25 Frequently Misspelled & Misused Words That Haunt PR Pros


It's often the most routine and commonly used words
and phrases that can ruin your PR copy. 

No professional communicator—no matter how experienced—is immune from the pain and downright embarrassment of spelling or word usage errors. Spell-check can only go so far and, in fact, can be a dangerous crutch (it won't catch homophones).

To help you remain vigilant, we asked the PR News community to share some misspelled and misused words that have burned them in the past:

          Homophones (and near homophones): 

  1. Band/banned

  2. Colombia/Columbia

  3. Complimentary/complementary

  4. Fare/fair

  5. Forth/fourth 

  6. Insure/ensure

  7. Its/it's

  8. Principal/principle 

  9. Right/write

  10. Sale/sail 

  11. Scene/seen

  12. Seam/seem

  13. Sight/site

  14. Their/they're/there

  15. Then/than

  16. We're/were

  17. Whose/who's 

  18. Worse/worst

  19. You're/your

    Common misspellings:

  20. Public (pubic)

  21. Tomorrow (tomorow)

  22. February (Febuary)

  23. Wednesday (Wendesday)

  24. Definitely (definitly)

  25. Received (recieved)


Which misspelled and misused words haunt your dreams?

Follow Bill Miltenberg: @bmiltenberg


13 Comments



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  • S Gubanc

    weather/whether

  • Janice King

    Frequently used incorrectly in technology: Premise/Premises. See the correct usage here: http://writinghightech.typepad.com/blog/2007/06/premise_vs_prem.html

  • S Jones

    lose/loose

  • J Kurasz

    I’m good for the ‘tot he’ typo instead of ‘to the’

  • paul byrne

    judgment (judgement)

  • R Pastor

    weather/whether/wether
    accommodate
    vise/vice

  • KA Coleman

    Complimentary/complementary; Wednesday (Wendesday); Whose/who’s – all make me want to scream! Just when I think I’ve ovrcome….I find the nightmare continues (LOL).

  • rgpeterson

    capital/capitol
    pore/pour
    stationery/stationary

  • SJB

    stationery/stationarytheir/there/they’re

  • M Diaz

    Shift/shit

  • Michelle

    Hear/here
    Separate (seperate)
    Loose/lose
    Anything apostrophe “s”
    Affect/effect
    There are soooo many!!

  • CEFreudenrich

    sale/sell
    Web site/website
    ect./etc.
    Usage: i.e. vs. e.g.

  • Heidi

    10 Words You Need to Stop Misspelling, TheOatmeal.com: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/misspelling