Ten Common Writing Mistakes Your Spell Checker Won’t Find

Here are ten of the most common writing mistakes people make. Because they involve use of incorrect words, and not misspellings, your spell checker won’t see them. So you have to catch them yourself.

There is much more that can be written about each of the following examples, and academic grammarians will gladly oblige. But my intention is just to give you some easy hints for how to tell, in most cases, which word to choose. I hope they help.

1. Less/Fewer: (The fewer mistakes, the better!)
People often use these words interchangeably, but each has its own correct usage. It helps to think of it like this: Less is for items that can’t be counted. Fewer is for items you can count. There is less pollution in the air, but there are fewer particles of dust. You can’t count pollution, but you can count particles (at least somebody somewhere in a lab can count them). After a storm, there is less sand on the beach, but there are fewer grains of sand. Get it? You can’t count sand, but you can count grains. (If you want to spend your day at the beach that way, it’s up to you.) Another example: This checkout line is for people with ten items or fewer. (Darn right! And if you can’t count the items in your cart, get in another line, because I’m in a hurry.)

2. Two/Too/To -tsie, Goodbye!
OK, I’m showing my age. It was an old song by Al Jolson. Trust me on this, there was a song called “Toot-Toot-Tootsie, Goodbye.” Really.

Two is the number. Most people get this right.
Too means also or overly. You like potatoes, and I do too. I ate too many French fries. This shirt is too big. (Well, maybe not, after all those French fries.) Too is also used as an emphatic, especially on the playground. You won’t catch that ball. I will too! (Oh yes I will. You just watch me! Oops!)
To means…everything else. According to my old Webster’s dictionary, to has about 20 usages. The first few listed are: (1) In the direction of, towards (I’m going to the kitchen); (2) toward a condition of (her rise to fame); and (3) on, onto, against (apply the lotion to the skin). It’s also part of the infinitive form: To be, or not to be. To sleep, perchance to dream.
Which two/too/to is the correct one in any given situation? That is the question!

3. They’re/Their/There (It’s all going to be okay.)
They’re is the contraction of “they are.”
Their is the possessive – things that belong to them or that they have. Their hats are on their heads. (They own hats and they have heads – which is a good thing, otherwise the hats would have been a waste of money.) It is their intention to get to class on time. (They have an intention, and it includes getting up when the alarm rings. They may not pull it off, but they mean well.)
There answers the question “where?” It refers to place (I live there) and direction (I’m going there). There is also used with the verb “to be” (wasn’t I just there?), as in: there is very little time; there are several options; there be whales here (Okay, nobody says that last one any more).
There can be used to express satisfaction (There! I finished it.); or dismay (There! Now you’ve done it!); or sympathy (There, there. It’s all going to be okay.) And that’s where we came in…

4. The Who’s Who of whose and who’s
This is really simple.
Who’s is the contraction for “who is.” That’s all.
Whose is the possessive of “who.”
The reason people get confused is because they think all possessives need an apostrophe. Not true. Possessive pronouns don’t have apostrophes (mine, ours, yours, his, hers, its, theirs, whose). So just learn it. Who’s going to pay for dinner? (Who is going to pay for dinner?) Whose money is on the table? (Not mine.)

5. Its and it’s (It’s the same story as whose/who’s.)
It’s is the contraction for “it is.” That’s all.
Its is the possessive of “it.” (Are you seeing the similarity here?)
Just as in the example above, there’s no apostrophe used in this possessive. It’s another one you just have to learn. It’s high time everybody started getting this right. I hope this example does its job. When it comes to which word gets the apostrophe, the contraction wins and the possessive loses.

6. I and me (You’ll have to deal with both of us.)
When you’re talking about yourself and someone else, be careful to use I and me correctly. Many people think it’s classier to always use I, and they end up getting it wrong half the time. The best way to know which one to use is to eliminate the other person from the sentence and see what you’ve got left.
Jenny and I went to the store. I went to the store. (That’s right.)
Grandma gave the cookies to Jenny and I. Grandma gave the cookies to I. (Nope.)
Grandma gave the cookies to me (that’s right), and I didn’t save any of them for Jenny. (That’s probably right, too.)

7. You’re/Your (It’s as easy as apple pie.)
You’re is the contraction of “you are” – nothing else.
Your is the possessive of “you.”
You’re the apple of my eye. (Yes, you are!)
Your apple just squirted juice in my eye! (Use a napkin!)

