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Rouge Angles of Satin

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Top: A cute angel.
Bottom: Acute angle.
If you can't tell the difference, you're being obtuse.note 

They're as different as night and day.
Don't you think that night and day are different?
What's wrong with you?"

Some writers are infamously inclined to either not use a spellchecker at all (producing mistakes such as the numerous claims of "misspellings" on this page), or trust them blindly.

This leads to several problems.

If the mistyped word happens to be a legitimate word itself, the spell checker will let it go without mention. This leads to errors like those in this trope's name: rogue/rouge, angels/angles, and Satan/satin. While most word processing programs also have grammar checkers, following their rules blindly is the sort of thing up with which your readers may not put, so many either don't use the feature or don't trust its suggestions.

On the other hand, a mistyped word, proper noun, or even valid English word that isn't part of the dictionary (for whatever reason) can get "corrected" to something utterly preposterous, especially if the spell checker is set to "autocorrect". This variant used to sometimes be called the Cupertino Effect after numerous instances of "cooperation" being replaced by "Cupertino" in documents by early spellcheckers because they didn't recognize "cooperation" (even though they did recognize "co-operation"), with "Cupertino" being the closest match they could find in their dictionaries.Trivia  Nowadays the proliferation of touchscreen devices has made such Auto-Incorrect issues much more common.

A third variant, the Scunthorpe Problem, also known as the clbuttic mistake, is a variant where words are "misspelled" because a filter saw a string it construed as rude within a legit word and autocorrected it. These are usually easy to spot, though, because everyone knows "consbreastution"note  and "buttbuttination"note  aren't real words. Some forums still won't allow you to snigger, or call someone niggardly if the filter's bad enough.

So, this is when the spellchecker ceases to be a fiendnote  and may even become actively an enema.note 

It's unfortunately becoming more common even in professionally published works, with the increasing dependence on the computer spellchecker and the decline in the number of proofreaders working for publishing houses. It can also be a big problem for people trying to translate into another language without a proofreader.

If the words are correct, but the punctuation, grammar, or other usage is just wrong, that's Wanton Cruelty to the Common Comma. Compare with Spell My Name With An S, where confusion occurs because nobody can agree on how a name is spelled (this is Truth in Television; the Associated Press estimated there were more than 150 different ways the name of the former ruler of Libya, Moammar (or Mohamar) Ghadaffi, Quadaffy, (or Kadafy), etc. could have been transliterated into English). When this is done by a character in a work of fiction (or just by someone sending fanmail), expect them to receive a Grammar Correction Gag in response. See Malaproper for someone who does this with the spoken word. If this is done intentionally, either to make a character's name seem more unique or to capitalize on a percieved coolness in that spelling, it's Xtreme Kool Letterz. See also Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

For a somewhat larger, somewhat snarky, list, see The Big List of Booboos and Blunders. Also compare Wanton Cruelty to the Common Comma (for sloppy use of punctuation) and How Do I Used Tense? (for ungrammatical phrasing).

Naturally, this page is a magnatenote  for puns, as seen in the page image's caption.

Not to be confused with actual Rogue Angels of Satan, even if they really are wearing Rouge, Angles, or indeed Satin.

Also, please try to avoid sounding like a rude Grammar Nazi when adding examples. Even literal ones.


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    Commonly Misspelled Homophones 

