Commonly misspelled words

See 150 words people often spell wrong. How do you compare?

It doesn’t matter that you haven’t been in school for about 30 years — many people (okay, most people) still can’t spell certain words correctly.

In fact, what do an extraordinary number of people with genius-level IQs have in common with people who have no more than a sixth-grade education? The answer: There’s one or more words that they just can never seem to spell right.

The inability to spell certain words correctly is not limited by intelligence or gender… and every single person we asked admitted to at least a couple words he or she has to think hard about how to spell.

The top 150 most commonly misspelled words?

Here’s our list of the 150 most commonly misspelled words.

We created this list by evaluating more than 600 commonly mispelled words — generated from our own observations as well as from various other sources, including information from Purdue UniversityKent State University and Oxford University.

  1. absence
  2. accommodate
  3. achieve
  4. acquaintance
  5. acquire
  6. across
  7. address
  8. advertise
  9. advice
  10. alright
  11. among
  12. apparent
  13. arctic
  14. argument
  15. assistant
  16. athlete
  17. attempt
  18. awful
  19. balance
  20. basically
  21. because
  22. becoming
  23. before
  24. beginning
  25. believe
  26. benefited
  27. besides
  28. between
  29. breathe
  30. brilliant
  31. bureau
  32. business
  33. calendar
  34. careful
  35. category
  36. ceiling
  37. cemetery
  38. certain
  39. chief
  40. coming
  41. commitment
  42. competition
  43. conscience
  44. conscious
  45. convenience
  46. coolly
  47. criticize
  48. curiosity
  49. definitely
  50. deposit
  51. describe
  52. desperate
  53. develop
  54. difference
  55. dilemma
  56. disappear
  57. disappoint
  58. discipline
  59. embarrass
  60. equipped
  61. escape
  62. exaggerate
  63. excellent
  64. except
  65. exercise
  66. exhilarated
  67. existence
  68. expect
  69. experience
  70. explanation
  71. familiar
  72. fascinating
  73. fiery
  74. finally
  75. foreign
  1. forty
  2. friend
  3. frightening
  4. gauge
  5. genealogy
  6. gorgeous
  7. grammar
  8. guarantee
  9. harass
  10. height
  11. incidentally
  12. independent
  13. inoculate
  14. insistent
  15. irresistible
  16. jewelry
  17. length
  18. liaison
  19. license
  20. lightning
  21. loneliness
  22. lose
  23. maintenance
  24. mathematics
  25. millennium
  26. mischievous
  27. misspell
  28. nauseous
  29. nickel
  30. niece
  31. ninety
  32. noticeable
  33. nuclear
  34. occasional
  35. occurrence
  36. peculiar
  37. perseverance
  38. persistent
  39. possession
  40. predictable
  41. prejudice
  42. prescription
  43. privilege
  44. probably
  45. pronunciation
  46. pursue
  47. quantity
  48. questionnaire
  49. receipt
  50. received
  51. recognize
  52. recommend
  53. restaurant
  54. rhythm
  55. sandwich
  56. seize
  57. separate
  58. sergeant
  59. sincerely
  60. stilettos
  61. strength
  62. submit
  63. surprise
  64. temperament
  65. their
  66. thorough
  67. through
  68. tragedy
  69. truly
  70. twelfth
  71. until
  72. vehicle
  73. vogue
  74. weird
  75. which
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A little spelling history

Early in the twentieth century, industrialist Andrew Carnegie decided to “fix” the way Americans spelled some things, and created the “Simplified Spelling Board.” In 1906, the Board published a list of 300 words that needed updating in order to make the language ready for the progress of humankind.



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