Sometimes, even the best of us hvae tourble seplling. Other times, we forget even the most basic, ummm, what were they called? Mouth sounds? Pen squiggles? Words! It’s nothing to be ashamed of and, if we can learn to laugh at ourselves for messing up, it’s a great source of entertainment for our friends… and the internet.
Bored Panda has collected the funniest times that people forgot how to use the English language online and this resulted in some giggle-worthy moments. Have a look, upvote your fave mistakes and hilarious moments, and let us know in the comments which words you have the most problems spelling, dear Pandas. (For me, Massachusetts is hard to spell but Mississippi is easy.) Check out our earlier post about the times that people had no idea how to spell ‘quarantine’ correctly, too.
Dr. Lisa McLendon from the University of Kansas School of Journalism and the Coordinator at the Bremner Editing Center explained to Bored Panda why we sometimes forget basic words, why we tend to have trouble spelling correctly, and what we can do to improve. Scroll down for our full interview with her.
Dr. McLendon told Bored Panda that forgetting words is more of a cognitive question than one of grammar or language. “People forget words (and other information) all the time and it’s not a sign of deeper memory problems, it just means they have a temporary blip in ‘retrieval.’ Not surprisingly, this happens more if someone’s tired or stressed out or distracted.”
According to the News and Information Track Chair at the University of Kansas, our troubles with spelling are related to us living in the modern world where a lot of the checking and editing is done for us.
“Because spell-check and autocorrect are everywhere, what seems to be the biggest problem is words that are spelled correctly but aren’t the right word, like ‘form’ instead of ‘from,’ ‘it’s’ instead of ‘its,’ or ‘defiantly’ instead of ‘definitely.’”
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Dr. McLendon gave us a couple of tips that can help us improve if we’re embarrassed by our spelling mistakes.
“Read carefully over what you’ve written, to make sure you—or autocorrect—didn’t use the wrong word or misuse an apostrophe. Know yourself well enough to know where you usually make mistakes. For instance, I frequently type ‘form’ when I mean ‘from,’ so whenever I finish a document, I do a search for ‘form’ so I can catch the wrong usages,” she said.
“If your writing is going to be seen by a broader audience, have someone else read over it. When you’ve written something, your brain already knows what you’re thinking and what you meant to say, even if you didn’t actually say it.So when you read your own writing, you unconsciously fill in missing words, skip over typos, fail to see ambiguity, etc.”
The expert continued: “Another person, someone who sees only what’s on the page and not what’s in your head, can help you spot mistakes and improve your writing. This is especially important if you are carving something in stone or getting a tattoo with words in it.”
Conditions like dyslexia, ADHD, and dysgraphia can affect people’s spelling and it takes lots of dedication to overcome these challenges. Keep in mind that nobody’s making fun of people who have genuine trouble spelling—it’s a completely different topic altogether.
But plenty of people without any conditions mess up when it comes to English, too, and it can lead to some genuinely funny situations. However, nobody should be embarrassed about making spelling mistakes. They’re a great way to improve and we only fail if we give up on growing.
Case in point—I used to mess up writing ‘embarrassed’ but my teacher taught me that an easy way to remember the spelling is that when you’re embarrassed, you’re so red that it doubles the r’s and the s’s.
Funnily enough, the word ‘embarrassment’ was the most difficult word to spell for British people, according to Word Counter (odds are, you've used their word counting program if you've ever written an essay for school or college).
Some other hard-to-spell words for Brits were fluorescent, accommodate, psychiatrist, and occasionally. Darn those inconsistent double consonants!
Meanwhile, some of the main words that Americans asked Google how to spell correctly include grey, definitely, pneumonia, appreciate, Hanukkah, and restaurant.