  • The Oatmeal would like to draw your attention to some before or after you read the rest of this list.
  • accept/except
    • I accept your apology, except the bit about me being a douchebag.
  • adverse/averse
    • I am averse to these adverse weather conditions.
  • ado/adieu
    • Her gushing waterworks when he bid her adieu were much ado about nothing.
    • The phrase is "without further ado."
  • affect/effect
    • Usually, to affect something is to cause an effect in it; the verb "to affect" can also mean to assume a mannerism (as in "to affect an accent").
    • He affected the mannerisms of Solid Snake, which had quite an effect on his date.
    • Even simpler: most of the time, affect is a verb, effect is a noun. (Mnemonic: RAVEN; a=verb, e=noun.)
      • This is technically incorrect (both spellings can be nouns or verbs); however, the noun "affect" and the verb "to effect" are much less common.
      • "Affect" as a noun (pronounced AFF-ect) is a technical psychological term referring to the outward expression of emotion; "A classic symptom of schizophrenia is 'flattened affect,' i.e. blunted emotional response." So: mental illness could affect your affect.
      • The verb "to effect" means "to cause, to succeed in bringing about." You can effect change in a situation, if your actions are sufficiently effective. (There is also an adjective "affective," meaning "related to affect or emotion," as in "seasonal affective disorder.")
  • Aid/aide
  • Aisle/isle/I'll. The first is a long section of a store or the pathway between seats (such as in a church or on a plane); the second is a small island; the third is a contraction of "I will".
    • I'll look in aisle 6 of the store for the geography textbooks labelling all the isles of the Pacific Ocean.
  • A lot/alot/allot
    • You can allot this article to a lot of people who think that "alot" is a word.
      • "A lot" means "many" ("lot" is a large amount, "a" an indefinite article).
      • "Allot" is a verb and means "assign" or "distribute". It's more or less the same as "allocate".
      • Alot is a town in the Ratlam District of Madhya Pradesh, India, although that probably wasn't what you meant. Regardless, some dictionaries list alot as a valid contraction of a lot. Writing alot probably isn't a big deal, unless it is a highly formal setting or grammar Nazis are spying on you. "Alot", alternately, is "a magical creature" that was "made up to deal with" a "compulsive need to correct other people's grammar" depicted here.
  • Allowed/aloud
    • Please keep quiet in the library. You're not allowed to read the books aloud.
  • Already/all ready
    • "We're all ready to go!" his cheerful family told him in chorus. Less than ten minutes in, and his new Stepford family was already getting on his nerves.
  • Alright/all right
    • Traditionally "all right" is the preferred format, and some dictionaries, spellcheckers and English scholars consider "alright" to be a corruption of the two-word term and do not accept it. However, in modern times the two are coming to have separate meanings and "alright" is gaining wider acceptance as its own term. Under that, "all right" is used to denote that some form of group is correct in some fashion ("The sums are all right"), while "alright" is used to denote something is satisfactory ("The singer tonight was alright") or that you young hipster whippersnappers are having a good time ("Alright, duuuuude!").
  • Altar: A table used as a platform for religious worship. Alter: to change something.
    • The Lady's Guild at the church altered the altar cloth.
    • And don't confuse either with Altair, which is the brightest star in the constellation Cygnus. Or the Assassin. Or the first microcomputer.
  • annal/anal
    • "Annals" are year-by-year chronologies. "Anal" (thanks to Freud) is what you are when you're way too picky about your year-to-year chronologies.
    • Incidentally, someone who compiles annals is an annalist, but if you behave in an anal manner you might want to see an analyst (no etymological relation).
  • a part/apart
    • "A part" means to be part of a certain something. "Apart" means being separate,note  and therefore it means the opposite. This (and the included note) might be the most infuriatingly common mistakes in everyday Internet talk.
  • appraise/apprise
    • To appraise something is to estimate its market value. To apprise someone is to give that person notice.
    • The phrase is "Keep me apprised."
  • artic/Arctic
    • "Artic" is (at least in British English) a contraction of "articulated", the kind of truck which consists of a tractor unit (the cab and engine) and a separate trailer (the cargo space). "Arctic" means "anything north of the Arctic Circle".
  • Altogether/All together
    • Altogether means to do something in an encompassing fashion, all together means to do it collectively when referring to a group. "Now, all together, we'll begin on the count of three" vs "we're altogether too tired to do it again". "In the altogether" is also a phrase meaning "in the nude".
  • area/arena
    • A fighting arena should be around this area.
  • ascent/assent
    • Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, having clambered back aboard the Lunar Module a while ago, radioed Houston, who gave their assent to begin the ascent.
  • Atheist: a person who doesn't believe in gods / athiest: the most athy person. Now if only "athy" ''meant'' something...
  • aught/ought
    • "aught" can mean either anything ("for aught we know"), or nothing ("The decade from 2000 to 2009 is sometimes called the aughties, due to the zero in the second digit position").
    • "ought" is a verbal auxiliary, as in "You ought to be ashamed of yourself."
  • aw/awe
    Narrator: The cave men treated death with a certain sense of awe.
    Cavemen: Awwww...
    • Another example to help clear up things:
      Narrator: When they beheld the mighty Ape Mountain, they reacted with awe.
      Cast: Awwwww...
      Narrator: I said awe. A-W-E.
      Cast: Oooooh...
      Narrator: That's better.
  • away/aweigh
    • The Navy song is "Anchors Aweigh," meaning to weigh anchor. (When the command "anchors aweigh" is given, the sailors weigh anchor, i.e. haul the anchors back up. If a command "anchors away" meant anything, the sailors would be discarding the anchors. Compare "chocks away," an aviation command meaning "remove the chocks (wedges) that are blocking the plane's landing gear wheels so that it can take off.")
  • ball/bawl: a ball is a spherical object (and often part of a compound noun like "baseball" or "basketball"), or a fancy dress party, while bawl is a verb meaning 'to cry noisily'. "I bawled my eyes out when they hit me with that ball of snow. It ruined the gown I had bought for the winter ball."
    • If you use "ball" as a verb, you're probably writing porn. (In fairness, it can also mean "to make into a ball," as in "to ball one's fists.")
  • ballot/ballet: "They used a ballot to determine who was the best ballet dancer."
    • They're not pronounced the same at all, but your spelling checker doesn't know that.
  • banzai/bonsai
    • "Banzai!" screamed the samurai as he set about the tiny bonsai tree with his katana.
      • The word "banzai" literally translates as "ten thousand years" (of life to the Emperor). Therefore a (less-literal) translation would be "long live the Emperor!", not "kill yourself now!"
  • bare/bear
    • "Bear with me," said the shop assistant. "Bare with me," said the prostitute. "Bear's with me," said the zookeeper.
  • barely/barley
    • The drought forecast meant there would barely be enough of the barley crop to grow and harvest.
  • Barry/berry/bury
    • Barry Manilow took one sip of his berry-flavored cocktail, and immediately wanted to bury it. Yuck.
      • For anyone who may be confused as to how these get confused, these three words are all homophones in many dialects of English. For anyone who's confused about the need for this note, there are many dialects of English in which these aren't homophones. Likewise for "Mary/marry/merry" (in linguistics, it's actually known as the "Mary/marry/merry merger").
  • base/bass/bas
    • The string bass player wasn't very good; in fact, his jazz technique was entirely off-base.
    • A bas-relief is often found at the base of the ceiling.
    • Bass (the fish) is pronounced differently from bass (the musical instrument/voice). The fish rhymes with "class note ;" the musical instrument rhymes with, well, "base."
    • Bas isn't pronounced like either of these words — indeed, it sounds like the sound a sheep makes — but your spelling checker doesn't know that.
  • bated/baited (as in, you wait with bated breath — it means you're holding your breath, not stuffing maggots into your windpipe)
    • "bated" is basically obsolete outside of the phrase "bated breath"note . You may occasionally encounter the related word "abate" though.
  • bauble/bobble
    • A bauble is a small trinket or ornament.
    • Bobble is what the head does on a bobble-head doll.
  • Beatle/beetle
    • "Beetle" is the correct spelling for the insect, or the long-running model of Volkswagen.
    • The Beatles spell their name the way they do because the first syllable is "beat." 'Cause they're rock musicians. Get it?
  • beach/beech
    • You won't find many beech trees growing on the beach.
  • bias/biased
    • Bias is a noun. A person cannot be "bias" any more than they can be "anger" or "happiness". They may, however, be biased, and possess bias.
    • Bias can also relate to woven fabric, where you care about the way the threads go. Bias is used as the term when you go diagonally in relation to the thread. A gown can be bias-cut. It won't be biased, obviously.
  • blond/blonde
    • If it's describing hair directly, it's blonde (X has blonde hair). If you're describing people, they're different. Marilyn Monroe was a blonde, NPH is a blond.
    • The reason? French. In French, an adjective is declined to match the gender of the noun it modifies. "Blond" is the masculine form, and "blonde" is the feminine form. Oddly, the French word for hair (cheveu) is masculine, yet in English we use "blonde" to describe hair color directly.
    • Brunet/brunette are the same way, but far less commonly differentiated in English anymore.
  • board/broad/bored (as in "Should I get my son a surf broad for Christmas?")note 
    • I was really bored (uninterested) with what was written on the teacher's broad (wide) whiteboard, so I bored (dug) a hole in the floor board (wooden plank) to escape.
  • born/borne
    • Robert Ludlum was born in 1927, and had borne the weight of much criticism when he wrote The Bourne Identity.
