Spelling: Wikis


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Spelling is the writing of a word or words with the necessary letters and diacritics present in an accepted standard order. It is one of the elements of orthography and a prescriptive element of alphabetic languages. Most spellings attempt to approximate a transcribing of the sounds of the language into alphabetic letters; however, completely phonetic spellings are often the exception, due to drifts in pronunciations over time and irregular spellings adopted through common usage.[1]


Spelling standards and conventions

Whereas uniformity in the spelling of words is one of the features of a standard language in modern times, and official languages usually prescribe standard spelling, minority languages and regional languages often lack this trait. Furthermore, it is a relatively recent development in various major languages in national contexts, linked to the compiling of dictionaries, the founding of national academies and other institutions of language maintenance, including compulsory mass education.

In countries such as the U.S. and U.K. without official spelling policies, many vestigial and foreign spelling conventions work simultaneously. In countries where there is a national language maintenance policy, such as France, the Netherlands and Germany, reforms were driven to make spelling a better index of pronunciation. Spelling often evolves for simple reasons of alphabetic thrift, as when British English "catalogue" becomes American English "catalog".

Methods used to teach and learn spelling

Learning proper spelling by rote is a traditional element of elementary education. In the U.S., the ubiquity of the phonics method of teaching reading, which emphasizes the importance of "sounding out" spelling in learning to read, also puts a premium on the prescriptive learning of spelling. For these reasons, divergence from standard spelling is often perceived as an index of stupidity, illiteracy, or lower class standing. The intelligence of Dan Quayle, for instance, was repeatedly disparaged for his correcting a student's spelling of "potato" as the now non-standard "potatoe" (C15th spelling, O.E.D.) at an elementary school spelling bee in Trenton, New Jersey on June 15, 1992.[2]

The opposite viewpoint was voiced by President Andrew Jackson who stated "It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word."[citation needed]

Since traditional language teaching methods emphasize written language over spoken language, a second-language speaker may have a better spelling ability than a native speaker despite having a poorer command of the language.

Spelling tests are usually used to assess a student's mastery over the words in the spelling lessons the student has received so far. They can also be an effective practice method. There are many free spelling tests on websites on the Internet.

Spelling bees are competitions to determine the best speller of a group. Prominent spelling bees are even televised, such as the National Spelling Bee in the United States.

Divergent spelling

Divergent spelling is a popular advertising technique, used to attract attention or to render a trademark "suggestive" rather than "merely descriptive." The pastry chains Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme, for example, employ non-standard spellings. The same technique is also popular among some recording artists.


Misspellings of "Occasion" as "Occassion" and "Confectionery" as "Confectionary" on a shopfront in the United Kingdom.
A misspelling of purchased on a service station sign.

While some words admit multiple spellings, some spellings are not considered standard, and thus labeled as misspellings. A misspelled word can be a series of letters that represents no correctly spelled word of the same language at all (such as "liek" for "like") or a correct spelling of another word (such as writing "hear" when one means "here," or "no" when one means "know"). Misspellings of the latter type can easily make their way into printed material because they are not caught by simple computerised spell checkers.

Misspellings may be due to either typing errors (e.g. typing teh for the), or lack of knowledge of the correct spelling. Whether or not a word is misspelled may depend on context, as is the case with American / British English distinctions. Misspelling can also be a matter of opinion when variant spellings are accepted by some and not by others. For example "miniscule" (for "minuscule") is a misspelling to many,[3] and yet it is listed as an acceptable variant in some dictionaries.[4][5]

A well-known Internet scam involves the registration of domain names that are deliberate misspellings of well-known corporate names in order to mislead or defraud. The practice is commonly known as "typosquatting".[6]


Notable misspellings

  • Cleveland, Ohio – the leader of the crew that surveyed the town's territory was Gen. Moses Cleaveland, and the region was named in his honor; reportedly the town's first newspaper, the Cleveland Advertiser, could not fit the town's name in its masthead without removing the first "a" from the name.[7]
  • Google – accidental misspelling of googol.[8] According to Google's vice president, as quoted on a BBC The Money Programme documentary, January 2006, the founders – noted for their poor spelling – registered Google as a trademark and web address before someone pointed out that it was not correct.
  • Ovaltine, a popular bedtime drink in the UK and Australia, came about because someone misspelled the original name Ovomaltine on the trademark documentation.[citation needed]
  • Referer – common misspelling of the word referrer. It is so common, in fact, that it made it into the official specification of HTTP – the communication protocol of the World Wide Web – and has, therefore, become the standard industry spelling when discussing HTTP referers.[9]
  • Sequim, Washington – "In 1879 the first post office was built and named 'Seguin' for the surrounding area. [...] In 1907, due to a Postal Official's error in reading an official report, the post office was titled 'Seguim' for approximately a month. With the next report, the Official read the letter 'g' as a 'q' and the post office here became known as 'Sequim.' The name change apparently did not worry the residents enough to protest. It has been known as Sequim ever since."[10]
  • According to some, Quartzsite, a mining town in Arizona, had its name spelled incorrectly. It should be Quartzite, after the mineral quartzite.[11]
  • Zenith – Arabic zamt was misread; in Latin letters, at the time, the letter i was never dotted, so "m" looked like "ni".[12]

