DIFFICULT WORDS TO SPELL
Here I am again, reminding you about your spelling; good or bad.
11. pharaoh (pharoh)
Given the world’s fascination with ancient Egypt, you’d think that the word for their rulers wouldn’t present such a problem, but the sneaky ‘ao’ in the second syllable is a tricky one.
12. liaison (liason)
Both liaison and liaise boast that tricky triple vowel, a gift from French.
13. convalesce (convalece)
The -sce ending in convalesce is a spelling difficulty that crops in several English words that have a Latin origin, including acquiesce, coalesce, and incandesce.
14. supersede (supercede)
Derived from the Latin word supersedere, this word is frequently misspelled as supercede thanks to the influence of words like accede and intercede.
15. ecstasy (ecstacy)
Ecstasy may turn to despair when you realize that you’ve assumed that the ‘c’ at the start of ecstasy makes a later reappearance.
16. Caribbean (Carribean, Caribean)
The Caribbean tropics may seem slightly less alluring once you realize how much trouble you have spelling this name.
17. harass (harrass)
While harass may have two different pronunciations, it doesn’t have two r’s!
18. maintenance (maintainence)
Although maintenance often implies the maintaining of something, the word does not have maintain in it.
19. pronunciation (pronounciation)
Even though the verb form of this word is pronounce, the noun – pronunciation – does not have that ‘o’ in the middle. Before writing the word out, you might try saying both pronunciation and pronounce out loud and hear the difference yourself.
20. Arctic (Artic)
Although the pronunciation without the ‘c’ sound is considered acceptable, the spelling still requires that the ‘c’ be present. (The same goes for Antarctica.)
21. occurred (ocurred, occured)
Make sure that you double both the ‘c’ and the ‘r’ when you use the past tense of occur! Many verbs ending in a single ‘r’ will take a double ‘r’ in the past tense, such as recur, blur, and refer.
22. recommend (reccommend, reccomend)
Another double-letter kerfuffle, recommend might seem as though it deserves a second ‘c’, but the word only has one.
23. deductible (deductable)
This word is one of many examples of -ibles and -ables that may easily be confused.
Clancy's comment: Yep, a few of these are at the top of my tricky list. What about you?