It's hard to imagine writing anything without spellcheck nowadays. What would we do without that squiggly red line correcting our every mistake? When you can't rely on the powers of spellcheck, you're on your own in the spelling department, which can be a scary thought.

Just about every blog on the internet is constantly bugging you to stop making the common spelling errors. But there's no doubt that correct spelling and word choice is crucial to good communications.

Commit these correct spellings of commonly misspelled words to memory and you can draft perfect internal emails, without the help of spellcheck (or at least feel a bit more confident writing a birthday card).

Spelling Test

PS. We skipped the ever popular its vs it's, you're vs your, than vs then -- we assume you know those by now!

  1. Receive: remember, I before E except after C.
  2. Beginning: a common and incorrect spelling of this is 'begining'.
  3. Basically: it might sound like 'basiclly' but there is an A in there.
  4. Committee: two M's, two T's AND two E's!
  5. Commitment: like commit, this word has just one T.
  6. Commit: two M's, one T.
  7. Recommend: Recommend only has one C, take note.
  8. Convenient: only one I in this word.
  9. Completely: the word complete is still in there, although commonly misspelled with an added E before Y.
  10. Definitely: this might be the most often misspelled word in the English language.
  11. Nowadays: this is one word.
  12. Opportunity: there's only one U in opportunity!
  13. A lot: 'alot' is not a word, as much as we'd all like it to be.
  14. Separate: although it sounds like an E, it's definitely an A.
  15. All right: many use the spelling of 'alright' but that is, in fact, not an actual word.
  16. Occurrence: two double letters in this word-- a tough one indeed!
  17. Which vs. Whatwhich is used to ask a question when there is a small number of possible answers, or the choice of possible answers has already been defined. What determines a question when there is an infinite or unknown possible answers.
  18. Who vs. Whom: if you can answer the question with him/her, use whom and if you can answer with he/she, use who.

Misused Words

For those of us who spend our days writing emails, memos, texts, newsletters, etc., it's easy to make a few errors not just in spelling but in using the right word.

These errors are embarrassing (forgivable, but embarrassing) and interestingly enough, they can actually make you look like you're more driven by emotions than logic, which is sometimes seen as a negative in business.

Typos and misused words in emails are the bane of our existence but quite normal and human error. But we can always revisit the words we continue to stumble upon. The key really is to understand the meanings of each word so that you will always use the correct one.

Intern or Interim

If you've ever been an intern, you definitely know the difference between these two. Intern (v) means to restrict something to a specific time limit. Interim (n) on the other hand, essentially means the meantime. Voila.

Affect or Effect

When it's rainy and grey outside, you feel "affected" by the weather (think influence). When you step in a puddle, the "effect" is that your shoes get wet (think the result).

Alternately or Alternatively

Alternate means something happening in turns or to be in replace of something else. Alternatively is similar but means a second option which is not a replacement.

Disinterested or Uninterested

To be disinterested actually means to not have a stake in something or having no bias. Uninterested simply means to not care or to be bored. Example: I'm uninterested in the Kardashians.

Past or Passed

This one gets me all the time. Passed is a verb of to pass, hence the -ed ending. It also doubles as the past participle of to pass, which describes things that have happened. Past can be an adjective, noun, adverb and a preposition, often relating to time. But if any of this means nothing to you, remember this: passed indicates movement and past generally relates to time.

Who's or Whose

Quite simply, who's is the contraction of 'who is' or 'who has'. Whose is the possessive of who or which. For example: Who's read this entire post? Tom, whose never been to our site, definitely hasn't.

i.e. or e.g.

Latin lesson time. i.e. is the abbreviation of 'id est' or in English, 'that is'. i.e. is used to provide further explanation for something whereas e.g. is a way to provide examples or a short list of something.

 
When we do make the occasional typo in an email, we tend to notice it a second after we clicked send. After you're done beating yourself up, remember: your recipients are pretty forgiving and we're only human. In your next internal email, reread your message starting from the bottom to the top. You might just catch a few annoying errors! #RIPtypos