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The word “whether” did me in.

I still remember the crushing disappointment of losing the sixth grade spelling bee to Mary Weiss. I came so close!

But, I forgot the “h” after the “w” and that was the end of my spelling bee career.

Now, I never forget how to spell “whether,” but there are some words that just won’t stick in my brain, words that frequently trip me up and require a quick look-up in Dictionary.com:

  • Unnecessary
  • Apparently
  • Commitment
  • Vacuum
  • Imminent
  • Sandwich
  • Extraordinary
  • Gray, or it grey?

Apparently(!), I’m not alone. Many of these words appear on the list of 100 most misspelled words.

Why worry about accuracy in the world of spell check? I find that when I’m dashing off posts on Facebook or Twitter, I am on my own when it comes to checking for errors. I could create elaborate mnemonic devices or come up with funny phrases using each letter of a word (e.g. Because = Big Elephants Can’t Always Use Small Exits), but it feels like a lot of work.

Which words bring you back to the dictionary again and again?