    • Bourne, on the other hand, is an old way of saying small river. After Moses was born he was borne on the bourne.
  • bowl/bowel (as in "Super Bowel")
    • If your bowels are not moving regularly, have a bowl of high-fiber cereal.
  • Brazier/brassiere
    • The former holds fire (it's a grill or burner for offerings). The latter holds boobies.
  • Breach/breech
    • Breach: To break into something. Breech: Pants (the same word as breeches, basically). "The soldier burst into the room to tell his captain that the enemy had breached the outer wall, only to find him woefully lacking in the breech department. And then he breached his breeches."
    • Modern rifles are breech loading, in that you load the ammunition where the rifle would wear pants, if it were a person. Old-fashioned rifles are muzzle-loading, the muzzle being the end you point towards the target. There's also a "breech birth," where the baby is trying to come out butt-first rather than head-first.
  • break/brake
    • If a car fails to brake in time, it will break against the wall.
  • breath/breathe
  • broach/brooch
    • "What happened to that old diamond brooch of yours?" asked Rose's grandchildren, broaching the subject of the Titanic once again.
    • This one is particularly annoying given that "brooch" is pronounced "broach", despite its double-Oh.
  • brow/brown
    • Silently, she raised a brown brow, but said nothing.
  • bought/brought
    • I bought a new hat and brought it with me.
  • bullion/bouillon
    • "Bullion" means precious metal in ingot form, as in gold bullion or silver bullion. (pronounced "BULL-yun")
    • "Bouillon" is French for broth, as in chicken bouillon or beef bouillon. (pronounced "BOO-yon" or "BOOL-yon")
    • And neither of them requires a cube shape; concentrated bouillon can be compressed into cubes or stored in soft form in jars, while gold or silver bullion can be in rectangular ingots or coin-shaped "rounds." So no, neither "bullion cubes" nor "bouillon cubes" is redundant.
  • burro/burrow/bureau/borough
    • The mole made a burrow inside the Borough of Manhattan (the digging animal, not the kind of mole that works in the Federal Bureau of Intelligence).
    • The burro's hooves are not built for burrowing.
    • Burrow is not to be confused with borrow (to lend), or barrow (a mound of dirt over a grave)
  • Canon/cannon
  • cant (slope [of a road or racetrack]; lingo of a particular group; insincere talk) versus can't (cannot)
    • You can't speak thieves' cant unless you're a rogue.
  • capital/capitol
    • Washington, D.C. is the capital of the United States, and home to its capitol building.
    • "Capitol" refers only to a building (if you're in the US it's almost always referring to the building in DC that Congress meets in, but the original "capitol" was in Rome, on the Capitoline Hill, and a few other countries have their own capitol buildings as well). All other meanings of this homophone use capital — capital city, capital letter, capital punishment, capitalism, you name it.
    • In most states, the building housing the legislature (and often other branches of government, as well) is also called the capitol building.
    • You go to the capital to look at tall buildings. You go to the capitol to pay your tolls (dues, taxes, what have you).
    • Capitol Records is named after the U.S. Capitol and features it in its logo, so spelling it as "Capital Records" is very wrong.
  • carrot/carat/karat/caret
    • carrot is the orange vegetable that Bugs Bunny eats.
    • carat is a unit of weight equal to 1/5 of a gram, used for measuring diamonds and other precious stones.
    • karat is a unit of purity equal to 1/24 pure. 14 karat gold is 14/24 gold by weight, and 10/24 something else (typically silver and/or copper in coins, zinc in jewelry).
    • caret is one of these: ^ — a diacritical mark used to indicate insertion. It's also used in mathematics for indicating power levels (i.e., you can write x cubed as "x to the power of 3", "x3" or "x^3").
    • Using a carrot to approximate the width of his true love's finger, he slipped onto it a 14-karat gold ring bearing a 2-carat diamond. Too small. He scribbled a caret onto the order form and wrote above it "add 1/2 ring size".
  • Cavalry/Calvary
    • Cavalry are troops on horseback. Calvary is a hill outside Jerusalem (also known as "Golgotha"), on which Jesus is supposed to have been crucified.
      • There is no word whether the cavalry was involved in any business on Calvary.
  • champing/chomping at the bit
    • "Champing" is the correct word. Generally, something that is champed is just chewed on, something that is chomped is eaten.
    • The crowd was champing at the bit to start chomping down their breakfast, but the waitress just stood there champing on her gum.
  • chic/chick
    • A chick can be chic, as long as we're talking about a woman and not a baby chicken.
    • This one generally only goes one way, as "chick" is almost never used in place of "chic".
      • Probably because "chic" and "chick" are not actually homophones. "Chic" is pronounced as "sheek" by pretty much everyone who uses the word.
  • chili/chilli/chilly/chile/Chile
    • Don't let this steaming hot bowl of chili sit out too long, or it'll get chilly.
    • The hot peppers can be referred to as "chile" (the Spanish spelling) or "chili", but the meat dish made with said peppers is always called "chili". Unless you're in the American Southwest (Arizona, Nevada, California, Colorado or New Mexico) where the stew is often made with green peppers, and is called "chile".
    • The British tend to spell chili with two L's, so if you hear that someone's come down with a case of the chillies, make sure to find out whether they're cold or covered in peppers.
    • The Republic of Chile in South America is, ironically, not known for producing chile peppers.
  • cite/site/sight "I would like to cite a site that I just had a sight of."
  • cleaver/clever
    • Cleaver: butcher's knife. Clever: smart.
      • The creator of Cleaver was very clever, but too ill-educated and impulsive to make something out of it.
  • cloth/clothe/cloths/clothes/clothing
  • clue/clew
    • A clew is a ball of thread/yarn/string/etc., or a corner of a sail to which a sheet is attached — the bottom corners for a square sail, or the rear corner of a jib or lateen sail.
    • "Clue" started as an alternate spelling of clew in 1596, used in the sense of following a thread (as in the myth of Theseus following Ariadne's clew of thread out of the Minotaur's labyrinth).
  • coarse/course
  • college/collage
    • He went to a college in the Ivy Leagues to earn a degree in Medicine, and it turned out to be much harder than those days he sat around with the other kids in elementary school making a collage out of different pieces of colored paper, magazine pictures, and copious amounts of glue and glitter. Who could have ever known?
  • Colombia/Columbia
    • Colombia, with an "o", is the nation in South America. Columbia, with a "u", is a poetic name for the Americas and the feminine personification of the United States of America, which fell out of use in the 20th century, but remains in many place names in the USA (most notably, the District of Columbia), as well as the Canadian province of British Columbia.
    • The space shuttle that burned up on reentry in 2003 was Columbia, with a u. And so is the movie studio.
    • CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting System, recently aired a news piece about drug cartels in Colombia.
  • cologne/colon/Colón:
    • "(Eau de) Cologne" is a fragrance meant to be worn, usually one designed for men, named for the city of Köln, Germany. "Colón" (with the acute, so the stress is on the last syllable) is the name of several cities in different Spanish-speaking countries. "Colon" is the lower part of the intestine, or a punctuation mark (':') meant to indicate a pause in a sentence prior to a list of items. "Ode colon" would presumably be a song about (or from) the lower intestine.
      • The young man wore a pleasant cologne.
      • The low spear thrust impaled his opponent's colon.
      • The lead investigator had flown in from Colón to study the crash site.
  • compliment/complement
    • "Compliment" means to say something flattering about someone. "Complement" means to complete, suit, or go together with something.
    • I should compliment the interior designer on how well the turquoise drapes complement the chartreuse rug.
    • Something that is free of charge is complimentary, so if your hotel offers "complementary" champagne, beware.
  • conscious/conscience
    • I made a conscious decision to be guided by my conscience in the matter.
  • cord/chord
    • A cord is a length of flexible line, such as a power cord or a detonation cord.
    • A chord is several musical notes sounding at the same time, or a line segment going across the inside of a circle.
  • council/counsel/consul
    • The next item on the city council's agenda was an update on the discrimination lawsuit from its legal counsel. Since the consul is a party to the suit, his diplomatic immunity should make things interesting.
    • Likewise, a councilor is someone who sits on a council. A counselor is someone who gives counsel (advice), especially a lawyer or a therapist.
  • creak/creek/Creek
    • The hardy band of Creek Indians waded across the creek; but when they walked out on the other side, their moccasins were waterlogged and creaked when they stepped.
  • crevice/crevasse
    • The spelunker boldly climbed down into the crevasse, using a crevice here and there for a handhold.
  • cue/queue
    • Tom lined up in the queue with the rest of the cast. A bell was his cue to say his lines.
  • currant/current
    • She dropped a piece of her currant bun into the river, where it was swept away by the current.
  • dawn/don
    • In the early dawn before the sun rose, I could hear the Christmas carolers singing "Don we now our gay apparel".
  • dear/deer
    • "Oh dear!" yelped the motorist, when he discovered he'd run over a deer.
  • dissent/descent/decent/descant
    • While Charles Darwin's The Descent of Man is a decent treatment of hominid evolution, many creationists still dissent from its claims.
    • A "descant," sometimes called an obligato, is a chorus part higher in pitch than the melody, often with different rhythm and words. It's usually sung by sopranos, and is pronounced "DESS-can't".
  • Definitely/defiantly/diffidently
    • By definition, someone acting defiantly is definitely not behaving diffidently.
    • Let's make this easier:
      • Definitely - Something is of no doubt. ("That's definitely my cat!")
