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Misspellings {{#invoke:main|main}}

A misspelling of purchased on a service station sign.

While some words admit multiple spellings, some spellings are not considered standard, and thus labeled as misspellings. A misspelled word can be a series of letters that represents no correctly spelled word of the same language at all (such as "leik" for "like") or a correct spelling of another word (such as writing "here" when one means "hear," or "no" when one means "know"). Misspellings of the latter type can easily make their way into printed material because they are not caught by simple computerized spell checkers.

Misspellings may be due to either typing errors (e.g. the transposition error teh for the), or lack of knowledge of the correct spelling. Whether or not a word is misspelled may depend on context, as is the case with American / British English distinctions. Misspelling can also be a matter of opinion when variant spellings are accepted by some and not by others. For example "miniscule" (for "minuscule") is a misspelling to many,<ref>"miniscule", Merriam Webster's Online Dictionary; states that this spelling is "widely regarded as an error"</ref> and yet it is listed as an acceptable variant in some dictionaries.<ref>"miniscule", The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language</ref><ref>"miniscule", Cambridge Dictionary of American English</ref>

A well-known Internet scam involves the registration of domain names that are deliberate misspellings of well-known corporate names in order to mislead or defraud. The practice is commonly known as "typosquatting".<ref>"Typosquatters Act May Apply to Misspelling Domain Names to Mislead Surfers", Shari Claire Lewis, New York Law Journal, September 15, 2004</ref>

Notable English misspellings in history

  • Cleveland, Ohio – the leader of the crew that surveyed the town's territory was General Moses Cleaveland, and the region was named in his honor; reportedly the town's first newspaper, the Cleveland Advertiser, could not fit the town's name in its masthead without removing the first "a" from the name.<ref>Ohio, p. 138, Victoria Sherrow, Marshall Cavendish, 2008</ref>
  • Google – accidental misspelling of googol.<ref>QI: Quite Interesting facts about 100, telegraph.co.uk</ref> According to Google's vice president, as quoted on a BBC The Money Programme documentary, January 2006, the founders – noted for their poor spelling – registered Google as a trademark and web address before someone pointed out that it was not correct.
  • Ovaltine, a popular bedtime drink in the UK and Australia, came about because someone misspelled the original name Ovomaltine on the trademark documentation.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B=

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  • Referer – common misspelling of the word referrer. It is so common, in fact, that it made it into the official specification of HTTP – the communication protocol of the World Wide Web – and has, therefore, become the standard industry spelling when discussing HTTP referers.<ref>referer – Definitions from Dictionary.com</ref>
  • Sequim, Washington – "In 1879 the first post office was built and named 'Seguin' for the surrounding area. [...] In 1907, due to a Postal Official's error in reading an official report, the post office was titled 'Seguim' for approximately a month. With the next report, the Official read the letter 'g' as a 'q' and the post office here became known as 'Sequim.' The name change apparently did not worry the residents enough to protest. It has been known as Sequim ever since."<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation

|CitationClass=web }}</ref>

  • According to some, the name of Quartzsite, a mining town in Arizona was spelled wrongly. It should be Quartzite, after the mineral quartzite.<ref>Town of Quartzsite 2003 General Plan</ref>
  • Zenith – Arabic zamt was misread; in Latin letters, at the time, the letter i was never dotted, so "m" looked like "ni".<ref>Norbury, J. K. W. Word Formation in the Noun and Adjective.</ref>
  • Arab, Alabama – This town in north Alabama was named Arad, after its founder Arad Thompson, but the name was misspelled on a US Post Office map as "Arab," and the misspelled name stuck.

Spelling sections
Intro   Spelling standards and conventions    Methods used to teach and learn spelling    Divergent spelling   Misspellings  See also  References  Further reading  [[Spelling?section=External</a>_links|External</a> links]]  

Misspellings
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