are so many other blogs out there to discover?

Here are the Top 10 Misspelled words in Blogs

  1. Its – It’s: In most cases the “apostrophe followed by an S” indicates either possession or a contraction. In this case “It’s” indicates a contraction – It is. If you want to show possession you use “Its” without the apostrophe. Example: The cat drank all of its water. Now it’s too late.
  2. Than – Then: Than is used when you’re comparing things: My blog has more traffic than yours. Then is used when you’re talking about time: You can do it now or you can do it then. But it’s also used when you’re talking about results: If you socialize on Facebook then you’ll get better traffic.
  3. There – Their – They’re: There is used for location: Put the flowers there on the table. Their is used to show group ownership: The football team carried the quarterback on their shoulders. They’re is a contraction, used in place of “They are”: They’re running down the field for the win.
  4. Your – You’re: Your shows possession: I like your shoes. You’re is a contraction, used in place of “You are”: You’re going to chase your readers away if you don’t learn to spell.
  5. Here – Hear: Here is used to designate a location: Click Here for more information. Hear is a verb used to describe what happens when you listen: I hear the music coming from the radio.
  6. Lose – Loose: Lose means to misplace something or to lessen: If you don’t put your toys away you’re going to lose those little puzzle pieces. If you quit eating potato chips you’ll start to lose weight. Loose means not tight: If you start to lose weight your clothes will feel loose.
  7. Close – Clothes: Close means to shut the door or a box or a drawer. Clothes are garments that you wear.
  8. To – Too – Two: Two is a number. Too is a modifier – That dress is too pretty. Your blog has too much clutter in the sidebars. Everything else is just “to.
  9. Cite – Site – Sight: Cite means to reference a person or passage: To back up her claim she cited Wikipedia. Site is a location word: We’re going out to the construction site to see how the new house is coming along. And sight is used when you’re talking about something you see: Look at those roses. Have you ever seen such a beautiful sight?
  10. Effect – Affect: Effect is a noun and affect is a verb. When you’re unsure, try substituting a different verb. If it works, then you know you need to use affect.

You only have a few short seconds to grab your readers’ attention and once you have it you have to fight to keep it. Taking care of spelling errors is one of the easiest things you can do to keep visitors on your blog, so don’t blame those spelling Nazis the next time they call you out.

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51 Comments (Add one)

  1. Kathy

    Bad spelling or wrong usage is everywhere. We rely on spell check too much and don’t take time to read/edit carefully. Other pesky words: accommodate, acknowledgment, commitment, license. English is tough, spelling nazis: mercy instead of judgement. Or is it judgment?

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Life is not always easy for non-native English speakers like me… But as long as you’re trying your best, you can’t be blamed

    2. Cendrine Marrouat
      Cendrine Marrouat

      Wait until you have to learn to spell words in French or Spanish. English has basically borrowed most of its words from other languages.

  2. Mirjam
    Mirjam

    I wonder… Did you put in the spelling mistakes on purpose? (Other than the examples of course.)

    1. Sté Kerwer

      This type of post is an invitation for this kind of comments…

      1. Mirjam
        Mirjam

        Sure :) Although my question was a sincere one. The “You’re blog” put me off. In addition, this is the second post I see in a week that claims that ‘effect’ can’t be a verb. It can.

        1. Sté Kerwer

          Should I deduct that you are passionate about spelling and grammar posts? ;)

          1. Mirjam
            Mirjam

            Lol no that’s just a coincidence. Although I am interested in the English language, since I’m following an English course and I’m watchful for anything I can learn about the English language.

          2. Sté Kerwer

            Oh I see :) Well, what you can do is read some other blog posts on Dukeo, and if you see any mistakes that slipped through, don’t hesitate to post another comment ;)

          3. Jules
            Jules

            No, but you could – deduce – it. ;)

  3. Sonya
    Sonya

    Love this post and so true. One that bugs me on eBay a lot is draws instead of drawers… :) Totally agree on the blog posts as it really does put you off. Some say you can be too picky but I don’t think so. We can all make mistakes but spelling is very important. I think if people have a problem with spelling or using the blog spell check then they should paste it or write it in Word/Works and do the checks there first. Then when all is ok they can then paste it into their blog and publish. It does take more time but I think it’s worth it.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      I agree with you Sonya… Moreover, these days, Words also corrects grammatical errors. So there is really no excuse.

      1. Jaccdd
        Jaccdd

        Words does? Or Word does? See errors happen ;-)

        Great blog by the way

        1. Sté Kerwer

          You were too busy looking for some typos and you didn’t realize that we were talking about Microsoft Words. Thanks for stopping by

  4. Rich

    So here is a comment from the semantics nazi. Your subject is about misspelled words, but you are actually describing errors in word selection – or grammatical errors.

    On the positive side, I wasn’t distracted by this until I have finished the post and said, “Wait, what?”

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Thanks for pointing this out

  5. Grace Elisabeth

    To – Too – Two: Two is a number. Too is a modifier – That dress is too pretty. You’re blog has too much clutter in the sidebars. Everything else is just “to.”

    In the above, you have used the wrong you’re/your. Intentional given topic of post?