      • Defiantly - Rebellious. ("The rival king defiantly overthrew Jeremiah's empire.") This mistake is probably most common because of spellcheckers correcting the misspelling "definately" to "defiantly."
      • Diffidently - Someone who lacks confidence in one's own ability; shy. ("Fluttershy spoke diffidently around other ponies.")
  • desert/dessert
    • The Sahara is a desert (DE-zert), you desert your post (de-ZURT), you get your just deserts (de-ZURTs), but a dessert (de-ZURT again) is a yummy pudding. You can also use "just desserts" if you're making a pun, but the original phrase uses single-s "deserts", in the now-obscure (other than in that phrase) meaning of "something you deserve".
    • And of course, there's The Perry Bible Fellowship comic that plays with this.
    • Interesting observation: Mount Desert Island in Maine was discovered by French explorers, so the "desert" is pronounced as per the French pronunciation of the word, which sounds like "dessert," that is, of course, unless you speak the local dialect, where it is pronounced how it sounds. And you thought Newfies had it bad...
    • And don't get either of these confused with "Deseret", which was the proposed name for Utah before it was admitted to the U.S..
  • diffuse/defuse
    • You defuse a bomb by taking the fuse out. And metaphorically, you defuse a tense situation by calming everyone down. To diffuse (diff-YOOZ) means to distribute evenly: You will be diffused over a wide area if you fail to defuse the bomb correctly. Finally, something is diffuse (diff-YOOS) if it's sparse or rarefied: Before the modern founding of the State of Israel, the Jewish population in post-WW2 Europe was very diffuse.
    • Even though the terrorists' threats were widely diffused, the SWAT team safely defused their bomb.
  • discreet/discrete
    • "Discreet" means "showing discretion, not obvious or conspicuous, tactful;" "discrete" means "separate, readily distinguished."
    • The enemy soldier was sliced into three discrete pieces - but let us draw a discreet veil over proceedings.
  • disperse/disburse
    • European finance ministers refused to disburse the bailout funds that might save Greece. Riots erupted, and despite the best efforts of riot police, the crowds refused to disperse.
  • dominate/dominant
    • Lance Armstrong is a dominant cyclist who used to dominate the Tour de France. Using "dominate" as a noun or adjective is also a common error in BDSM fiction.
  • draw/drawer/drawers
    • A drawer is what you store things in. Your drawers are your underwear. Do we need to draw you a picture?
      • If you have a large collection of drawers, you might need a few drawers to store them in. Invest in a chest.
  • dual/duel
    • Dual means two; a duel is a fight. That skill that allows your rogue to hold a weapon in each hand? That's dual wield, as in holding two weapons.
  • duck tape/duct tape
    • Discussed below. The etymology of the term is complicated, but the short version is that both are acceptable.
  • elicit/illicit
    • Illicit activities often elicit pleasurable reactions.
  • eliminate/illuminate
    • The letters in Wheel of Fortune illuminate, to show which guesses you can eliminate.
  • elusive/illusive
    • "That damned elusive Pimpernell" evades capture, the illusive one is a figment of your imagination. (And the allusive one just hints at his presence...) Applies to all parts of speech (elude, illusion, allude.).
  • entomology/etymology/etiology
    • Entomology is the study of insects. Etymology is the study of the origin of words, or a noun describing a word's history. Etiology is the study of the origins of anything, not just words.
      • "ent" is similar to "ant", so entomology is the study on insects.
  • eminent/imminent
    • The former means "important", the latter means "upcoming".
    • "The eminent ambassador's imminent arrival."
    • When a state or nation reclaims property owned by one of its subjects, it's exercising its power of eminent (i.e. important) domain.
    • Subsequent to that, eminently/imminently — the former meaning "most", the latter meaning "soon"
      • "The eminently important ambassador will be arriving imminently."
  • everyday/every day
    • Everyday is an adjective, meaning "ordinary". Every day is an adverb, indicating how often something is done.
    • Every day is not everyday.
  • except/accept
    • "I expect you to have no problem with this game except the fourth level."
      • "I accept your challenge!"
  • faction/fraction
    • The various factions made up only a small fraction of the total population.
  • fair/faire/fare
    • The weather was fair at the Renaissance Faire, so a lot of visitors wanted to ride the boat around the pond there — leading the boatman to charge a high fare.
  • farther/further
    • Farther indicates something has more distance. (You need to drive farther into the desert!) Further is used to get the same idea across when physical distance is not appropriate. Furthermore, further is the one of the two that can be used as a verb (e.g. "Fox Mulligan fought to further the cause of Furry Fandom's acceptance"). Not to be confused with father either.
  • faze/phase
    • Yes, "faze" is a word. No, it's not just "phase" spelled wrong. Yes, they mean two completely different things. Even Mark Twain gets this wrong. To clarify: The Hero was unfazed by the villain's power to alter the phase of matter.note 
    • Billy's father was unfazed by Billy's behavior at school. "It's just a phase."
    • This one made it even to the renowned science journal "Nature" in a letter pointing out that only Captain Kirk's phaser can phase you. (It is also sometimes used as an intransitive verb meaning "to pass through phases," and as a transitive verb in the phrase "to phase something out.")
  • ferment/foment
    • The new government regulations on beer prevent the brew from fermenting properly. It has enraged so many beer drinkers that anarchists are now using it as an excuse to foment a revolution.
  • ferry/fairy
    • I asked my fairy godmother for a world cruise on a luxury ocean liner, but all she gave me was a ride on the Hudson River ferry.
  • fiction/friction
    • Friction in space occurs only in fiction.
    • Friction also refers to tension between two individuals or groups: "There was a great deal of friction between fans regarding the film adaptation of a recent work of fiction."
  • flak/flack
    • flak is anti-aircraft fire, specifically exploding shells fired from the ground. Taking "a lot of flak" is a bad thing, and the term has come to mean taking heavy criticism for a decision.
    • a flack is a publicity agent.
  • flair/flare
    • The firebreather's use of her flare added flair to her performance.
  • fiancé/fiancée
    • Yes, these are two different words in English (in French they're the masculine and feminine forms of the same word). A man is a fiancé; a woman is a fiancée.
      • Not to be confused with Beyoncé, who at one point was Jay-Z's fiancée.
  • flaunt/flout
    • "To flaunt" is "to defiantly show something off." "To flout" is "to defiantly disregard."
    • The rebel flouted the school's dress code by flaunting his new spiky collar.
      • Ahh... it's an ineffable joy to encounter these words used properly in a sentence.
  • For all intensive purposes is an eggcorn of For all intents and purposes, which means 'for all motives/reasons, and purposes possible'. 'Intents and purposes' is the original, correct phrase. Using 'intensive purposes' will make readers think you fucked up.
    • A man of intense purpose, with his purposive intents, was, for all intents and purposes, being purposefully intense.
  • flour/flower
    • The edible part of the artichoke is actually the flower of the plant. Before you deep-fry it, be sure to coat it in flour.
    • Episode 4 of Inanimate Insanity II plays with this. Suitcase mishears the word flour as flower, so he is looking in a flower garden for some. Balloon comes along, looks at what he's doing... and just tells Suitcase he has several flowers.
  • for ever/forever
    • Compare "they are forever arguing with one another" with "if you're waiting for the abolition of income tax, you're probably going to wait for ever". The former use is hyperbolic, the second means a literal eternity. Granted, this distinction is only recognised in Commonwealth English: in American English 'forever' is the only proper spelling.
  • forward/foreward/foreword
    • Forward is a direction.
    • A foreword is a preface. (It's the WORDs that come beFORE the actual text. Get it?)
    • Foreward isn't even a ward word.
  • formally/formerly
    • Formally means in a manner consistent with some particular set of rules, like the rules of etiquette; formerly means that the description no longer applies but it used to. In The Queen's English, the two are pronounced the same.
  • forth/fourth
    • "Go forth!" he cried for the fourth time that day.
  • foul/fowl
    • When someone writes that they smell a fowl odor, one can only imagine there is a chicken or some other bird nearby. Of course, if the fowl offends your senses, you could also say it's foul.
  • freeze/frieze
    • To carve an award-winning frieze around the post, the artist had to freeze it in place while he whittled.
  • gorilla/guerrilla
    • A gorilla is a type of ape. Guerrilla warfare (itself prone to being misspelt as "guerilla") is something else entirely. "Gorilla warfare" is a vital component of an infamous Internet Jerk copypasta and a reasonably common pun used for things including fighting and apes.
  • grate/great
    • My cheese grater is just great. It lets me grate a greater amount of cheese in less time than the competition.
  • grisly/grizzly
    • "Grisly" is an adjective describing something that induces repugnance or disgust in the viewer; something gruesome. "Grizzly" is a kind of big bear.
  • hanger/hangar
    • The pilot parked his airplane in the hangar before hanging his flight jacket on a hanger.
    • A hanger is also a bladed weapon, similar to a cutlass, but a bit longer.
  • have/of
    • This is probably born of a mistaken phonetic spelling of "Would've," which is a contraction of "Would have," with the apostrophe replacing the space and the H-A.
  • hawk/hock
    • A hawk is a kind of bird of prey or, metaphorically, someone who is politically in favor of war. You hawk up phlegm from the back of your throat, because "hawk" is the sound you make when you do it.
    • The hock is that backwards-knee-looking joint on a horse's rear legs. (The British sometimes spell it "hough," but still pronounce it "hock.") To hock something is to put it up for sale in a pawn shop.
  • heal/heel/he'll
    • He's injured his heel playing soccer; he'll want it to heal soon.
