Misspelling words can be embarrassing, especially when you do something comical like swap an O for a U in the word coop. A “chicken coop” is very different from a “chicken coup.” Fortunately, spelling struggles are not a terminal condition. There are a few ways to become a better speller, and the best method is probably to spend all your time writing so that more words are committed to memory. For people who write only casually but would still like to avoid making errors, there is hope.
How To Become a Better Speller
How exactly do you learn to spell better? Do you pull out the dictionary and get to work reading cover to cover? While that is one way, it may not be the most entertaining, and you’ll probably burn out quickly and lose the drive to keep going.
In order to preserve your sanity while also expanding your vocabulary (and your ability to write the word correctly), we have some suggestions for you on improving your spelling. You can learn how to become a better speller by applying the following tips:
1. Learn the Exceptions to Language Rules
The English language is, unfortunately, a bit of a disaster. There are so many exceptions to rules that the rules are almost the exceptions. One need look no further than the “I before E, except after C” situation. This is a helpful rule, but as soon as you throw in words like reign, ancient and protein, you’re dealing with three additional and unique exceptions. For people keeping score, that’s Rules: 1, Exceptions: 4.
Coming to terms with the complexity of language can help with your quest to become a better speller in a couple of ways. First, you can blame history, geography, conquests and British rulers for all of your spelling problems. Second, learning about the exceptions will help you to identify and memorize these little outliers. When you know the wonky rules regarding pluralization, you’ll stand a better chance of remembering how to spell words like tomatoes, pianos, monkeys and moose.
2. Say It Like It’s Spelled
Consider how the word sounds and try to spell it out. I do this with a lot of words that give me trouble. Now, it’s important that you keep the phonetic pronunciation in your head; as much as I struggle with the word entrepreneur, I don’t go around saying “en-tree-pree-nee-you’re” out loud. I do, however, butcher the word in my brain so I can remember that the letter E appears in every syllable. I also say “oac-cay-sionally” when I’m think-spelling so that I remember to use two Cs and only one S in occasionally.
I cannot stress enough how important it is that you keep these pronunciations internalized. No one wants to hire a writer who talks like a lunatic.
3. Turn Off Spell Check and Autocorrect
Writing without spell check can cause some people to panic, so feel free to do some breathing exercises before reading on. I’m not suggesting that you should never employ your digital spelling aids; those things can be very helpful when used properly. Nonetheless, if you do a preliminary pass at whatever you’re writing without assistance, you’ll force yourself to think a little harder about the words you’re typing.
Then, when you go back and turn spell check on, you can see your errors and will hopefully be more conscious of those mistakes going forward. It’s kind of like a small spelling quiz each time you write. You write with the initial intent to spell the words correctly, then when you go over them with spell check, you see the ones you misspelled. As a result, those words are better ingrained in your memory.
If you employ this spelling tip while writing unique articles about different subjects, you then can have a visual cue to fall back on when remembering how to spell words correctly. For instance, if you wrote an article on a dental practice and misspelled the word “veneer,” then the next time you see it, you’ll have context because of the dental article it was in.
Learn How To Spell Better Today!
If you want to become a better speller and feel more confident about your writing, start taking specific steps to make that a reality. Got any spelling tactics that you find particularly helpful? Please share them in the comments!