Advanced Business Writing
Punctuation and Grammar

Spelling

Spelling? Really? Yes, really.

Your tech will let you down when you happen to type an additional wrong letter in a word you routinely misspell—and it will happen at the worst possible time. Also, your tech will not be helping you when you hand-write a note; people do see those and will remember the mistakes you make. Do yourself a big favor: be the person at work who spells the trickiest words correctly. You will be viewed as the person who cares about quality.

Below are ten of the trickiest words to spell correctly. Do not even try to memorize the correctly spelled versions. Instead, memorize the memory aids (or make up your own). When someone at work shouts out, "How do I spell accommodate?" you shout back, "Two c's! Two m's! Two o's! Not to mention the a's!" People will laugh, and they will also quietly—and correctly—conclude that you are a genius.

accommodate: Two c's two m's two o's, not to mention the a's.

basically: Basically, you need an ally to spell basically.

consensus: Consensus is the onset of nonsense if no one agrees.

dilemma: Emma's dilemma was strumming or drumming.

existence: Existence in a sentence is more whence than hence.

interrupt: To err is human; to interrupt is just plain annoying.

liaison: Liaison praise is worth a raise.

occasion: Occ asion for invasion? Occupy with evasion!

prerogative: Preening presidents prefer prerogatives precluding precedents.

separate: Separate parades; separate charades.

Was this the most fun you've had in years? If so, you should conjure your own memory aids for these ten additional trouble makers: committee, deductible, embarrass, inadvertent, license, maintenance, occurred, privilege, receipt, tomorrow.

Also, when we spell adjectives that mean "able to be X-ed" (readable, payable, illegible, deductible) the general rule for spelling is to look at X and decide if it's an actual, complete, stand-alone word all by itself. If it is, use Xable; otherwise use Xible. Unlucky for us, exceptions abound.

It's time for drills. Say it. Click it. Learn it. Go!

[ ] Separate parades; separate charades.
[The word ____ uses letters ____.]
separate ... ara
seperate ... rat

[ ] Preening presidents prefer prerogatives precluding precedents.
[The word ____ uses letters ____.]
perogetives... get
prerogatives ... pre

[ ] Occasion for invasion? Occupy with evasion!
[The word ____ uses letters ____.]
ocaission ... ais
occasion ... asion

[ ] Liaison praise is worth a raise.
[The word ____ uses letters ____.]
liaison ... ais
liasion ... asi

[ ] To err is human; to interrupt is just plain annoying.
[The word ____ uses letters ____.]
interupt ... eru
interrupt ... err

[ ] Existence in a sentence is more whence than hence.
[The word ____ uses letters ____.]
existance ... an
existence ... en

[ ] Emma's dilemma was strumming or drumming.
[The word ____ uses letters ____.]
dilemna ... mn
dilemma ... mm

[ ] Consensus is the onset of nonsense if no one agrees.
[The word ____ uses letters ____.]
consensus ... onse
concensus ... cens

[ ] Basically, you need an ally to spell basically.
[The word ____ uses letters ____.]
basicly ... sic
basically ... ally

[ ] Two c's two m's two o's, not to mention the a's.
[The word ____ uses letters ____.]
accommodate ... cc mm oo aa
acommadate ... two m's

Lesson: Spelling
Module: Punctuation and Grammar
Course: Advanced Business Writing