    1. Sté Kerwer

      This is now fixed. Thanks for pointing this out Grace :)

    2. Jaccdd
      Jaccdd

      Your dress is too pretty? Surely this is a particularly poor use of “too”? Hmmm

  6. A. Non
    A. Non

    Gotta go further on that last one.
    Usage: Affect and effect are both verbs and nouns, but only effect is common as a noun, usually meaning ‘a result, consequence, impression, etc.’: my father’s warnings had no effect on my adventurousness. The noun affect is restricted almost entirely to psychology (see affect3). As verbs, they are used differently. Affect most commonly means ‘produce an effect on, influence’:

  7. Brett Minor (@brettminor)

    YES YES YES. I never correct people on their spelling because I believe it is rude. However, I always notice and it bothers me. It is distracting and should not be there.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Thanks for sharing your point of view Brett!

  8. Paul Salmon

    The one that I have trouble figuring out why people have so much trouble is lose and loose. Lose is a word that we learn at a very early age, and anyone that has followed sports or games should know how to spell the word easily. I’m not sure why it people have started to write ‘lose’ as ‘loose’ recently, but for some reason I find it very annoying.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      As a non-native English speaker it’s quite tricky, but I certainly know how to make the difference between “Lose” and “Loose”.

  9. Angela Kinder

    The only one I am guilty of is “it’s/its”. And maybe the effect/affect.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Do your best to avoid these mistakes in the future Angela ;)

  10. Tim

    Not bad. Only 3 spelling errors. ;)

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Trying my best!

  11. Jong

    Thumb up! I always have trouble with point number 2, 6 and 10.

    I also have problem with when to add “s” to a word.

    Example: I make many mistakes

    Cheers

    1. Sté Kerwer

      We all make mistakes… The important thing is to stay humble and to keep improving.

  12. Peggy
    Peggy

    I like your ten “misspelled” examples. As for other most misused words, here is a tip. I once begged an editor to help me determine when to use that or which, and she told me to apply the following examples.

    The lawnmower that is broken is in the garage. That is used to differentiate this particular lawnmower from those not broken.

    The lawnmower, which is broken, is in the garage. The editor said that if it sounds like a parenthetic expression and gives additional information about something, then which is the correct word to use.

    I have had no trouble deciding which of these two words to use since the lady gave me these examples. It may sound crazy, but it works for me.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      That’s a very interesting example. Thanks for sharing Peggy!

  13. misdreavus79

    Agree with the post, but not the title. These aren’t spelling errors, they’re grammar errors exclusively. Technically, none of these words are misspelled.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      ok, thanks for your insight.

  14. misdreavus79

    Also, affect can be a noun too.

  15. Thomas Pitts

    Great list. And very useful too. Except, you know when you’re reading along, absorbed in a remarkably brilliant blog post, and oops! There’s a “you’re” that should have been a “your”! Tip 8. Sorry to be a pedant on a post about stopping pedants.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Thanks for pointing this out Thomas. This type of post is always an invitation for people to say: “hey, you give advice to not make mistakes, but you make mistakes too”. Nobody’s perfect.

  16. Brian Hawkins

    This is a pretty interesting post. Just yesterday I found myself searching to see if Learned or Learnt was right. It’s not as popular as the words you listed but it turns out that either are correct.

    I always have to look up e.g. and i.e. before I use them. I can’t seem to keep them straight.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Thanks for your comment Brian. I usually write Learned, I didn’t know that both are correct.

  17. Cendrine Marrouat
    Cendrine Marrouat

    Non-native speakers actually write better in English than native ones, especially in North America.

    That’s because North Americans don’t really learn grammar in school anymore. In other countries, it is a prerequisite to have a good chance to master the tongue.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Cendrine, I would certainly not go that far. The problem when you’re a non-native is vocabulary. Because, as long as you don’t need to speak English 24/7, there are plenty of things that you never learn to say in English.

  18. The Nerdy Nurse

    I always have the worst trouble with Effect and Affect!

    1. Sté Kerwer

      If you read this post carefully, not anymore ;)

  19. Ben

    Another one to add to the list: “a lot” is often misspelled as “alot”.

    Example 1: “I spend a lot of time blogging”.

    Example 2: “I write a lot of posts”.

    “Alot” is never right.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Thanks for this example, Ben

  20. Tech Raft

    I am not a native English speaker, and has also started writing blogs. Interestingly in my country English is a status symbol too. Our schools still teach past and active tense. English is pre-equisite till university level, where it is combined with other technical courses.

    That is such a nice article, and the discussion generated in result to this post is complete summary of basic blogging grammatical and spelling mistakes.

    I have a question, what if we install a good spelling checker or use msword for this purpose. Can’t we learn while writing and can improve our blog writing?

    Thanks

    1. Sté Kerwer

      If you install the JetPack plugin suite for WordPress, there is a spell-checker included ;)

      1. Tech Raft

        I am also using ‘Ginger’ spell check chrome extension. This helps me to correct my spellings and grammar almost everywhere I write.

  21. Mark
    Mark

    Past and Passed are often mis-used as well.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Thanks for pointing this one out

  22. Kesha
    Kesha

    HAHA! Thanks for giving us the 411. I will double check my work now!