8. Bad/badly (Sorry if this makes you feel bad.)
Many people think badly is a more genteel form of bad, so when they’re expressing hurt, sympathy, or regret, they’ll say “I feel badly about that.” That’s bad writing. These two words are not interchangeable. When someone hurts your feelings, you feel bad. You don’t feel badly. If you felt badly, that would mean that your emotions weren’t working well, or that you were numb. It would be about your ability to feel. If your emotions are working just fine, then when you hear something sad, or someone insults you, or you do something wrong, you’re going to feel bad. (It’s a shame that you have to go through all that, but at least your usage will be correct.)

9. Imply/infer (or be careful who you call fat!)
The speaker or writer implies. The listener or reader infers. This is all about who’s putting it out there, and who’s taking it in. When you imply, you express something. When you infer, you understand something. There’s interpretation going on. When a speaker/writer implies something, he’s not saying it outright. He’s leaving some meaning for the listener/reader to pick up on his own. It’s also a tricky way to say something about somebody that you can later deny.
Jane: Didn’t those pants used to be looser on you?

Sally: Are you implying that I’m fat? Because that’s what I inferred from your question.
Jane: Oh no, I must have them confused with a different pair of pants.
Judyrose: (Yeah, right!)

10. A lot is two words.
That may not be a lot, but that’s all I have to say about it.

All of this will be on the test.

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92 Comments

  1. [...] Correct: Find and correct your mistakes. Mistakes are distracting and undermine your credibility. I talked about a few of the most common writing errors in my last post (Ten Common Writing Mistakes Your Spell Checker Won’t Find) and will feature more of them in future posts. Many mistakes occur simply through haste. If you write or type quickly, that’s great. But proofread slowly, and do it more than once. [...]

  2. I would argue that the “a lot” example falls into a slightly different category than the other nine. “A lot” is correct, but “alot” can be acceptable in informal settings (and, in fact, may end up the normal form some day, though I am no linguist — think “a while” and “awhile”). The other mistakes are wrong (and usually confusing) in any context.

    • “Alot” is NEVER acceptable. It is a misspelling. “Allot” is a word. It means to divide or set aside. “A lot” is a quantity. For example, The foundation will allot a lot of money for the project. Spell check will let you know if you use alot but, it will not alert you if you use allot. However, that mistake will greatly change the meaning of your sentence.

      • But … google docs spellcheck now corrects a lot to alot. Our language is evolving.

  3. Tony, you have a point. Language does change. But I’m in favor of doing things correctly if you know the difference. Just because a lot of people make a particular mistake, isn’t a reason to incorporate it into the language. That isn’t evolution of language, that’s deterioration. For example, many people pronounce the word nuclear as though it were spelled nu-cu-lar. Should we give it the official okay just because it’s common? I don’t think so. If one takes that attitude, why bother to have rules of language at all?

    By the way, “a while” and “awhile” are two different things. “Awhile” means ‘for a time’ and “a while” means ‘a period of time.’ “Awhile” is an adverb. “While” is a noun.

    Here’s a handy usage note from the American Heritage Dictionary: Awhile, an adverb, is never preceded by a preposition such as for, but the two-word form a while may be preceded by a preposition. In writing, each of the following is acceptable: stay awhile; stay for a while; stay a while (but not stay for awhile).

    “Alot” is not in the same category. It’s not correct no matter how many people misuse it. So I’m keeping it on my list.

    Once you know that “a lot” is two words, why would you write it any other way?

  4. [...] 8) The following is a list of Articles that focus on writing errors: Ten Common Writing Mistakes Your Spell Checker Won’t Find, The Standard Deviations of Writing, and Some Common Mistakes. [...]

  5. [...] 9) The following is a list of Articles that focus on writing errors: Ten Common Writing Mistakes Your Spell Checker Won’t Find, The Standard Deviations of Writing, and Some Common Mistakes. [...]

  6. [...] 9) The following is a list of Articles that focus on writing errors: Ten Common Writing Mistakes Your Spell Checker Won’t Find, The Standard Deviations of Writing, and Some Common Mistakes. [...]

  7. I find it hard to believe that these are mistakes that English / American speakers make – I (being not English) always thought these were mistakes you had to beware of as a non-native speaker…

  8. J. Metzger: Unfortunately, even though these are basic words that every fourth grader should have mastered, there are many native English speakers who do not get them right. Sometimes, they’re just typos caused by carelessness. But far too often, the writer doesn’t know any better.

