Confusing Words

Homonyms, Contranyms, Heteronyms, Compounds, Solecisms,
and Other Confusing Words

Commonly Misspelled Words

a list of difficult English and loanwords

"Those people spell best who do not know how to spell."
by Benjamin Franklin
"I don't have much respect for the intelligence of anyone who can think of only one way to spell a word."
by Andrew "Old Hickory" Jackson
"My spelling is Wobbly. It's good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places."
by Alan Alexander Milne

The Zen of Spelling

spelling is a convention, like any other convention
it's useful if it helps
but as soon as it hinders then it should be ignored
there is no right place for letters or for people
and when they're predictable, then they're easily manipulated
truth surpasses syntax and rhetoric
a love letter doesn't have to be literary
a witness statement doesn't have to be grammatical
passion and honesty are sufficient
schools, including military academies, teach pedagogy
because if the student doesn't know the rules
then he won't know when to break them
if people break the rules because they're lazy or stupid,
then they are inviting retaliation by smarter people
smarter people use brains as adjuncts to force
strong people can be wrong as long as nobody wants what they've got
pretty words persuade people and good spelling is part of that trick
the zen of spelling is knowing when the arrangement of things is true
when the order of events is worthwhile
mostly, from others, it isn't
mostly, from oneself, it should be
intuition is just the inside of common sense outside