four-room houses in the development. He has six suits,
14 pairs of shoes but only one tie.
Casual numbers such as in the following examples
are spelled out: A thousand times, no! Gay Nineties.
Wouldnt touch it with a ten-foot-pole. However,
numerals are used when using an exact measure as in
the following example: The flag hung from a 10-foot
Spell out fractions when used alone as in this
example: Three-quarters of a mile. For amounts more
than one, use numerals as follows: Her shoe size is 6 1/2.
Convert to decimals whenever practical.
For further information, consult the latest edition of
The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual.
a. Clan, clannish
b. Plan, planned, planning
c. Control, controlled
d. Refer, referring but, reference (because
the accent has shifted away from the last
If you think you know how to spell well enough to
get along without a dictionary, try spelling the following
10 words (chances are, you will misspell a few of them):
syllable of the basic word)
e. Occur, occurred, occurrence
innoculate or inoculate
embarrass or embarass
supercede or supersede
larnyx or larynx
interfered or interfered
indispensable or indispensable
laision or liaison
diphtheria or diptheria
harass or harrass
accommodate or accommodate
3. When the final sound of the word is a soft c, g
If you selected inoculate, embarrass, supersede,
larynx, interfered, indispensable, liaison, diphtheria,
harass and accommodate as the correct spelling, throw
away your dictionary. But, if you misspelled one or more
words, start using your dictionary regularly. These are
only 10 examples of troublesome words in the English
language. Of course, there are thousands more.
Undoubtedly, you have your favorites when it comes to
misspelling words. So, compile your own list of
frequently misspelled words and start eliminating them
from your list.
In mastering words, there are certain basic rules for
spelling that will help you. Unfortunately, for every
spelling rule there are numerous exceptions. Some
spelling rules have so many exceptions that they can just
barely be classified as rules. The point to remember is
that your dictionary is the final authority.
The most useful of the spelling rules and some
examples and exceptions are listed as follows:
1. When a one-syllable word or a longer word that
keeps the accent on the last syllable ends in a single
consonant preceded by a single vowel, double the final
consonant before adding a suffix beginning with a
2. Words ending in a silent e generally retain this e
before a suffix beginning with a consonant. When the
suffix begins with a vowel, the silent e is usually
a, Excite, excitement; late, lately
b. Tide, tidal; shape, shaping
or ng, the final e is retained before some suffixes
beginning with vowels.
a. Peace, peaceable
b. Advantage, advantageous; courage,
c. Change, changeable, but changing
4. Words ending in y preceded by a consonant
usually change the y to i before a suffix. Words ending
in y preceded by a vowel do not change the y before a
Icy, iciest; mercy, merciless; modify,
modifies, modifiable; pity, pitiable, pitiful
Obey, obeying; joy, joyful, joyous