Commonly Misspelled Words & Mangled Phrases

This is a list of words and phrases commonly misspelled or mangled on the Internet. If you have any further suggestions, send me a message.


Correct uses are:


That these two words get mixed up is highly understandable, as they sound almost the same when spoken and have similar meanings.


Stands for "also known as." Don't use "AKA" if what you're writing sounds strange or clunky if you read it out as "also known as."


Should be written a lot.


Should be written all right, at least in formal writing.


"Averse" refers to having a feeling against something. "Adverse" refers to something that is against something, either in principal or in physical location.

Baited breath

Should be bated breath.


One spelling refers to an animal or to the action of carrying or enduring something; the other describes a state of being uncovered.


The first is a noun; the latter is a verb. Used correctly:


"Compliment" refers to a positive remark, whereas "complement" refers to something that completes something else.

Could of, would of, should of, etc.

Should be could have, would have, should have, etc. You can also contract them to could've, would've, should've, etc.


The correct spelling is "definitely," with an I, not an A, as the third vowel.

If you think X, you have another thing coming

Thing should be think.

Intensive purposes

Should be intents and purposes.


Normally, apostrophes belong in possessive forms. Not so with it's and its. Take heed:


Often, the former is used in place of the latter. The correct usage is:


Correct uses of these words are:




The first is a story. The second is generally found on an animal's butt.


Tow the line

Should be toe the line, as the phrase refers to keeping your feet on a line marked on the ground.


"Too" is a synonym for "also" or "overly," whereas "to" is a particle indicating direction or transfer.


"There" indicates location. "Their" is possessive. "They're" is a contraction of "they are."


You're is a contraction of you are, whereas your is a possessive word.


"Wander" has to do with moving around with no particular goal in mind. "Wondering" is about thinking about something in a questioning manner.

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A Proper Punctuation Primer
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Exercises To Improve Your Character Writing & Roleplaying Skills
Common, Yet Terrible Character Descriptors - And How To Fix Them (And Write Better Descriptions In General)
Tips For Describing & Summarizing Your Story & Pitching Your Plot Ideas
General Roleplaying Tips & Advice

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