usingtherightwords

Guaranteed to improve your English

How Do You (Mis)Spell…?


It’s Spelling Bee time! Following are a few words that you or someone you know might have misspelled but will no longer because you or that someone you know is reading this:

demagogue — In ancient times, it meant a leader who stood up for the common man. Now, it means a leader who uses false promises, false claims and popular prejudices to achieve power. It is NOT spelled demagog.

dependent — not dependant

exorcise — We who remember the 1971 book or the 1973 film “The Exorcist” know that the word is not spelled with a z. So, it’s not exorcize or exorcizt.

gray — It’s the color. Grey is a last name of a man (Joel) who is one of the few to win a Tony and Oscar for the same role (bonus points if you can name the role).

light-year — It’s always hyphenated. Lightyear is the last name of a toy that goes to infinity and beyond.

menswear — not men’s wear

milquetoast — This is not a word I see too often. It means “a timid, meek or unassertive person.” Capitalize the name and you have a comic strip character. But never call it milk toast. To me, milk toast is a doughnut (not donut).

questionnaire —  double-n, not questionaire

seesaw — not see-saw

ukulele — It’s spelled correctly, and it’s a pretty easy word to spell once you remember it’s uku and it’s lele.

How well did you do? Did you win the Bee?

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

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September 13, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. Actually you can use gray and grey interchangeably.

    Comment by Anne Davies | September 14, 2012 | Reply

    • Depends on the style. Some styles accept it; others don’t, so you are right (some of the time).

      Comment by usingtherightwords | September 14, 2012 | Reply

  2. Kind of like when my spellcheck corrects my spelling of cancelled. It is equally correct spelled that way or with one L.

    Comment by Anne Davies | September 14, 2012 | Reply


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