Whenever I am forced to think twice about how to spell a commonly misspelt word, I tend to rely on a mnemonic strategy that I used to rectify misspelling when I was first confronted with the dilemma. For example, I know I will never confuse the correct spelling of the word separate with its commonly misspelled counterpart, seperate, because I think of a para-trooper landing in the middle of the word separating the two halves: se para te.

Exercise : Identifying Correct Spellings of Words

As a tease, here is a selection of some of the most commonly misspelt words. The correct and incorrect versions are scattered between both columns. Can you identify the correctly spelt words?

ACCIDENTLY                                                                         ACCIDENTALLY
ACCOMMODATE                                                                 ACCOMODATE
CEMETARY                                                                            CEMETERY
DEFINITELY                                                                          DEFINATELY
ECSTASY                                                                                  ECSTACY
EMBARRASS                                                                          EMBARASS
HANDKERCHIEF                                                                 HANKERCHIEF
INDEPENDANT                                                                    INDEPENDENT
MOMENTO                                                                             MEMENTO
SUPERCEDE                                                                           SUPERSEDE

The trick is to look out for connections between certain patterns of letters and the meanings of the words. Then use visualization and association to make those connections memorable. For example, notice the symmetry of the three Es in the word c E m E t E ry. They stick out like gravestones. I put my hand in my pocket to pull out my handkerchief. I use my memory to remind me that a memento, not a momento, is a reminder.

Also Read:

How To Memorize Directions

How To Remember Names And Faces

The Alphabetic System For Memory Improvement

The mechanism on which memory works and thrives is association. Somewhere, in any word you care to think of, there is a link to be forged between the spelling and the meaning of a word.

If you didn’t fair too well on your first attempt at that list of 10 words, then read through them again, this time spotting any little connection that will ensure you get the spelling right.