    • And if you don't care about the difference, you may be a heel yourself.
  • heart/hart
    • The former pumps your blood. The latter is an old word for a stag (the kind with antlers, not the kind of party where you have strippers).
  • Heart/ Hearth
    • "Hearth" means a fireplace, or poetically, the centre of a home. The idiom is "Home is where the heart is" (i.e. home is where our emotional priorities lie), but "away from home and hearth" (i.e. travelling and therefore deprived of the comforts of home).
  • here/hear
    • If you stand over here, you can hear the English majors crying after viewing this page.
    • I hear their tears of joy. They make me happy, right here.
    • The cry of approval is "Hear, hear!" It's a translation of the Norman French Oyez, oyez!, from the verb ouir, to hear.
  • heroin/heroine
    • The heroine of the story struggled to overcome her addiction to heroin.
  • hoe/ho
    • I was sowing the land in my backyard with a hoe when a pimp drove by with his ho on the passenger's seat.
  • homonym/hominem
    • An argumentum ad hominem (not "hominum") means dismissing another's argument because of who said it rather than because of what was being said.
    • An "ad homonym" argument would be arguing over the leeks in your pipes or the dear you just hunted.
  • horde/hoard/whored
    • A horde of dwarves descended on the Lonely Mountain when they heard about the dragon's hoard of treasure; the few dwarves who were absent because they had whored themselves out as mercenaries missed the opportunity.
    • The hordes (roughly "swarms") of Bene Gesserit witches hoard (to hoard = to put into a hoard; to stockpile) melange into their hoards (stockpiles). They will whore themselves out to do it; in fact, they have already whored (prostituted) themselves out and still are.
    • Nobody ever had a "treasure horde", except Qin Shi Huang.
  • hour/our/are
    • The hour is late, and our host is growing tired. Are we to keep waiting?
    • Arrr, send 'im ta bed, then! He kin have arr room!
  • hurdle/hurtle
    • The olympic runner hurtled himself relentlessly forward down the track, as he cleared the second hurdle.
  • incidents/incidence
    • The incidence of road rage incidents was on the rise.
  • its/it's
    • (Note: its' is not a word, except perhaps in some contrived context involving multiple games of tag.)
    • TV Tropes widened its focus; now it's covering tropes from all kinds of media.
    • Important distinction: an apostrophe is actually an illustration of a speaker "slurring over" parts of a word or phrase: "It's" is a shortening of "It is", with the apostrophe replacing the space and the "i".
    • It's can also be short for "it has", as in "It's been a long time."
    • One reason for this confusion is the use of the apostrophe-s ('s) to indicate possession (genitive) for nouns in English. But pronouns indicate possession by inflexion, or by adding an s without the apostrophe, e.g. "yours", "hers", etc., including "its".note  People tend not to notice that "it" is a pronoun. The easiest mnemonic is "'His' does not have an apostrophe."
    • Bob the Angry Flower says it best.
  • lather/leather
    • Lather is the foam you make when you mix soap or shampoo with water. Leather is the material made from animal skin.
    • Jimmy made a lot of lather from that bar of soap, hoping to wipe his leather shoe clean from the doggy-doo he stepped on.
    • You don't rinse leather, you rinse your hair. Rinse, lather, repeat.
  • leach/leech
    • "Leach" is what you do in chemistry, when you want to extract a compound out of a bigger mixture. "Your food processing plant has leached all the nutrients out of this apple! For shame!"
    • "Leech" is the archaic word for a surgeon, and (by association) the little bloodsucking parasite used by said archaic surgeons.
  • lead/led
    • "Lead", when pronounced "leed", is either a present-tense verb meaning to take charge ("The conductor will lead the chorus in Handel's Messiah now"), a noun meaning the front of a race ("And Mario Andretti takes the lead!"), or a noun meaning a wire ("Connect the black lead to the volt meter").
    • "Lead", when pronounced "lehd", is a heavy metal ("The outlaw threatened to fill the cowboy full of lead with his six-guns"), or the business end of a pencil ("I broke the lead, now I have to sharpen it again"), or a verb meaning to add the heavy metal to something ("This car only runs on leaded gasoline").
    • "Led" is always pronounced "lehd", and only means the past tense of "to lead" ("The general led his troops into a battle; it was a rout"). It's also the first word of Led Zeppelin's name, which may have been chosen instead of "Lead" so that no one would mispronounce it like "leed".
    • "LED" in all caps is an abbreviation for Light Emitting Diode.
  • leak/leek
    • Information leaked that the farmer's market is now selling leeks.
    • There was a leak in the bowl containing leek soup.
  • legionary/legionnaire
    • A legionary serves in a Roman legion, a legionnaire in the French Foreign Legion.
  • Lesson/lessen
    • The driving instructor hoped today's lesson would lessen the odds of his students getting in an accident.
  • Lighting/lightning/lightening
    • After lightning struck the power station, our house didn't have any working lighting at all.
    • A lightning strike lightening the mood at all.
  • literally/literately
    • For some reason I'm seeing this in a lot of Fan Fic (often fic that is otherwise quite compelling and well-written, but GAAAAAHHHH). Dammit people, "literately" has nothing to do with the exact meaning of a figure of speech, it means the character can read. The contexts aren't even similar.
  • lo/low (As in "lo and behold", virtually the only remaining use of the otherwise obsolete word "lo".)
    • Blame that on its low circulation outside dramatic circles.
    • And lo, there was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth... on this very page!
  • loch/lock
    • I have to lock the door when I leave my house overlooking Loch Ness.
    • "Loch" is Scottish for lake. However, the compartments in the Panama Canal are still called "locks," even though they function as miniature lochs.
  • lounge/longue
    • As a noun, lounge can refer to a comfortable chair or sofa that can be sprawled upon.
    • Now, a chaise longue is a kind of lounge ... but the name is simply French for "long chair." The second word is pronounced more or less like English long, and it shouldn't be pronounced or spelled like lounge.
  • lose/loose
    • I start to lose perspective when I realize that people's grasp of spelling can be this loose.
    • If you don't tighten that loose bolt, we could lose the entire wing!
    • If your pants were any looser, you would look like a real loser.
    • Lose has lost an o. Loose has an extra o, and extra space between the l and the s, the hussy.
    • The Dwarf Fortress motto is "Losing is fun." Some people have trouble with this. Though loosing that dragon you caught in a cage trap is quite likely to result in losing.
  • manna/mana
    • "Manna" is the food God gave the Israelites when they were wandering in the desert for 40 years.
    • "Mana" is what you use to cast spells in a fantasy Role-Playing Game.
  • manner/manor
  • mean time/meantime
    • In the meantime, he set his clock to Greenwich mean time.
  • merry/marry/Mary
  • metal/medal/mettle/meddle
    • By proving his mettle in the footrace, the sprinter won a medal made of gold, a precious metal. Sadly, the committee took it away from him the next day, when they discovered he'd meddled with his drug test results.
    • Some medals are made of precious metals and get stolen from those of mettle, by meddling thieves.
    • I would have gotten away with meddling with the metal used to make the medals if it hadn't been for those meddling kids!
  • misled/mislead
    • I was misled by false information; how misleading!
  • missal/missile
    • The bishop opened his missal to page 206. He hoped today's mass would hit his congregation like a guided missile.
  • missed/mist
    • The water balloon missed its target by inches, bursting on the wall beyond and sending up a fine mist of water droplets.
    • And neither should be confused with the classic adventure game Myst.
  • naval/navel
  • no/know
    • No, I don't think you know enough about writing to become a professional.
  • ones/one's
    • "Ones" is the plural of one, as in "He wanted 25 dollars, so I gave it to him in ones."
    • "One's" (meaning "belonging to one") is the only possessive pronoun in English that takes an apostrophe. "His" doesn't, "hers" doesn't, "its" doesn't, "theirs" doesn't, but for some unfathomable reason, "one's" does.
  • ordnance/ordinance
    • A city ordinance forbids the possession of explosive ordnance without a permit.
  • pair/pear/pare
    • The pair of produce vendors tried to pare down their options, but to no avail: They still had a pear and an orange they had to sell.
    • The small cutting implement is called a paring knife, because it's used to cut the skin off of a piece of fruit.
  • palate/palette/pallet/palliate
    • palate: The roof of the mouth (used as a metonym for the sense of taste).
    • palette: The board a painter uses to mix paints (metaphorically, a selection of colors).
    • pallet: A platform for storing and transporting goods to Ash Ketchum's hometown.
    • palliate: To soothe or relieve pain or another harsh experience (e.g. an anesthetic, or a tax break)
  • parlay/parley
    • To parlay is to place something at risk in the hope of gaining something greater. "She tried to parlay her $1000 winnings at Roulette by betting it all on 33-black."
    • To parley is to discuss terms with the enemy, usually when negotiating a conditional surrender.
      • It's confusing because both derive from the French parler, "to talk."
  • past/passed
    • It was half past noon when the Maserati passed me on the freeway.
  • pastime/past time (it's past time for people to learn the difference)
  • peak/peek/pique/peke
    • On the mountain's peak, he took a peek into his friend's diary in an act of pique.
    • The phrase is "piqued his interest", not "peaked".
    • "Peke" is colloquial shorthand for Pekingese (the dog breed).
  • peal/peel
    • Peals of thunder wracked the air. Mother Nature was displeased that a careless camper had thrown a banana peel on the ground.
  • pearl/Perl/purl
    • "Pearl" is a shiny round bauble made by an oyster. "Perl" is a programming language. "Purl" is what you do when you're knitting (ripples on the water also do this metaphorically).
  • petal/pedal/peddle
