What Are Your Favourite Spelling Memory Aids?

spellingerrorsThe UK is eliminating the “I before E except after C” rule from formal teaching, but what other spelling aids help you stay accurate?

BBC News reports that the well-known rule for making sure you spell ‘receipt’ correctly is being eliminated from official curriculum documents, on the grounds that there are more exceptions than actual examples. What’s really interesting is not that decision (which seems fair enough), but the comments on the report, which offer up a wealth of ways to memorise tricky words and spelling distinctions. Particularly good? “Do in a rush, run home, or expect accident” to remember the spelling of diarrhoea. There are even three separate methods for how to remember the distinction between stationery and stationary, though my own version (you use stationERy to write a lettER) isn’t in there.

Rhymes and mnemonics aren’t the only solutions, of course. I always keep track of the practice/practise distinction (first is a noun, second is a verb) because I can instantly conjure up the logo for 1980s Australian TV medical drama A Country Practice in my head. (That’s also useful for the identical licence/license distinction, which comes up a lot in tech.) What tricks do you use to memorise difficult words, or have you abandoned yourself entirely to the spellchecker? Share your secrets in the comments.

Schools to rethink ‘i before e’ [BBC News]

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