  9. Another common little rascal spell checkers don’t catch: then/than. Don’t know why so many people confuse the two, but it’s really starting to get on my nerves.

  10. The less/fewer thing drives me batty sometimes. I see it in newspapers even.

  11. Judy, “it’s” can also mean “it has” (as well as “it is”), and “who’s” can also mean “who has” (as well as “who is”).

  12. Skippy Said: “it’s” can also mean “it has” (as well as “it is”). Not a chance – but I’d like to see a few examples if you got ‘em.

    • It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you! Who’s been sleeping in my bed?

  13. Orin, not sure what you meant by your comment, but here are some examples of when it’s can mean ‘it has’.

    1: What is wrong with the car’s tyre?
    2: It’s got a puncture!

    Obviously this means “it has got a puncture” rather than “it is got a puncture”.

    My apologies if I misinterpreted your comment.

  14. It’s been missing since this morning. (I’m sure it has.)
    Who’s got it now? (I certainly haven’t.)

    Sorry if the tabs don’t work, but you can’t preview comments.

  15. Do you have an explanation (in layman’s terms) of when to use “who” and when to use “whom”?

    You’ve explained everything else very clearly but this has always been something that I’ve never quite understood.

  16. Another mistake that’s becoming increasingly widespread is the misuse of loose instead of lose, loosing instead of losing.

    I want to lose some pounds.
    These trousers are too loose.
    Don’t talk so fast, you’re losing me.
    Hold on tighter, you’re grip’s loosing.

    (Although the Free Dictionary states that loosing is indeed a word, it’s not something that I can remember ever hearing in conversation here in the UK.

  17. Loosing? I think the word we use is “loosening”

  18. My pet peeve is when people say use “that” instead of “who” when referring to people instead of things.

    People that, I mean, who, do that, really annoy me.

  19. Skippy: You’re right about the contractions it’s and who’s meaning it has and who has. I failed to mention them in my post. Good catch!

  20. Ronnie: Who is used when speaking about the person taking action. Whom is used when speaking about the person action is being taken upon. Who is used in cases where you might also use I or he/she. Whom is used in cases where you might also use you or him/her.
    Examples:
    Who ate the cake? (Who is the cake eater, cake-eating being an action I highly recommend. You could say I ate the cake, or he ate the cake.)
    Are you the person who ate the cake? (I confess, I am.)
    Whom did he call? (The call was placed to whom, the recipient of the action. You could also correctly say the call was placed to you, or the call was placed to her. You would never say the call was placed to I, or the call was placed to he.)
    Is she the person whom you called?
    This is as simple as I can make it. You can find more detailed explanations by searching the net for “who vs. whom.”

  21. Marcus and kel:
    Loosing is a word but it’s hardly ever used. If you mean making something looser, then use loosening (or loosen/loosened) as kel said.
    There is an expression, to loose the dogs of war (in which loose is used as the verb). I more often see it as to let loose the dogs of war, which conforms to our common use of the word loose (let is the verb.)
    I believe the original line is: “Cry Havoc, and let slip the dogs of war,” from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. In any case, unless you’re getting ready to send your army out to pillage the countryside, or unleash a pack of Rottweilers, you won’t have much occasion to use loose as a verb.

  22. How about “everyday” v. “every day”?

    1. These are my everyday pants.
    2. I wear these pants every day.

  23. Hi Leslie, The list seems to be endless, doesn’t it?

  24. I saw this comment:
    On November 23, 2006 at 5:51 am Orin Manitt Said:
    Skippy Said: “it’s” can also mean “it has” (as well as “it is”). Not a chance – but I’d like to see a few examples if you got ‘em.

    How about, “It’s been a long time since I visited Grandma.”

  25. On November 23, 2006 at 7:13 am Josh Said:
    Orin, not sure what you meant by your comment, but here are some examples of when it’s can mean ‘it has’.

    1: What is wrong with the car’s tyre?
    2: It’s got a puncture!

    Obviously this means “it has got a puncture” rather than “it is got a puncture”.

    My apologies if I misinterpreted your comment.

    !!!! “HAS GOT?” I don’t think so. “It has a puncture.”

  26. Betty: You’re right that it has a puncture is better English than it’s got a puncture. You probably won’t find anybody saying (or writing) it has got a puncture. But it’s got is common when using the contraction.
    Another example: It’s got nothing to do with that. It would be better English to say, it has nothing to do with that. But the other one is used all the time.