    • A bicycle has pedals, not peddles. What Lance Armstrong et al. do is pedal their bicycles, not peddle them. Peddle is a verb, meaning to sell, and a peddler (or pedlar) is an itinerant salesman.
    • Bicycles have pedals; flowers have petals.
  • personal/personnel
    • It is my personal opinion that military personnel should not be forgotten.
  • plain/plane
    • The plane flew over the plain.
    • After shaving an eighth of an inch off the end of the wooden door with his plane, the hungry carpenter ordered a plain hamburger.
  • pole/poll
    • The pole dancer, who was a Pole by virtue of her birth in Warsaw, took an informal poll from her spectators as to how many liked her new thong.
  • populace/populous
    • If the city's populace is missing, you can't say it's very populous.
    • And rallying the remaining inhabitants to find the missing people might be the populist thing to do.
  • pore/pour/poor/paw (Particularly the phrase "pore over"; one never pours over a document unless they do a poor job holding onto their coffee mug, as if they had a paw instead of a hand)
    • Since his pores are clogged with dirt and sweat, he pours water on himself to clean up.
    • The Goon Show (an old BBC radio show) actually poked fun at this:
      Narrator: And all through the night, they poured over the plans. Sometimes they poured on the table, sometimes they poured on the floor, but mostly they poured over the plans.
  • porn/pawn
    • After you traded in your grandmother's jewelery at a pawn shop, you can spend the cash you got in return on adult movies at a porn shop.
    • Note: pron, pr0n, prawn, etc. are often used on the Internet as censor bypasses. "Prawn" is another word for shrimp, by the way (most common in Australia).
  • portrait/portrayed
    • The portrait portrayed dogs playing a card game.
  • premier/premiere
    • The premiere of the new show featured the premier stating the premier reasons why the reform was necessary.
  • principal/principle
    • The school's principal held sacred the principles set forth by the school's founders; the principal one was "knowledge is power".
  • precedent/precedence/president
    • Precedent is a statement or action that sets a rule or pattern for later. Precedence means that something takes priority over something else. The young man set a precedent with his wife by staying late at work even though they had a date. His boss had given him a new assignment which took precedence over everything else in his life. (Hint: Precedent affects everything that comes afterwards, something with precedence is more important than everything that came before.)
    • A president is a chief executive; although some folk etymologies connect it with precedent, it actually has to do with "to preside".
  • presence/presents/prescience
    • The Great Zambini's powers of prescience warned him of the impending presence of his friends, who would shower him with birthday presents. Or maybe that was just his calendar.
  • prey/pray
    • You might pray in a cathedral, but you don't generally prey on people there.
    • Although it does indeed prey upon other insects, it's called the praying mantis, due to the superficial resemblance of its forelegs to human hands folded in prayer.
  • prescribe/proscribe
    • Some doctors are willing to prescribe medical marijuana for patients; the US federal government proscribes any such use.
  • psychic/physic (When William Shakespeare wrote "Take physic", he meant a purgative.)
    • A psychic will pick you up with mind powers, a physic will pick you up with energizing medicine.
    • To make matters worse, within the psychiatric community, "psychic" simply means of or pertaining to the psyche, e.g. "His psychic disposition is that of a manic-depressive with mild schizoid behavior."
  • pubic/public
    • Never show your pubic area when out in public. Unless you're into exhibitionism.
      • Or have made at least one middling-quality movie or music video, ever.
  • quite/quiet
    • It was quite obvious that this error is more a typing mistake than a genuine error. Be quiet, the rest of you.
  • rack/wrack
    • It was a mistake to compliment her on her rack. I spent the rest of the day wracked with pain.
  • raise/raze
    • In the 3rd Punic War, the Romans raised an army, then razed the fields in Carthage.
  • raped/rapped/wrapped/rapt
    • Three past-tense verbs and one adjective: "He rapped on the table for attention; the guests sat in rapt silence as his daughter tore into the gaily-wrapped presents". (Let's not try to jam the first word in there...)
      • Here is a not so shining example of what will happen if you do.
  • read/reed
    • This clarinet comes with an instruction manual. Please read the manual before you try to insert the reed, lest it break.
    • Reed Richards is Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four. Read the comics and you'll see.
  • regimen/regiment
    • The Colonel put his entire regiment onto a strict regimen of daily push-ups.
  • rein/reign/rain
    • After he lost his grasp on the reins, his reign as Coolest Dude on the Ranch came to an end when he fell off his horse in the rain.
    • The new king took the reins of power, and now reigns supreme.
    • "Free rein" and "rein in" are both metaphors referring to horsemanship. Substituting the word "reign" into those phrases turns them into gibberish.
  • rend/render
    • The first: a verb meaning to tear apart (or away) violently. The second: either a noun meaning "one who rends" (but it's unlikely that's what you meant), or a verb meaning a heck of a lot of thingsnote , none of them related to tearing apart.
    • The past tense of rend is rent. No relation to what you have to pay your landlord every month.
  • revel/reveal
    • It was revealed that yesterday, the entire senior class participated in a revel after the end of final exams. No one knows where they got the masks.
  • review/revue
    • The theater critic's review of the new musical revue was quite harsh. It closed three weeks later.
  • rhyme/rime
    • The Icelandic Sagas were all prose, meaning they didn't rhyme. They tell stories of the ancient rime giants (which many translations call frost giants).
    • "Rime" is also an archaic spelling of "rhyme."
  • ridged/rigid
    • Corrugated iron is both ridged, having ridges all the way along it, and rigid, because it doesn't flop and bend.
  • right/rite/wright
    • "Right" means the opposite of left, or a basic guarantee, or correct.
    • "Rite" is short for ritual, e.g. a rite of passage. (Which is why Terry Pratchett's aspiring female wizard wanted Equal Rites.)
    • "Wright" means builder, as in a playwright or a shipwright.
  • role/roll
    • It's supposed to be a Role-Playing Game, but many Munchkins, who don't give a damn about character and drama, treat it like a Roll-Playing Game (where all they do is roll dice).
  • route/rout
    • The battle was a rout; the winning army chased the losing army half the length of Route 66.
      • American English pronounces "route" as either "root" or "raut." British English pronounces "route" only as "root."
  • route/root
    • The tooth was in a tricky position; to perform the root canal, the dentist had to find another route for his drill to follow.
  • scared/sacred
    • You'd be scared, too, if just touching, let alone breaking a sacred item meant Hell would open up under your feet.
  • script/scrip
    • The playwright's script, written by hand in a cursive script, depicted life in an era when government-issued scrip had ruined the economy.
  • secede/succeed
    • The Southern states seceded from the USA in 1861. If they had won the US Civil War, their bid at independence would have succeeded.
      • "Succeed" can also mean "to follow another person in an official position," as in, "Queen Elizabeth II succeeded King George VI to the British throne." This can make matters more confusing, in that there have been both wars of succession and wars of secession in human history.
  • segue/Segway
    • "Segue" means to transition without interruption. "Segway" is the two-wheeled vehicle you ride around in.
    • In the movie, the Training Montage segued into the Segway race.
  • sent/scent/cent
    • Back in the day, great grandmama sent a scented letter to her beau, for the price of a one-cent stamp.
  • sense/scents/cents
    • A dog's nose can make sense of many scents.
    • "No fence, no cents!" — Fence Post Frank, from Rex Morgan, M.D..
  • sew/so/sow
    • You reap what you sow, so if you sew, you will reap sewn clothing.
    • And if you breed pigs, you might sow a sow.
  • sewage/sewerage
    • Sewerage consists of pipes and ditches ("sewers"), and associated storage tanks and pumphouses. Sewage is the stuff carried by those sewers.
  • shear/sheer
    • It was a sheer accident that caused the aeroplane's wing to shear off.
    • If you shear a mountain clean in half, the exposed face will be a sheer cliff.
    • Shear the sheep, then weave the wool into sheer stockings (good luck with that).
  • shed/she'd
    • She'd have to tidy up the shed at some point.
  • Should of/should have
    • You should of course not try to trick me. I should have known!
  • shoo-in/shoe-in
    • "Shoo in" was originally a racetrack term, and was is applied to a horse expected to easily win a race, and, by extension, to any contestant expected to win an easy victory. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first use of the term in print dates back to 1928. "A 'shoo in' was originally a horse that was expected to win a race, not by virtue of its speed or endurance, but because the race was fixed. The sardonic 'subtext' of the original usage, now lost, was that the designated horse would win even if it were so lackadaisical in its performance that it simply wandered somehow up to the finish line and had to be 'shooed in' to victory." "Shoe-in" is a misspelling of "shoo-in", but most people think it's correct because they think of it as "having one shoe in the door".
  • shutter/shudder
    • He had to suppress a shudder of disgust as he pressed the camera's shutter, recording the details of the murder.
      • "Unfort-t-t-tunat-t-t-tely," his friend stuttered, "you didn't get an image since you failed to realize you had to press the shutter release to take the pict-t-ture."
  • sic/sick
    • [sic] is what you write when quoting a misspelled word, e.g. "Helmsman, set coarse [sic]". It's Latin for "thus."
    • Sick means ill, literally or figuratively.
    • Sic[k] 'em!, the command for a dog to attack can be spelled either way; both are considered correct. It's probably based on a variant pronunciation of "seek".
  • sight/site
    • Sight is something you see. Site is a place, and is used in 'website'.
    • If you can get up on a construction site, you'll have a pretty good sight of the city.
