Writing Tip: The Limits of Spellcheck

Probably you have realized that one of the limitations of spellcheck is that it doesn’t notice missed words or stray extraneous words. Perhaps more problematic is that it doesn’t do away with word confusions. One possibility is to have someone knowledgeable proofread your work. Another is to recognize that you need to shape up and do something about it.

For each of the following word pairs, write a sentence using each word correctly.

farther/further      mantel/mantle     anxious /eager.     lie /lay

can /may     accept/except     affect/effect    adverse/averse    elicit/illicit

among/between   advice/advise    complement/compliment

eminent/imminent   fewer/less    if/whether   imply/infer   liable/likely

nauseous/nauseated    morale/moral    precede/proceed   raise/rear

raise/rise    principal/principle    stationery/stationary    that/which

Check your sentences against a dictionary. Learn the differences. Even one misuse from this list is likely to get your entire manuscript tagged as amateur.


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