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Brits Finds ‘Separate’ Hard To Spell, Americans With Word ‘Embarrassed’

September 22,2010 by: admin

Two nations using English are adept with the language but can have difficulties in spelling words; this is according to studies and surveys conducted to both countries.

Britons may have the English language their main dialect, but when it comes to spelling, there can always be a time that they, and even other people of the world, have common words misspelt.

One Poll, a website that conducts online surveys, carried out a survey filled in by about 3,500 Britons. The survey polled a question about which word was commonly misspelled. An eight-letter word came up: SEPARATE.

The word made it the top because the letter ‘E’ is usually used in place of the first letter ‘A’.

The second word to be commonly misspelled was ‘DEFINITELY’, due to the usual mix-ups that replaces the second letter ‘I’ with an ‘A’. Sometimes the last letter ‘E’ is omitted. This word was the most misspelled word in 2009, where One Poll surveyed about 5,000 Britons.

A spokesperson of the website said that the common mistake is usually caused by spelling a word the way it sounds which leaves people to replace actual letters with the wrong ones. And with the addition of spell-check features present in computers, people will tend to get lazy and depend on the automatic spell checkers. This makes them to go on while never learn the right spelling.

The rest of the top ten misspelled words are, in order: manoeuvre (due to the ‘OE’), embarrass (‘R’ or ‘S’ sometimes omitted), occurrence (double letters of ‘C’ and ‘R’ sometimes confusing), consensus, unnecessary, acceptable, broccoli (one ‘C’ is sometimes dropped) and referred.

It was also found out that one out of six people are typing a lot of incorrect words on their PC and that their computer spell-checkers would not recognize those words. While two out of three admit to have often used spell-checks in computers when handwriting letters or notes. Furthermore, one out of five said that predicted text messaging caused their misspellings.

On the other hand, in America, the words “embarrassed”, “liaison” and “millennium” are the top common misspelled words. This is according to Spelling Society, a London-based market research firm. According to the study they have conducted last February, 62 percent of the people say it is hard to spell the word “embarrassed”. Sixty-one percent have a hard time to spell “liaison” and 52% for the word “millennium”.

Likewise, Americans sometimes fail to spell “separate” along with the word “definitely”. Other common misspelled words are “accidentally”, accommodation” and “friend”.

A linguist from California State University at Sacramento, Edward Baranowski, said that this misspelling situation should be blamed on the nature of the English language. The English system has a lot of words that have the same sounds, but with different spellings. He added that the society is left with a “fossilized” system and the system does not reflect a modern spelling.

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