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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/544316
Rated: E · Book · Educational · #1299892
For all tips and guidelines to help improve your writing skills.
#544316 added October 24, 2007 at 10:25pm
Restrictions: None
Solutions to Spelling Problems
Sure you might be looking at the topic and wondering just why this is necessary, but believe me, nothing kills a reader’s interest faster than a story that’s filled with spelling errors. Sometimes these errors are not so obvious and even though you proofread a thousand times over, you just never seem to catch it until another reader does. This newsletter will help to show some ways to improve your spelling, while pointing out some common errors and pronunciations.

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Solutions to Spelling Problems:


Believe it or not, there are some people who have a natural talent for spelling. It’s an ability that allows them to visualize words correctly. They can simply look at commonly used words and know immediately if the spelling is correct. These natural spellers rely on dictionaries to spell only unusual or technical words. However, many of us do not have this talent and must always be alert to the possibility of misspelled words in everything we write. If you fall in the latter category, you may want to adopt some or all of the following five techniques for improving spelling:

*Note1*Looking in the Dictionary:

This is one of the best ways of solving spelling problems. However, when this is suggested many of us argue with ‘If I don’t know how to spell a word, I can’t find it in the dictionary’. This is usually not true. With a few exceptions (such as kn, ph, sc) an initial consonant is almost always predictable. Initial vowels are almost as easy to predict as consonants – a word like envision may begin with either an i or an e, but it certainly is not likely to begin with an a, an o, or a u. Hence, finding the right section of the dictionary requires little effort. At that point, the word can be found rather quickly.

*Note1*Practicing Pronunciation:

Once the word has been found in the dictionary, be sure you know exactly how to pronounce it. To fix the punctuation in your mind, say it aloud several times, pausing between syllables. Then say the word aloud a number of times without pausing.

*Note1*Practicing Writing:

After you are sure of the pronunciation, write the word a dozen times or so. This practice not only will help fix the word in your motor memory, but also will let you see how it looks in your own handwriting. Type the word a number of times to help you to recognize it in print. When you know a word in sound, script, and type, you are not likely to forget how to spell it.

*Note1*Keeping a Word List:

You might find it helpful to keep a list of words that you tend to misspell. You can include those words that readers have pointed out in your stories as well as words you must frequently look up in the dictionary. Studying your list and using it when you edit stories will help you master the words you find particularly troublesome. You’re also welcome to consult a list of misspelled words, single out the ones you do not spell with confidence and add them to your individual list.

*Note1*Studying Spelling Patterns:

Inconsistencies do exist between the spelling system and the sound system. Bizarre spellings also do occur, although usually with scientific terms, esoteric words, and proper names. But on the whole, patterns predominate. Knowledge of these patterns, also called ‘Spelling Rules’, can help you improve your spelling. Remember, however, that a rule in spelling is an observation – a description of a pattern that recurs in the language, not an iron-clad law never violated.

Check out the links below for lists that might be of some use to you, and don’t forget to take the weekly challenge below! *Cool*

"Spelling Patterns/Pronunciations [E]
"Lists of Frequently Misspelled Words [E]
And because some readers forget that not everyone on WDC is from the United States *Laugh*, here's a guide to the differences between American/British English: "Do You Speak English? [E]


EXERCISE: Correct any misspelled words in the following passage. When the spelling patterns will not solve the problem, consult a dictionary or the lists of frequently misspelled words.
*Bullet*          Last month I applied for a credit card at a major department store. The application ask for information that was completly unecessary: my hieght, my wieght, my religous preferance, and outragous details of my personel life. I dutifuly filed out all the information. When I recieved the card, imagine my surprize to find that my name was mispelled and my address was incorect.

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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/544316