30 commonly misspelt words in British business

Common misspellings in UK business writing

Call me old fashioned, but I hold tip-top spelling in high esteem. A misspelt word has the same effect as nails screeching down the blackboard.

If you’ve ever seen the Putnam County Spelling Bee, you’ll be amazed, dazed and possibly fazed by xerophthalmia, hausehole, omphaloskepsis and weltanschauung. Thankfully, they don’t pop up in the boardroom that often.

However, here are 30 business words that often do. How many would you get right?

How well can you spell these frequently misspelt business words?

Achieve – correct   Acheive – incorrect

Top tip: good old ‘ i before e’

Apparently – correct   Apparently – incorrect

Top tip: no ants in your apparents

Argument – correct   Arguement – incorrect

Top tip: A Rude Girl Undresses; My Eyes Need Taping

Beginning – correct   Begining – incorrect

Top tip: this may be the beginning but there are 2 Ns in the middle

Business – correct   Buisness – incorrect

Top tip: keep busy in business

Committee – correct   Commitee – incorrect

Top tip: double m, double t, double e

Conscious – correct   Concious – incorrect

Top tip: c x 2, s x 2

Definitely – correct   Definately – incorrect

Top tip: think of the word ‘define’

Discipline  – correct   Disiplin – incorrect

Top tip: think silent c and silent e

Environment – correct   Enviroment – incorrect

Top tip: remember the word ‘environs’

Finally – correct   Finaly – incorrect

Top tip: end on double L

Government – correct   Goverment – incorrect

Top tip: think of the verb ‘to govern’

Immediately – correct   Immediatly – incorrect

Top tip: add ‘ly’ onto immediate

Knowledge – correct   Knowlege – incorrect

Top tip: keep what you know in your brain and not on the shelf (aka ledge)

Independent – correct   Independant – incorrect

Top tip: another ‘ent’ ender

Indispensable – correct   Indispensible – incorrect

Top tip: ‘she was so able, she was indispensable’

Judgement  – correct   Jugement – incorrect

Top tip: remember the verb ‘to judge’

Liaise – correct   Liase – incorrect

Top tip: A liaises between two Is

Necessary – correct   Neccesary – incorrect

Top tip: Never Eat Cheese Salad Sandwiches And Remain Young

No one – correct   Noone – incorrect

Top tip: let no one tell you this isn’t one word

Occurring – correct   Occuring – incorrect

Top tip: c x 2, r x 2

Piece – correct   Peice – incorrect

Top tip: our friend again – ‘ i before e’

Possession – correct   Posession – incorrect

Top tip: the word possesses four Ss

Proceed – correct   Procede – incorrect

Top tip: it’s spelt like exceed and succeed

Receive – correct   Recieve – incorrect

Top tip: once again – ‘ i before e’

Referred – correct   Refered – incorrect

Top tip: r x 2

Separate – correct   Seperate – incorrect

Top tip: Keep ‘a rat’ in the middle

Seize – correct   Sieze – incorrect

Top tip: i before e here

Supersede – correct   Superseed – incorrect

Top tip: the good news is that this is the only English word spelled with ‘sede’

Tendency – correct   Tendancy – incorrect

Top tip: e x 2

Any freelance copywriter worth their salt knows you can’t rely on the computer spell checker, especially with a Mac.  Fellow Mac users will share the frustration of having those Apple-loving Zs suggested at every opportunity. Sometimes it’s worth using a dictionary as a book and not as a book-end!

Misspelt v misspelled

Oh and just in case you’re wondering about what I always think is an odd-looking word, ‘misspelt’ is the UK version.

Written by Caroline Gibson, freelance copywriter and spelling lover