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


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  • S Gubanc


  • 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


  • J Kurasz

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

  • paul byrne

    judgment (judgement)

  • R Pastor


  • 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


  • SJB


  • M Diaz


  • Michelle

    Separate (seperate)
    Anything apostrophe “s”
    There are soooo many!!

  • CEFreudenrich

    Web site/website
    Usage: i.e. vs. e.g.

  • Heidi

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