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Revealed: The 10 words most likely to be misspelled

·3-min read
(Source: Getty)
How many of these 10 words do you spell correctly all the time? (Source: Getty)

These days, typing errors made in texts or emails are quickly corrected by word processors – but in the absence of this saving grace, there are certain words in particular that some just can’t quite get the hang of.

The words ‘tomorrow’, ‘which’ and ‘completely’ are the three most commonly misspelled words, according to Edubirdie analysis of more than half a million words from essays submitted in 2020.

These words were often spelt as ‘tommorow’, ‘wich’, and ‘completly’.

This was followed by ‘recieve’, ‘untill’, and ‘finaly’, with people also struggling to spell “successful”, “beginning”, “definitely”, and “government”.

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Edubirdie communication director Avery Morgan believes errors may happen despite the writer knowing the correct grammar, punctuation or spelling.

“They can happen because we are too focused on the task at hand to notice the mistake. This is perhaps why in so many of the misspelled words the mistake authors are missing double letters, such as ‘finaly’ and ‘finally’,” he said.

Other reasons for typing errors may come down to inconsistencies in the English language, such as ‘i before e except after c’, which is an irregular rule.

Spelling errors may also occur because we see typos all the time in social media, Morgan added.

“Writers tend to make the same spelling or grammatical mistake on more than one occasion. A great way to prevent these mistakes is to proof your work and understand where your typical mistakes lie so that you can look out for them.”

Top 10 words most likely to be misspelled, according to Edubirdie:

  • tomorrow ("tommorow")

  • which ("wich")

  • completely ("completly")

  • receive ("recieve")

  • until ("untill")

  • finally ("finaly")

  • successful ("succesful")

  • beginning ("begining")

  • definitely ("definately")

  • government ("goverment")

The high cost of little mistakes

While everyone makes mistakes, New York University professor and consultancy founder Ken Schlechter makes it clear to his students and clients that spelling and grammar errors are off the table.

"A poorly written document affects your credibility," Schlechter told the Society for Human Resource Management.

No one expects you to be perfect all the time, but frequent mistakes will send a message of unprofessionalism, laziness and incompetence, he said.

Meanwhile, having a resume riddled with errors could cost you dearly in your job hunt, according to The Undercover Recruiter.

“Poor spelling and grammar are the written equivalent of turning up to an interview late, or with a stain on your shirt,” the publication said in a blog post.

On top of that, many workers will spend a good deal of their day writing, whether it’s reports, proposals, presentations or communicating with team members.

Furthermore, mistakes in your job application will make it appear like you don’t care about getting the job.

And if you show you don’t have attention to detail, this could have a compounding effect through something called the ‘horn effect’.

“The horn effect is a powerful psychological curiosity in which if a person seems particularly lacking in one trait, then that person will often be assumed to be deficient in many others,” The Undercover Recruiter said.

“Likewise, your poor spelling and grammar will mean employers will underestimate your other abilities too.”

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