The most typical writing mistakes made by both non-native and native speakers

As is known, numerous misspellings in English have long been a subject of extensive public discussion. A thorough reform of English spelling that would facilitate a number of grammar rules and establish (if possible) the correspondence between graphemes and phonemes is being prepared.
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Well, without pretending to be the final authority and being a blogger from an essay writing website, I’ve tried:

a) to analyze typical the typical spelling mistakes made by both native and non-native English speakers;

b) to define a typology of errors and their dependence on the pronunciation of the word and its etymology;

c) to determine the prevalence of some spellings in modern English on the basis of written communication practice.

Let’s see what I’ve got. I hope the research will be interesting to you and even help you to become a better writer.

Grammar Cannot be Automated

It is obvious that computer spelling checkers don’t work as well as we have been hoping. Although information technology has introduced significant changes to typing and checking processes, mistakes and misprints are still widespread.

In the pre-computer era, spelling manuals, directories, dictionaries, and many other instruments were used to check difficult words along with the relevant orthography rules. Now, this activity shifts to cyberspace.

Supporters of strict spelling rules (usually linguists, editors, school teachers) continue compiling such lists, trying to analyze typical misspellings and get some statistics, indicating the degree of mistakes propagation. The study of written communication in English on the Internet shows that, despite the availability of checkers, spelling is far from the perfect.
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The Hardest English Words

A deliberate violation of spelling has become the hallmark of communication on the Internet (for example, smmr instead of summer, hols instead of holidays, tht instead of that, etc.). Well, there are also a number of unintended mistakes in the most common words which are familiar to any English teacher (for example, it’s – its, there – their, then – than).

Cornell Kimball, an American scholar, conducted a study that compares the percentage of correctly written words vs. misspellings. The scientist found that about 33% of taken words were misspelled.

Here is the top 10:


In this list, 5 words have double consonants that “support” pronunciation of the word, despite the fact that some of them, like the other 5 words, were once taken into the English language from the Romance languages.

On the basis of these 10 words, we can make the assumption that words with double consonants are the most “vulnerable” in their writing. We can also expect to see a spelling error in the words, in which the sound in an unstressed syllable is transmitted via allographs (for example, occurrence).

The study led to the following conclusions:

1. There is no distinct relationship between the complexity of the spelling of a word and the number of mistakes in it.

2. The most frequent mistakes are the ones that deal with writing of graphemes that represent the vowels in a phonetically weak position.

3. The sequence of letters in digraphs , is one of the reasons of incorrect spelling of the words.

4. A significant number of mistakes are usually made in words of foreign origin, which are written in English according to the citation principle and, therefore, contain unusual language graphemes.

5. Doubled consonants are the weak link in spelling because their sequence of appearance and location are not always reproduced correctly.

Of course, misspelling in a word is far from being the main problem of non-native speakers. This category of people often has huge problems with understanding the meaning of texts, so striving to perfect spelling is not the first and foremost task for a beginner.

If you’re just started to learn English, try to understand it on an emotional level. English is quite a logical language, so the understanding of its principles will allow you to deeper understand the essence of each rule instead of stupidly memorizing them.

Lucy Adams is a professional essay writer from She’s an open-hearted blogger who’s ready to bring to life your craziest ideas. Thus, if you have something interesting in mind, feel free to contact Lucy, and you’ll get a fast response very soon. There’s a great chance your topics will be used for future research.

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