Words you spelled wrong because you only heard them

Inverse thread. Naturally this will probably mostly apply to when you were a child and heard the words said out loud before you had a chance to read them.

I discussed the “out of bounce” thing in another recent thread (made sense at the time).

When we were first assigned papers to write in school, they called them “S.A.'s”. For the longest time I tried to parse what the initials stood for (Smooth Authorship? Scribbled Anecdotes?) until one day I sheepishly learned the truth.

Likewise the nuns at our school seemed awfully concerned with our “behave year”-as in this is finally the year I learn to behave correctly (never did in fact-not about to let the foolish send my fool away).

One of the people I work with sends me emails asking me to “touch basis” with various clients. I like him, plus he outranks me, so I don’t correct him, but it always makes me shake my head a little.

“Epitome” is butchered two ways. People spell it phonetically, but they also sometimes pronounce it as it’s spelled.

This wasn’t me, it was my 6th grade teacher. He thought imperfect was spelled inperfect until I looked it up in the dictionary. I was a wiseass.

I thought the curb (where the side walk meets the street) was the curve. So I guess this was a combination of mishearing and then misspelling as a result of that.

I notice more and more people using “of” in writing when they mean to use the contraction for “have.”

Would of, could of, should of.

Annoys the crap out of me.

I saw a print ad using the word tchotchke, only they had spelled it “chachki” and all I could think was, “Why would anyone use a word if they didn’t know how to spell it? Especially in an ad!”

Oh, yeah! In the Baltimore suburb where I grew up, there used to be a hair-cutting place called “Divine Allusions”; big old sign outside that they no doubt paid a lot of money for. I never could drive by there without thinking “OK, but what are they alluding to??” :wink:

For me, I tried to put the word “sigh” in a writing assignment somewhere around 3rd grade. I don’t remember quite how I spelled it, but I can guarantee it was wrong, because I encountered it all the time in the Peanuts cartoons in the newspaper, and didn’t realize that spelling equaled that word until at least 4th grade!

My mom likes to make something that for many years I thought was spelled keish.

Sherbert/sherbet. I didn’t find out that was wrong until years later, and I was my school’s spelling bee champ three years in a row. We always pronounced it with an “r” in the second syllable, as do many people, so I was surprised to find out there wasn’t one.

I don’t know if I ever had to write the word cummerbund, but I sure as hell said it incorrectly for years.

And I can honestly say that I’ve never heard the word tchotchke before.

That one makes me all stabby. I see it here on the board and have to almost physically restrain myself from correcting the person.


Bomsit. As in ‘this room looks like a bomb’s hit.’ I thought it was a single noun meaning 'messy place,. It wasn’t until I was 10 or 11 that a teacher queried it and worked out that it was ‘bomb’s hit.’ I still want to use it as a word.

I was in my 30’s before I realized that there’s a PH in “amphitheater”. I had always spelled it and pronounced it as “amplitheater.” After all, it’s a theater that is constructed to naturally amplify sound from the stage.

I still don’t know why that “ph” is in there.

Similar to that, having once had an eye doctor tell me that I might have astigmatism, I thought, well at least it’s just one.

I think I was 10 when I wrote a paper including the word “sopopra.” I knew what soap was, and what operas were, but it had never occurred to me that someone would put those words together to describe a TV show.

I also remember thinking curbs were curves, as in post #5.

Me too.

And there was wunsapons. All stories started with it, as in wunsapons a time…

When I was in 10th grade or so, some of us were passing notes back and forth. I found the perfect opportunity to impugn someone’s masculinity. I wrote, “he’s impudent” when I meant to say that he is impotent. They kind of sound alike. Fail.

It wasn’t until late in high-school that I learned that ‘deluded’ wasn’t spelled ‘diluted’ :smack: