Spell checkers will catch some kinds of errors, but not all. For
example, they tend to miss homonyms --
words which are pronounced the same way but spelled differently, such
as site/ sight,
they're, and its/
it's. Most spell-checkers, for example, would
report no error in the following sentence, despite the
fact that there are three serious spelling mistakes:
- Their looking for a new sight when the gopher
can build it's home.
The joint influence of British and American spelling on Canadian
usage has provided an additional challenge to Canadian students:
Canadians tend to follow standard British spelling for certain words
(axe, cheque), to follow
American spelling for others (connection,
tire), and to allow either for yet more
The important thing to remember is to be consistent in usage and to
follow a regular pattern when you spell. Don't mix
neighbour with labor,
for example. Choose one or the other pattern, and follow it closely.
The best way to avoid problems with mixed British and American
spelling is to keep a dictionary handy that shows Canadian usage.
Although spelling correctly is largely a matter of practice and the
common-sense use of reference materials, there are four standard
spelling rules. Although each has exceptions, if you study these
rules carefully, you will be able to avoid most common errors, even
without a spell-checker.
This topic includes:
- Spelling words with "ei" and "ie"
- Spelling final "y" before a suffix
- Final Silent "e"
- Spelling Words with Double Consonants