  27. Your site is full of excellent content. “Its vs. it’s” has always been a bit of a pain for me. I generally get it right, but “it’s” annoying that I need stop and think about it.

    Nice website. I’ve bookmarked it and intend to set aside time to read through the rest of your material.

  28. Thanks, Coach. I have to stop and think sometimes too.

  29. Love all the info. I’d like to add cannot as 1 word. I’m glad that someone brought up using who instead of that when discussing people. Another pet peeve I have is when people use someone and their together.

    How far will someone go to achieve honor and greatness in their (his/her) society?
    Any word that ends in -body or -one = singular

    “I feel badly” comment makes more sense if you discuss transitive and intransitive verbs.

  30. It was great…….

    I write from Perú

    I would like compositions about any topic, where any person can ckeck their mistakes.

    Maybe you can write the correct answer in another page………Thank a lot.

    Maria

  31. I keep running across “noone” instead of “no one” (sounds a lot like “alot” vs. “a lot”) no one should do it.

  32. its very use full for me sir

    • On January 31, 2007 at 1:26 pm SASIKUMAR.PUHAZHENDI said:

      its very use full for me sir

      I think you mean to say:

      It’s very useful for me, sir. (Well actually ma’am)

  33. How can anyone think that a lot is one word? It is plainly the indefinite article and a noun to denote a quantity. I’m an English teacher who is constantly explaining this one; ‘the lot’, ‘that lot’, ‘those lots’, ‘lots’, ‘a lot’.
    Writing it as one word just shows that people use language all the time without ever considering how it works or what they’re actually saying.

  34. Hi Emma,
    You are so right. Another one that always gets me is when people write should of instead of should have.

  35. Thank you for writing this. It’s such a relief to know that I am not alone in my pet peeves, of which there are many. I see then/than confusions all the time, along with the complete misunderstanding of what “should’ve” means (see above). Frequently I’ll be reading along merrily and suddenly I’ll be thrown out of the stream of thought being provided by the author into an awareness that makes me think of the so-called “fourth wall”. I’ll then have to scan the previous few sentences to find out what’s wrong, and invariably I’ll discover an instance of one of the many examples provided on this page. To be quite honest, these are not difficult concepts and native speakers, at least, have no excuse for misuse. I’ve known people who, when confronted repeatedly with their mistakes, make no apologies and say things such as “I don’t care; it doesn’t matter in this setting.” Why is it that so few people see the value in communicating correctly and clearly? For my part, I enjoy the feeling of using language correctly. I find that reading other people’s errors forces me to guess what they meant and, sometimes, there are simply too many possibilities for it to be anything but a hopeless ambiguity. Try replying to a letter rife with those!

    All that said, I do make it a point to keep my quibbling to myself when around people who make these errors. People are friendlier when they are not put on the defensive constantly.

  36. Hi Anna,
    Thanks for your interesting comments. It’s nice to hear from a kindred spirit.

  37. [...] are three mistakes in that sentence (you had noticed them, right?). However, my spellchecker let them pass unnoticed. Why? Because whereas “thing,” “loose” and “you’re” were [...]

  38. As a high school English teacher who focuses on correct, clear writing practices, I would like to verify that your list is right on! (The addition of should of/could of; than/then; and of course loose/lose and chose/choose are warranted. I, like other folks above, also have a “thing” about people being referred to as things (“that” as opposed to “who”).

  39. Dear Ms. Brock,
    Thanks for the “thumbs up” and the suggestions. There are so many that would be good lessons for future posts. Your students will surely avoid these pitfalls.

  40. You probably should turn this into a list of 25 instead of 10. I am particularly appalled by the “should/would/could of”. I am not a native English speaker, but I believe I can truly state that my English writing is better than that of a lot of native speakers. That is sad. If someone can write better English as their second or third language than someone who is a native English speaker, then I think it is very very sad… . Maybe even this means that the educational system in those native English speaking countries is not very good…

    I stated before that I am not a native English speaker, but I have lived in a country where the official language is English for 13 years now. So I think that gives me a good perspective.

    Another suggestion for the list: It seems that most people think “phenomena” can also be used for ONE item. It cannot. The singular form is “phenomenon”.

    Sad, indeed, if someone whose first language is not English has a better command of it than a lot of those for whom its their first language.

    (Yes, I was a bit tricky here and included the correct usage of a lot of other things already mentioned.)

