Category Archives: Spelling

This is the category for Spelling. Learn how to improving spelling, winning spelling bees, spotting and correcting misspellings etc. Related articles can be found in English, English Dialects and Slang and Editing and Style.

How to Check Spellings Faster with the Google Toolbar

You’ve probably noticed a few people checking lots of random pages really fast for incorrect spelling, I bet you want to know how to do that. These steps will tell you how to speed check all spelling on forms really fast.

Click here and download Google Toolbar.

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Click ABC Check and you will notice all the forms on your page turn blue, the spelling errors are in red.

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Click the red error message, if there is any found, and select the correct spelling.

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Notice that the spelling turns from red to green once it has been corrected.

How to Compete in the Scripps Spelling Bee

Do you have a competitive feeling? Do you have A+ grades in Spelling? Have you won other spelling bees? Then you are ready to compete in Scripps National Spelling Bee!

Compete in your school bee. When you compete in your school spelling competition, you are sent to the regional spelling bee. You need to have competed in a regional spelling bee, and won, on or after February 1.

Pick up a Merriam-Webster dictionary and start reading. Try to memorize the tougher words in the dictionary. Those words are more likely to be asked than easy words, such as versatile. That word is simple to spell, so it is unlikely to be asked.

Go through the 2011 spelling list for grades 1-8. They can be found on Google Docs. The words in my school spelling bee were found on that list. Look up the words you don’t know.

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How to Use There, Their and They’re

The English language is full of problems like the one presented by there, their and they’re. Most native English speakers pronounce these the same way; therefore, it is difficult for some to judge in which situation to use which spelling. Each spelling means a very different thing; if you’d like to learn the difference, read on!


  • There is an antique store on Camden Avenue.
  • The science textbooks are over there on the floor.
  • There are many documents that are used in investigations.

Also use there with the verb BE (is, am, are, was, were) to indicate the existence of something, or to mention something for the first time.

  • There is a picnic area over here, and a monster and a campground across the river.
  • “I see there are new flowers coming up in your garden.” “Yes, they are the ones my grandmother gave me last year.”

Use their to indicate possession. It is a possessive adjective and indicates that a particular noun belongs to them.

  • My friends have lost their tickets.
  • Their things were strewn about the office haphazardly.

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How to Use “Too” and “To” Correctly

Are you used to seeing “to” and “too” mixed up too many times? A common mistake, the use of “to” or “too” is very easy to differentiate between and once you know how to tell, you can teach others how to get it right too!

Make this easy by focusing on “too” first. If you know what “too” means, then you can use it just for those specific meanings, knowing full well that every other use of the word “to” will be accurate.


  • Remember that “too” has an extra “o”.
  • A little trick is to try stressing “too” when spoken, to help yourself remember it more easily. One great example is where you place emphasis on it such as when you want to get your own way: “I want to come toooooooo“. Of course, don’t spell it that way, but keep it as a mental image for future reference.

Learn the meanings for “too”. The first meaning is “also” or “besides”; the second meaning is “excessively” or “extra”. In addition, some people use it to mean “very”. Think of too as being relevant when there is an increase in something, such as temperature, difficulty, sensitivity, etc., “too hot”, “too challenging”, or “too soft”. Hence:

  • Choose the word “too” when it can be substituted for the word “also”.
    • For example: “She felt awful, too (also)” or “I can see you too (also)”.
  • Use “too” to modify or emphasize a word.
    • For example: “The weather is too (excessively) hot”, “I’ve eaten too (excessively) much”, or “The package is too (excessively/extra) big”.
  • “He wasn’t too (very) interested in my book.”

Learn the role of “to”. “To” is a preposition. Use “to” for expressing direction, place, or position. For example:

  • It can be used when going towards something.”I am going to the store” or “Will you just go to bed please!”
  • It can be used when you’re doing something in the direction of something or someone, such as: “I am speaking to your friend”, or “I am looking to the right”.

Understand that “to” is also used when you’re using a verb in the infinitive. For example: “To go home”, “to catch a mouse”, or “to open the door.”

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How to Find the Correct Spelling of a Word Using Morrison’s Spelling‐Buddy System

Correct spelling of many, many words in our English language is very difficult because our inclusive language is made up of words from the languages of nations all over the world, and each language has its own rules for spelling its words. Twenty-six years ago, Marvin L. Morrison devised an easy-to-learn system that enables its users to find any of a very large number of correctly-spelled words quickly and simply. If you can speak a word, his system will show you how it’s spelled.

His system has only two components. The first component is a book full of correctly-spelled words. Actually there are two such books.

WORD FINDER is the smaller book. It is a paperback, contains more than 50,000 words, weighs 15 ounces, and is small enough to be carried in a student’s bookbag.

SOUND-IT-OUT SPELLER (SPLR) is the larger book. It is hardbound and contains more than 150,000 words, including all of the words in WORD FINDER. Its three pound weight and its larger size make it less portable than WORD FINDER but it’s fine as a desk reference.

The second component, as written below, is his procedure for finding your word, correctly-spelled, in his book.


Pronounce your word (example word: corsage) very slowly, listening to its individual consonant sounds.

  • For each consonant sound, write its consonant sound symbol (Example’s consonant sound symbols: KRSZH). The system uses only 27 consonant sound symbols. You already know 18 of them, and the other 9 are easy to learn. See the section below on sound symbols before you go to the next step.
  • The set of consonant sound symbols you have written is the address in the book under which your correctly-spelled word is located.

 

Look under the example’s address KRSZH in the following sample page from WORD FINDER to see your correctly-spelled word. As you can see, addresses are arranged in alphabetical order, and the correctly-spelled word or words under each address are arranged in alphabetical order.

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Sound Symbols

  • Written English words are made of the letters of our alphabet — 21 consonants and 5 vowels.
  • Spoken English words are made of consonant sounds and vowel sounds.
  • The one vowel sound symbol that the system optionally uses is a dash, which symbolizes any and every vowel sound.
  • The 27 consonant sound symbols that the system uses are shown in the following table. When you speak the table’s sample word that accompanies any consonant sound symbol you’ll hear the sound that the symbol represents.

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