  • silicon/silicone
    • The silicon chips inside his computer churned the physics problem over, and came up with the grim answer: his love interest's breasts were probably made out of silicone.
      • And for further clarification, silicon is Element 14, and is used for the substrate in computer chips. Silicone is the polymer or compound w/ silicon in it that makes numerous things from flexible baking sheets to fake hooters.
  • slight/sleight
    • A magician who can do sleight of hand will have slight edge over one who can't.
  • spared/sparred
    • One means to refrain from inflicting something, the other to have a training fight: "she spared him the embarrassment of critiquing his performance as they sparred".
  • stare/stair
    • She appeared in all her radiant beauty at the top of the stair; he couldn't help but stare at her.
  • stationary/stationery
    • He dropped his pencil on the floor. The piece of stationery rolled for a short while, then became stationary.
  • steak/stake
  • strait/straight
    • He was the most strait-laced man I'd ever known, but he could never get his tie on straight, leaving him in dire straits.
    • Strait-laced comes from the word's archaic definition, meaning "strict, as in requirements or principles".
    • A "strait" is also a geographical feature; specifically, a narrow channel or river that connects two larger bodies of water, like the Straits of Magellan.
    • A common place to see the confusion is the word "straitjacket". Here, the "ait" spelling is correct.
    • Also, the phrase is "strait and narrow." It's a tautology for added emphasis, much like "plain and simple."
  • superstitious/surreptitious
    • Everyone knew about that superstitious couple at the end of the street, but nobody knew about their surreptitious habit of catching rabbits to actually cut their feet off.
  • tact/tack
    • Hint: The phrase is "Taking a different tack", and refers to the angle of a sailing ship's sails.
      "Crispin! Adjust the tack, immediately, or it's your turn over the barrel!"
      "Have you no tact, sir?"
  • tail/tale/tell
    • Beware of this scorpion! Few have been strung by its tail and lived to tell the tale!
  • taught/taut/taunt
    • Those who have been taught grammar at school tend to taunt those who haven't, creating a taut and tense atmosphere.
  • tenet/tenant/Tennant
    • It was a tenet of the landlord to never allow his tenants to get away with paying their rent late (except for David Tennant, because the Tenth Doctor was his favorite).
  • than/then
    • Than is used as a comparative, ex: Bob is taller than Alice.
    • Then is used to denote the next item or action in a sentence, ex: Bob cooks a meal then eats it.
  • there/their/they're
    • There they are! Their maps were lost, so they're quite late.
      • There: denotes location, usually in the immediate area
      • Their: denotes possession by a group
      • They're: contraction of They and Are, used in the same manner as the separate pronoun and verb it is composed of
  • threw/through
    • Those eight-day-old collard greens I ate couldn't pass through my stomach; I threw up shortly thereafter.
    • There's an old U2 song (from their second album, October) called "I Threw a Brick Through a Window".
  • thrown/throne
    • The king's throne had grown too uncomfortable, so he ordered it thrown out the window.
  • tic/tick
    • He developed a nervous tic after being bitten by a tick.
  • tiers/tears
    • He fell into the wedding cake, and its tiers lay in ruins; the bride burst into tears.
  • tired/tiered
    • If you say you "feel tiered", you're telling us that you feel like you're built in multiple layers.
  • to/two/too/2
    • I have to admit, I've made a simple mistake or two, but I try not to get too upset about it.
    • Example 2: Because he ran too slowly to keep up with his friends, Lyle fell to the two chainsaw-wielding maniacs who were somehow familiar to him.
  • tocsin/toxin
    • "Tocsin" is an uncommonly-used word for an alarm bell. "Toxin" is poison.
    • A carbon monoxide detector works by ringing a tocsin if it detects an airborne toxin.
  • tortuous/tortious/torturous
    • The problem in the law student's homework was so tortuous that he found resolving it quite torturous and fantasized about committing tortious acts on his professor's car.
      "Tortious" means an act constituting a tort.
      "Tortuous" means something that is convoluted, like a maze.
      "Torturous" means something extremely painful, akin to torture.
      "Tortoise" means a land-dwelling reptile with a shell.
    • "Tortuous", "tortious," and "torturous" do have a common root (a "tort" in Old French and Middle English was something painful; today it's a legal term meaning "civil wrong causing unfair injury to someone's personal or property rights").
  • tort/torte/tart
    • A "tort" is an act causing injury to another, for which the actor must compensate the person injured. A "torte" is a kind of rich, multilayered cake, often flourless. A "tart" is either a kind of filled open pastry, a sour flavor, or a whore.
    • When David ate Chef Paul's entire chocolate torte and seven of his miniature strawberry tarts without paying for them, David committed the tort of conversion, and now Paul may sue David for the value of the sweets.
  • troop/troupe
    • The theater troupe stopped dead in its tracks when a battalion of 400 troops marched into the audience.
  • Turret/Tourette/Turrent
    • The soldier manning the turret had a bad case of Tourette syndrome, causing him to swear every time he fired a shell.
    • Turrent isn't even a real word. However, a lot of people still say it (when they mean "turret"), especially in the gaming community.
  • veil/vale
    • A veil being a piece of cloth worn across or over the face, and a vale being a wide river valley.
    • There is some confusion as to whether the phrase is "passed beyond the vale," in the sense of the world as a kind of valley between heaven and hell, or "passed beyond the veil," in the sense that the afterlife is veiled from mortal sight.
    • "Vale of tears" refers to the tribulations of mortal life, as a valley between the netherworld before you were born and the afterlife to which you'll go when you die.
    • Not to be confused with veal or vial...
  • vein/vain/vane
    • The weather vane crashed down, slicing open the vein in his neck. The nurse tried to stop the bleeding, but in vain.
  • verses/versusƒ
    • This song has three verses and a chorus. Manchester United versus Liverpool was a draw. And heaven forbid conjugating "versus", which is popular in some slang. You did not "verse" your friend in that game you played last night, unless the game involved writing poetry.
  • very/vary
    • Your mileage may vary, very much.
  • vial/vile
    • The vial contained a vile smelling potion.
  • vice/vise
    • One of his biggest vices was grabbing people with a vise-like grip when he was scared.
    • In British English, "vice" is used in both senses.
  • viscous/vicious
    • The sticky, viscous liquid dripped down his back. The vicious thought came into his head "I'll gut those treacle bandits if I ever catch them!"
  • voila/viola/walla/wallah
    • "Voila!" she said, as she finished playing Brahms' Viola Sonata in F minor.
      • Note: In French, "voilà" means "see here" while "viola" means "raped" (as in, "violated").
    • "Walla" and "wallah" are mispronunciations of "voila"; Walla Walla is a town in Washington state (and also the penitentiary), and "wallah" has limited use in British English as a loan word from Hindi roughly meaning "servant" (in Slumdog Millionaire, Jamal is a "chai wallah" or tea server).
  • wack/whack
    • Something that is screwy or crazy is wacky, not "whacky."
    • I caught my brother whacking off, and said, "Dude, dat is wack!"
  • want/wont/won't
    • Surely, you'll want to do what you're wont to do, won't you?
  • wanton/wonton
    • His wanton lust for Asian women led him to hang out at the fried wonton restaurant.
  • wary/weary
    • "Please be wary of this error. I'm so weary of it I need a nap."
  • waste/waist
    • He emerged from the bathroom, with his waist wrapped in a towel, and dropped the tissue in the waste basket.
  • whale/wail
    • I couldn't stand his wailing, so to shut him up I started whaling on him.
  • where/were/wear/we're
    • Where are you going? Were you invited somewhere? Is that what you plan to wear?" "Relax, mom, we're just going out for pizza. I promise there won't be any werewolves there.
  • whet/wet
    • The sound of him whetting his sword whetted her curiosity. The bathroom is wet.
    • You might wet your lips when an aroma whets your appetite.
    • Whet means sharpen, wet means moisten. So you might wet your whetstone before whetting your sword.
    • Also, if you saw a wet owl in the rain, that's no guarantee it was a saw whet owl.
  • whether/weather
    • Whether or not the weather is sunny, I'll go out and weather whatever the world throws at me.
  • which/witch
    • "Hey, which version of the story is the one where the witch dies?"
    • "Now tell me sir, which witch is which?"
    • Because she lived in a hovel on the beach and rarely emerged, the townsfolk called her the Sand Witch. Once, when she ran low on food, she tried to make a sandwich out of the sand which was there.
  • whither/wither
    • "Whither" is archaic English for "to where". (Much as "whence" is archaic English for "from where.")
    • "Wither" is what a plant does when you forget to water it.
  • whole/hole
    • A single hole in a spacecraft's hull can kill the whole crew.
  • wholly/holey/holy
  • whose/who's
    • Whose fan fic is this? Who's responsible for this crime against the English language?
  • wine/whine
    • He sipped at his wine whilst he listened to his companion whine at him.
    • For added fun, the British spelling of the latter has an extra g in it (whinge).
  • wreak/wreck/reck/reek
    • The sweaty villain, who reeked because he hadn't had a shower in days, decided to wreak havoc on the city by wrecking its skyscrapers in a reckless manner.
  • yea/yeah
    • Yea, and The Lord did descend from the mount to cast His vote, 'Yea' or 'Nay', while the teenager watched and said, "Yeah, whatever."
  • yolk/yoke
    • Humpty Dumpty threw off the yoke of British imperialism when he fell off the wall and his yolk splattered all over the pavement. That'll show 'em.
  • your/you're
    • Your writing is filled with too many annoying errors. You're getting sloppy!
    • Not to be confused with "yore", which are the days of long ago, or "yaw", which is what an aircraft does when it rotates around its vertical axis.