    • It is actually not an unusual phenomenon for a non-native speaker of any language to be more proficient with the written language than a native speaker. Native speakers are often tainted by the actual speaking of the language that gets carried over into their written language. As an English teacher, grammar has always been a huge issue for me, and I still make errors in my every day writing and speaking because language is both formal and informal. I do my best to correct the mistakes of my students, but quite frankly, when they are constantly surrounded by incorrect language on the news, in the general media, TV, movies, and even in edited books, it becomes an endless uphill battle.

  41. One addition… the phenomena/phenomenon issue… . It seems most people make this mistake with “criteria” vs. “criterion”.

  42. OK… more additions… but I do not know if this is generally accepted into the English language by now. Still, it irks me when I see it…

    “When I first met him, …”

    Is this acceptable these days? I still prefer “The first time I met him, …”.

    Another thing that irks me is the “I was like…”, instead of “I said something like…”

    I know language progresses. I know words and meanings change. I know semantics change. I know there is a difference between spoken and written forms. So I am just wondering if the latter two examples I gave you (going completely against what I was taught) are “acceptable” now.

    I guess it is a case of “when several renowned scholars start using something, it is acceptable”.

    Hmm… which reminds me now of the punctuation inside or outside of quotes…

    He said she looked “beautiful”.

    Is that correct? Or is the correct way to say it:

    He said she looked “beautiful.”

    I should stop now, because I could go on forever.

    Food for thought. I tried to avoid “American English” vs. “British English” issues, but maybe those will have to be addressed too…

    “spelled” vs. “spelt”, “honor” vs. “honour”, “traveled” vs “travelled”, “realize” vs. “realise”, “I would” vs. “I should”. And so on.

    Just some more food for thought…

  43. Dear Madam:
    I wanna thank you for what you are doing.
    It’s a good website i learned much and I really liked your methodology, it’s very funny.
    Thanks again.

  44. somebody know the most common errors due to spanish interference when writing english?
    If you know some web pages names please tell me
    diosteama2008@gmail.com

  45. “She sells sea shells, by the sea shore”

    We get so tangled in ‘correctness,’ that we can’t see the forest for the trees.

    Yet, really we can’t see ‘the tree’ for the forest…written by ‘me.’

    I could really go overboard, and often do.

    Seems to me this is a battle.

    The battle of wits, and what we perceive. The usefulness of our alphabet and punctuation, is not the point.

    It’s how we are ‘red,’ LOL.

    You write well.

  46. Thanks for the English grammar lesson!

  47. This is one you see a lot:
    I had more money then she did.
    Do you think you have more money then me?
    This one really bothers me.

    • Hi Luke,
      Thanks for your comment. Using then when it should be than bothers me too.

      I’d be remiss if I didn’t point this out:
      Do you think you have more money then me?
      should be
      Do you think you have more money than I?

      What you’re really saying is:
      …more money than I have.
      You would never say:
      …more money than me have.

      If you think of it that way, you’ll get it right.

      Judy

  48. [...] few years ago writing consultant Judy Rose put together this list of common word use errors, and unfortunately it holds up very well today. If you’re one of [...]

  49. I get mixed up with the whose/who’s .. thanks for writing this all out.

    Your quick list is helpful. I should probably make it into a pocket size ;o)

  50. [...] Ten Common Writing Mistakes Your Spell Checker Won’t Find [...]

  51. Technically speaking those are grammar mistakes. The error is not that they spelled the word incorrectly, but that they used the wrong word. I find that spelling mistakes are more common with English words that have archaic spellings or are exceptions to the rule. There are so many…

    Frustrated with spelling issues? Check out this link:
    http://wp.me/tcfd

  52. Love #9, as I used it in an award winning screenplay. Thanks for posting this. Great stuff.

  53. hi this razaq mominzada how can i make my wirting or spelling i have alote of problem with them so i wont that your hellp me

    • show me same way

    • Hello Kabeer,
      I can only offer the articles that I have posted on this blog. But you can improve your writing, spelling, and grammar by using English text books and studying them yourself. Perhaps you can find a good one in a local library or book store. Even better, if there is a basic English class available where you live, you will benefit from working with a teacher who can give you feedback on your writing and direct you in the areas that need work.
      Judy

  54. how can make it plese show same why iam in problem thanks

  55. Dear sir
    A thousand thanks for your invaluable and great efforts. Could you please show me the way to make my students learning English as a foreign language master or rather command the skill of correct writing.They focus on grammar, structures and vocabulary without paying any attention to good and sound writing.
    karam Dweedar
    English Instructor

  56. [...] change the spelling activities we use. So during this week, we will be using the following article Ten Common Writing Mistakes Your Spell Checker Won’t Find. These words are not difficult but even adults struggle with when the correct time is to use [...]

