tehOne of the most important parts of presenting yourself and your business online is making sure that what you write is written well. Spelling errors are one of the easiest ways to break that professional patina. Just as you would your printed brochure or business card, be sure to have someone proof your blog posts (this can be a co-worker, referral partner or even a good friend who’s great with spelling & grammer) and social media posts – to maintain a polished and professional appearance.

To give you a head start, check to see if you have used any of these words in your writing. They are some of the most commonly confused or misspelled words that show up on the web:

1. Definitely
Often misspelled as definately (blame Microsoft Word, which autocorrects the wrong spelling to the correct, 2 i spelling), definitely is definitely spelled with two i’s and no a’s.

2. It’s VS. Its
This is one of our Creative Copywriter’s personal peeves. Its indicates possession, as in “the deer’s antlers” being referred to as “its antlers.” It’s is a contraction of “it is” or “it has,” as in when your daughter says, “It’s not fair I have to go to bed earlier than my older brother.”

3. Acknowledgment
Common misspelling of “acknowledgment” include acknowledgement, which is actually the British spelling, or acknowlegement, which is just plain wrong.***

4. Effect VS. Affect
These can be tricky but, most of the time, “effect” is a noun and “affect” is a verb. Try this trick: when you’re unsure, substitute a clear action verb (ex. eat, run, swing) for effect/affect and, if it works, you should use “affect.”

5. Consensus
An easy trick for using the correct spelling of this word is to remember that the only c is the first letter.

6. Accommodate
This commonly misspelled word is often spelled with only one c or one m, instead of two of both.

7. Their VS. They’re VS. There
“Their” is possessive, as in “their house/yard/business.” “They’re” is a contraction of “they are,” as in “They’re going to shovel the driveway this morning.” Finally, “there” refers to a place or idea, as in “Look over there at that sunset!”

8. Liaison
French in origin, we had to wrack our brains before thinking of a neat trick for remembering how to spell liaison. Then it hit us: a liaison is a meeting between two parties, or two I’s, and there are always two I’s in “liaison.”

Keep these tips in mind but, remember, it’s always a smart idea to have some kind of proofreading system in place for your business’ literature so nothing falls through the cracks!

***Other words such as argument and judgment are spelled with additional E’s in British English, but not in American English.

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