See also

English spelling
Other languages


  1. ^ Definition-Definition
  2. ^ 1992: Gaffe with an 'e' at the end, by Paul Mickle / The Trentonian
  3. ^ Merriam-Webster.com, "miniscule", Merriam Webster's Online Dictionary; states that this spelling is "widely regarded as an error"
  4. ^ Bartleby.com, "miniscule', The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
  5. ^ Cambridge.org, "minuscule" Cambridge Dictionary of American English
  6. ^ "Typosquatters Act May Apply to Misspelling Domain Names to Mislead Surfers", Shari Claire Lewis, New York Law Journal, September 15, 2004
  7. ^ Ohio, p. 138, Victoria Sherrow, Marshall Cavendish, 2008
  8. ^ QI: Quite Interesting facts about 100, telegraph.co.uk
  9. ^ referer - Definitions from Dictionary.com
  10. ^ Robinson, J. (2005). Sequim History. Retrieved July 24, 2008, from City of Sequim, Washington Website
  11. ^ Town of Quartzsite 2003 General Plan
  12. ^ Norbury, J. K. W. Word Formation in the Noun and Adjective.

External links

Spell checkers
  • Spellcheck.net, an online spell checker
  • KeithBriggs.info, Spellometer, measures frequency of common errors on websites
  • Spellery.com, checks for spelling mistakes on websites
  • Espindle.org, a website with free quizzes.
  • Spellr.us, checks for spelling mistakes on websites and ranks errors by probability


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Spelling is an element of orthography that involves the writing of words with the correct letters in the appropriate order.


  • They spell it Vinci and pronounce it Vinchy; foreigners always spell better than they pronounce.
  • My spelling is Wobbly. It’s good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.
    • A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh, in Winnie-the-Pooh, ch. 6 (1926)
  • As to spelling the very frequent word though with six letters instead of two, it is impossible to discuss it, as it is outside the range of common sanity. In comparison such a monstrosity as phlegm for flem is merely disgusting.
  • I tell my students that I grade according to Jeopardy! rules. Spelling doesn't count....up to a point. If you spell Norway F-I-N-L-A-N-D, you don't get any credit.
  • Languages never stand still. Modern spelling crystallises lost pronunciations: the visual never quite catches up with the aural.
    • Anthony Burgess, A Mouthful of Air: Language and Languages, Especially English (1992)
  • With the aid of my all-important spelling correction program, I can be confident of my presentation. Do I fear that I will lose my ability to spell as a result of overreliance on this technological crutch? What ability? Actually, my spelling is improving through the use of this spelling corrector that continually points out my errors and suggests corrections.

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:
Look up spelling in Wiktionary, the free dictionary


Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Basic Writing/Spelling article)

From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection

< Basic Writing

This section will be about spelling. As the revision of the wikibook continues, this will be a fairly lengthy page. Please have patience and refrain from flagging new sections of this book for removal. --Llcadle (talk) 13:27, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Hangman article)

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Box artwork for Hangman.
Developer(s) Atari
Publisher(s) Atari
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Board game
System(s) Atari 2600
Players 1-2
Input Joystick

Hangman was one of the eleven Atari 2600 titles that were part of the second wave of games released in 1978. It is based on the old words guessing game played with paper and pen. The player msut guess which letters compose a word. Every wrong guess adds to the diagram of a man being hung, or in the case of this game, a monkey hanging from a bar. Eleven wrong guesses ends the game. Games can be played as one or two player games, and different grade levels of words. Two players can even provide the words for one another. of This game was released as Spelling under the Sears Tele-Games label.


  • Color/BW: Switch between color display and black & white display. (This feature made the game look better on black & white TVs that were still prominent at the time of the game's release.)
  • Difficulty Switches: Normally, when the difficulty swich is set to "b", players have as long as they want to enter a guess. Setting the difficulty switch to "a" will only permit each player to make their guess within 20 seconds or it will count as a wrong guess.
  • Game Select: Select a game variation. The variations cycle from 1 to 9 and start back over at 1. See the Game Variation section below.
  • Game Reset: Starts a new game in whatever game variation is currently selected. The scores are not reset to 0. Each new word must begin by pressing the Game Reset button.
  • Joystick: Use up and down to cycle through all of the available letters. As the letters are cycled, you can hear the typical "ABC" song based on the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."
  • Button: Press the button to select the current letter as your guess.

Game Variations

Type 1 Player 2 Players
Game Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Grade Level 3 6 9 12 3 6 9 12 n/a

Game variations are determined by two things; the number of players, and the highest grade level that each word can be selected from. Games 1 through 4 are single player games, while Games 5 through 8 are two player games. In a two player game, each player takes turns entering letters. Each correct guess earns the player another guess. The winner is the person who correctly guesses the complete word. Game 9 is a two player game as well, where each player provides 6 letter words for their opponent (the opponent must look away while the word is being entered.) If the opponent guesses the correct word, they earn one point. The first player to reach five points wins.

In the English language, the 12 most commonly occurring letters are, in descending order: e-t-a-o-i-n-s-h-r-d-l-u. This and other letter-frequency lists are used by the guessing player to increase the odds when it is their turn to guess. On the other hand, the same lists can be used by the hangman (the non-guessing player) to stump his/her opponent by choosing a difficult word to guess (e.g. rhythm) or one that contains rare letters (e.g. quartz or zephyr).


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!


Developer(s) Sears
Publisher(s) Sears
Release date
Genre Puzzle
Mode(s) Single player
1-2 players alternating
Age rating(s) N/A
Atari 2600
Platform(s) Atari 2600
Input Atari 2600 Joystick
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

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Simple English

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