  57. i am only 15 years and old, and i love to write and i can never seem tofinish what i start ):

  58. I would like to offer a few of my pet peeves. You drink iced tea, not ice tea. Spell check will catch refridgerator, but evidently not a lot of people use it because I see refrigerator spelled that way a lot. There is a new phrase that I have only begun seeing and hearing for the past two years, so I think it might be a regional thing. People are saying “step foot in”. I think that is redundant, since “stepping” in this context implies the use of feet. I feel it should either be “set foot in” or “step into”. May be and maybe is another common choice that often causes confusion. Also (can I begin a sentence with also?) I made a remark using “it might be”, but should I have written “it may be” instead? I am always confused as to when a colon or semi-colon should be used rather than a comma, so I would love an easy way to remember that rule. I would also like to add two tips; 1 – when spell check is not available when writing a comment I write it in a word or office document first, use spell check, then copy and paste it into the comment box. 2 – there have been a lot of questions and tips regarding the use of contractions. If you are in a situation in which you would like to seem intelligent and well-read, don’t use contractions at all, and avoid abbreviations as much as possible.
    Please point out any incorrect grammar or punctuation uses in my post, as I am always striving to improve and perfect. Thanx. Oops, I mean thank you!

  59. [...] Proofread! Read through your paper for typos at least once before turning it in.  Using a spellchecker alone is not sufficient.  A spellchecker can’t help you pick between”two” (the number), [...]

  60. [...] 6. Judy Rose: Writing English Ten Common Writing Mistakes Your Spell Checker Won’t Find-http://writingenglish.wordpress.com/2006/09/18/ten-common-writing-mistakes-your-spell-checker-won%E2… [...]

    • help me

  61. thanks for suggestions…these advices are useful for al…

  62. An example of “it`s” as “it has”:

    Where is my wallet? It`s got to be here somewhere.

  63. [...] Source: http://writingenglish.wordpress.com/2006/09/18/ten-common-writing-mistakes-your-spell-checker-won%E2… [...]

  64. Great list. Fortunately, almost all of these will be caught by http://www.spellcheckplus.com (a free grammar checker)

  65. There seems to be an increasing incorrect use of “myself”. I hear even well educated folks say things like “Jim and myself believe…” and “He gave the book to myself” I am so pleased that you invited Mary and myself…”
    And (horrors!) some even begin sentences with myself…” Myself and Jim are delighted that….”

    why are people afraid to use “me” ????

  66. dear arse which wrote this article, “won’t” is not a word. it is spelled “wont” any credible dictionary will tell you the same. your authority on even attempting to write an article on common spelling mistakes was nulled before it even began. the amount of fail here is unbelieveable.

    • @herpderp if the debatable misuse of an apostrophe is grounds for nullifying the content of an entire article, then you need to revise your usage (and spelling) of the word “unbelieveable” (sic).

      • Thanks for your support.

    • Won’t is indeed a word. It’s the contraction of will not. Wont is also a word. It means accustomed. Did you look in the dictionary before you wrote your comment? I don’t think so.

      Also, you might try using capital letters and punctuation. They are really neat inventions designed to help the rest of us understand what you are trying to say.

      • This is exactly the kind of think http://www.spellcheckplus.com is helpful with.

      • Did you mean “exactly the kind of thing…?” What was that you were saying about spellcheck?

      • That’s an example of an error that it would catch (unlike say MS-Word)

  67. I am from Jordan and Iam studying English language in the Uneversity and this is the last semester . Iam writing research about the mistakes in writing english . can you help me please?????????????

  68. Wow, the fewer and less makes sense now, but in stores the sign always says ‘ten items or less’. Does this mean they’ve been saying it wrong this whole time? Ten items or fewer sounds odd to me. Only because I’ve heard it said incorrect so many times. ^^

    • Yes. ‘Ten items or less’ is incorrect. The stores that get it right with ‘ten items or fewer’ signs at the register are definitely in the minority. It’s a pet peeve of mine. ~Judy

  69. [...] Writing English Here are ten of the most common writing mistakes people make. [...]

  70. [...] Beware of writing mistakes that spell check will not correct like Judy Rose points out in her Writing English: The International Business of Language [...]

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  72. How about none used as a plural noun (None of us miss the old codger, instead of None of us misses the old codger.)

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