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I'm running into this one all the time lately.
stationary and stationery
rein and reign
complement and compliment
insure and ensure
elicit and illicit
hangar and hanger
Just to name a few.
One of my favorites and one I see often; meddle, metal, mettle and medal.
Then there's enquire and inquire, allude and elude, and, and, I need to go but the two words, No and One are being cramped together as one word quite a bit lately and that makes me NUTS, noone should do that. :) Don't forget axel and axle.
the kind of spelling error that no spell checker will ever catch because it's still a good word, but just wrong
Other things you need proofreading for:
One letter wrong
In the days of typing pools I used to regularly get r's and w's misread -- these days I have to do it myself:
Please note that the office is now open at 08:00.
or is that?
Please note that the office is not open at 08:00.
"flocking" a tree doe snot make it fire-resistive.
(nearly 1000 such hits on Google: including the one above)
I'm just never sure whether people just like to play with words, or if they really don't know when to use which one. Misused homonyms seem to be a speciality of the english language, as I rarely encounter them in any german language writing.
Oh, and I don't see site, side, and sight listed yet, which may well be the favourites on this very forum.
Usage Note: Despite the appearance of the form alright in works of such well-known writers as Langston Hughes and James Joyce, the single word spelling has never been accepted as standard. This is peculiar, since similar fusions such as already and altogether have never raised any objections. The difference may lie in the fact that already and altogether became single words back in the Middle Ages, whereas alright has only been around for a little more than a century and was called out by language critics as a misspelling. Consequently, one who uses alright, especially in formal writing, runs the risk that readers may view it as an error or as the willful breaking of convention.
"could care less" when "couldn't care less" is meant.
"million and a half dollars" for "one and a half million dollars".
(if those two are the same to you, please send me the $499,999.50 difference between $1,000,000.50 and $1,500,000.00)
Thank you. I think that if you can write like Joyce, then you may also spell like Joyce. But maybe for the rest of us that's not a good idea, because readers will just think we don't know any better.
"Witch" and "which", "whether" and "weather". These were hard for me for maybe that first sixteen years of my life.
Using "it's" as a possessive is one I trip on. Everything ELSE uses possessive apostrophes! I try to remember "it" only gets one for "it is" or "it has" and the like...
He is a man who is intelligent.
----> He is intelligent.
Due to the fact that.