The Words You Can Never Spell: A Writer’s Lament

When you make a living as a writer, you need to have a few things figured out. Where you’ll get your next job is less important than knowing the fundamentals of grammar and spelling. Still, I make typos here and there (who doesn’t?) and I feel like a hypocrite when I go all grammar police on people then make mistakes myself.

The other day, I was talking to some writer friends on Twitter and discovered that, no matter how polished a writer you are, there are still going to be words that trip you up. I was trying to type “significant” and it kept coming out as “signficant” Grr! I always miss that “i.”

So I asked my followers what words always leave them wondering how on earth they get away with writing anything at all! Here’s a few examples:

  1. Experience.
  2. Descent and Decent
  3. Though, Thought, and Through
  4. Episode
  5. Talk
  6. Silhouette
  7. Bureaucracy
  8. Judgment

Do you know how long it took me to type those words? Forever! I think there’s a commonality between some of these, but I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe a lot of vowels? “Though, Thought, and Through” are understandable because the only difference between them is a “t” or an “r.” Homophones are also understandable because English is, like, hard.

Just as I did on Twitter, I’m turning the tables over to you. What words can you never seem to spell on the first try? Which ones leave you scratching your head and hitting backspace? Which ones do you mangle so badly, even spellcheck can’t lend you a hand?

Please share in the comments and I’ll add them to the list above. Thanks!

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One thought on “The Words You Can Never Spell: A Writer’s Lament

  1. “Descent and Decent” I am totally guilty of committing this sin (ie in the liner notes of my last audiobook). I’ve also come to realize I’ve been mispronouncing several words my entire life.

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