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Learn How to Spell Without Spellcheck (infographic)

I remember it well: I was sitting in a 6th-grade science class when the teacher asked me to read a selection from the book, so I began …

All was going well until I reached a word I did not know. It sputtered from my lips with all the confidence of a terrified mouse cornered by a coiled-up cat preparing to pounce.


The classroom erupted with laughter. “Hahahahahahahaha!”

I knew I had made a mistake. “Oh… numone-a,” I corrected myself slowly as the classroom gasped for a second breath to continue its collective gut-busting. “Hahahahahahahaha!”

I was mortified. But I got over it. About 10 years later, I graduated with a degree in journalism and began my professional writing career. And the truth is, I’m still a crummy speller. In fact, the most difficult test to pass in my Journalism 101 course, a so-called weed-out course, was the spelling test. You had to score at least 80% to move on, and you only had two chances, or else you were immediately withdrawn from the course and forced to start over. Let’s just say I got my money’s worth from that test. The other exams on AP Style and word usage were a breeze by comparison.

While these experiences helped me appreciate the importance of spelling as it relates to both reading and writing, I must admit that to this day spelling remains my biggest fundamental weakness as a writer. Thankfully, spellcheck masks my shortcomings.

Whenever I spot a story about spelling, I always take notice, and my mind takes me back to that 6th-grade science class.

That happened recently when I came across this infographic on spelling from the folks at HubSpot. Low and behold, there’s my 6th-grade nemesis staring me in the face in the first example.

Have a funny or embarrassing story about spelling? Please share in the comments below the graphic.



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Gary Grimes

Founder and President at Copywriter Brands, LLC
A former journalist who sold out for the less romantic but more sustainable world of online marketing, Gary created Copywriter Brands, including, to help writers connect with each other and the people who hire us—but also to reclaim his love for journalism and storytelling.
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November 17, 2015
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