The Washington Times - February 10, 2009, 07:15AM

A new study shows that Americans are poor spellers and that women usually spell better than men, Jennifer Harper is reporting.

The most commonly misspelled words are “embarrassed,” “liaison” and “millennium,” and the words “accommodation,” “separate,” “definitely,” “occasion” and “accidentally” cause their share of problems too.


English is a difficult language for spelling because it has different letter groupings for the same sound, “especially for vowels — silent letters, missing letters,” an academic consultant said.

I guess our nervousness over spelling is why the National Spelling Bee has become a popular sporting event — that and watching all the kids who faint.

Andrew Jackson had a good retort for criticism of his spelling: “It is a damn poor mind that cannot think of more than one way to spell a word.”  I like that.

I don’t know how important spelling is in these days of Spell Check, online dictionaries and text messaging, u no wht i mean?

I remember a study about how our minds can make sense of misspelled words if the first and last letters of the words are in the right place.  Take this next paragraph, for example:

“Aoccdrnig to rseaecrh at Cmabirgde Uinrevtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltters in a wrod are, the olny iprmonett tinhg is taht the frist and lsat lteetr be at the rghit pclae.  The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm.  Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteetr by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.”

Cee? Sew wat’s thee big deel aboot bad speling?