Skip to main content
Humanities LibreTexts

10.13: Spelling

  • Page ID
  • If you spell a word incorrectly, you can also cause your audience to pause and scratch their heads, stopping everything to try to decide how to solve this rule problem rather than continuing on to learn about the point of what you are trying to say in your writing. You not only get fewer “ethos points,” or reliability and credibility points, when you make spelling errors, you also cause problems in meaning.

    Thus, you should make every effort to keep your audience in the space of what you are trying to tell them of or persuade them of, rather than throw them into a soup of senselessness where they have to try to figure out the fundamentals of language and logic.

    In English, there are many words that sound the same, but are spelled differently and have different meanings. For example, these homophones:

    affect / effect
    they're / there / their
    it's /its
    your / you're
    two / to / too
    sew , so
    by , bye, buy
    I, eye

    The word “homophone” just means “same sound.” So these sound the same. But they have different meanings. What if you wrote:

    Eye did not see, I to I.

    Your audience would perhaps think you were trying to write a riddle, or a grand philosophical commentary on the nature of being and selfhood. Or, they would think you simply did not know that you should have written it:

    I did not see eye to eye.

    • Was this article helpful?