"Rouge" is the French word for "Red". In English, it designates a reddish (or pinkish) cosmetic used to make one's cheeks redder.
"Rogue" means a stealthy/deceitful or renegade person. Which is why it's the name for the basic thief class in Dungeons & Dragons.
...or however you pronounce it
  • French "Rouge Rebelle" nail varnish sold in the US as "Rogue Red". You can hardly blame those Merkins who think "Rebelle" is French for "Red". It's not 
  • "Rouge boomers" are epidemic in Bubblegum Crisis fan fiction. They're supposed to rampage, not apply makeup.
  • The City of Heroes Going Rogue expansion included an exploration badge titled "Going Rouge", located by the Praetorian tailor and talking about her use of cosmetics.
  • Diablo fanfiction often focuses on the mysterious order known as the Rouge Archers.
  • The computer game DragonFable had so many fan misspellings of their sneaky class that they eventually began in-game references to a character called The Moglin Rouge. Considering the fun its creators have with mind-scarringly bad jokes, this was kind of inevitable.
    • The MMORPG version, Adventurequest Worlds, added a "Rouge Armor" during their Valentine's Day special event. The extremely pink item description reads "'Rouge' Definition: any of various red cosmetics for coloring the cheeks or lips."
  • Spoofed in Dungeons of Sunnydale when in the hero is given the class "Rouge" instead of "Rogue". This gives him special abilities when interacting with anything that is the color red.
  • Likewise, fans of Exterminatus Now have so frequently misspelled Rogue's name as "Rouge" that it's lampshaded on the webcomic's cast page.
  • A certain faction in Freelancer is entitled the Liberty Rogues. Naturally, some Freelancer forums can't help but discuss the "Liberty Rouges".
  • Goat Simulator, being the embodiment of Stylistic Suck, has a "Rouge" class. It makes a similar joke to Ragnarok Online, calling the class "the stealthiest makeup artist in the world".
  • The old CCG Guardians featured a "rouge specter". It was not red.
  • The "Rogue" deck in anime_lj_tcg, for Haseo from .hack//Roots and .hack//G.U., is also misspelled as "Rouge". The admin in charge of making cards has said that it's too much work to redo a deck, so everyone has basically accepted it.
  • Fans of Homestuck tend to get this wrong as Nepeta, Roxy and Rufioh are the mythological Rogues of Heart, Void and Breath respectively.
    • In addition, Theif/Thief is also common.
  • Note: The Khmer Rouge rebels actually are spelled like that. It means "Red Khmer".
  • Haschel from The Legend of Dragoon is a master of the Rouge School of Martial Arts (not a mistake, despite the game's dodgy translation; he comes from the village of Rouge). Naturally, it gets written as the Rogue School on occasion.
  • In the Mobile Phone Game Magic Evolution, one can encounter a "Rougue".
  • In any MMORPG that calls their stealthy close-combat class "rogues", expect to see a lot of people looking for a "rouge" for their group.
    • Ragnarok Online seems to be taking this a step further with their new advanced Rogue class. It's best described as a combat makeup artist.
    • Dungeons & Dragons Online has an NPC quest-giver named Rouge. Some of her compatriots also have color-themed names, but to be honest, she's probably a Rogue.
  • Watch out when discussing that turn-of-the-century French nightclub, which was called "The Red Windmill" because it was, well, a red windmill (a Moulin Rouge!). A moulin rogue is something Don Quixote would have dealt with.
  • One dealership's ad for a Nissan Rogue described it as a Nissan "Rouge".
  • In The Noob, Clichequest features guild facilities for Rogues (and Rouges).
  • This story from Not Always Right.
  • In The Order of the Stick prequel On the Origin of PCs, Haley Starshine's CV (actually, her character sheet) has her class as "rouge", which Deadpan Snarker Roy points out. She's no cosmetic product, after all.
  • In Heroes of the Storm, poking Valeera, a rogue dressed in red, enough will have her snark "Don't worry, I'm both rouge and a rogue. So no matter how poorly you spell, you're still covered."
  • Sarah Palin chose the title "Going rogue" for her book. Some detractors released an Anti-Palin book called Going Rouge. Yes, that has about as much to do as red as "alot" has to do with being a real word. The book also has just about the same exact cover.
  • In Queen of Butts by Lunareth (a Western Hentai Manga), a thief caught snooping in the queen's palace is forced to become a harem slave girl and is renamed "Rouge" by the harem trainer (as part of a Theme Naming of giving names based on French colors). She even comments on the pun.
  • Similarly, there was a character from late in the Ranma ½ manga named "Rouge"; it was perhaps both karma and inevitable that some Fan Fic writers would start calling her "Rogue".
  • The Seiken Densetsu 3 board on GameFAQs was subject to this a lot a while ago. The character class of Rogue is too often misspelled as Rouge. Eventually it became a running gag to completely ignore the misspelling and assume that anyone asking about the Rouge job was referring to the super secret, all-powerful (and non-existent) job of another character completely.
  • In Skies of Arcadia, Vyse and company are part of a "good" faction of Skyrates called the Blue Rogues. Or Blue Rouges. Which you might say makes them The Purples.
  • Sluggy Freelance teaches the difference. Because knowing is half the battle.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • The back cover of the Star Trek: The Next Generation novel Blaze of Glory refers to a "rouge starship".
  • Star Wars:
    • Even some published Star Wars Legends novels refer to "Rouge Squadron". Kinda funny if you consider that Rogue Squadron is partly made up of the survivors of Red Squadron from the first Death Star. This reaches truly epidemic levels whenever a new game in the Rogue Squadron series comes out, as mocked in this article.
    • On the 7th of April 2016, the first trailer for Rogue One dropped. Naturally #RogueOne started trending on did "Rouge One".Rouge One became a meme, with people photoshopping the film's posters to put all of the cast in makeup.
  • A new highway sign for southern Oregon's Valley of the Rogue State Park was misspelled, and until the sign was replaced, the park announced itself to visitors going south on I-5 as the "Valley of the Rouge State Park".
  • In Warrior Cats, rogues are cats who don't live in the Clans or with humans. Fans frequently spell the word wrong.
  • The Other Wiki has its own cabal of rouge administrators.
    • Omega Labyrinth Life makes this distinction. The 'Rogue' and 'Rouge' armor sets are very different.
  • Rouge was never a member of the X-Men, but she did become an administrator on The Other Wiki.
    • And Madame Rouge is a member of the Brotherhood of Evil, enemies of the Doom Patrol.
    • Ironically, there are a bunch of fanfics dealing with this issue, in which Rogue finds some of those online errors. Most of them are actually pretty funny.
      • Some fans also like to joke that on the X-Men Rouge and Magento make such a great couple.
    • Lampshaded in an issue of Ultimate X-Men where Kitty confronts (soon-to-be-ex-) boyfriend Bobby with a love letter he's written to "Rouge".
      • Also intended to be lampshaded in one of Kyle Baker's Marvel published X-Men parodies... but the editor was so used to the writers misspelling her name accidentally, he "fixed" the "mistake", and Rouge was called Rogue in the story as published.
    • Originated by a rant from multiply-banned user Irate about ROUGE ADNIM VANDLES. Irate is not so much for going back and fixing typos before hitting "submit".
    • In MAD, Rouge was one of the Ecch-Men, by the rule of Parody Names.
    • One of the Futurama comics (which happens to be an X-Men parody) takes advantage of this by giving Amy (an equal combination of a Cute Clumsy Girl and The Ditz with elements of the Alpha Bitch) the superhero codename "Rouge";
      Prof. F: Her power is to suck the life out of you. I wanted to call her "Wife Woman" but eventually we stuck with "Rouge" because of her floozy-like appearance.
  • One edition of L. Sprague de Camp's fantasy novel Rogue Queen had Rouge Queen on its spine, as well as misspelling the author's name as "Spraque".

    Angel/Angle & Satan/Satin 
  • "Angle" and "Satin" for "Angel" and "Satan" are infamously common, cheerily deconstructed in this fanficrants post. Apparently the mistake made it into a homemade tattoo. Dumbass.
  • You'd be surprised how many people are convinced that Final Fantasy VII's Sephiroth was a One-Winged Angle, and that the Evangelion pilots fight geometry (although there was that one Angel...).
  • You'd be surprised how many variations of that name exist. Sometimes done on purpose to circumvent the "each name can only be used once" rule on forums and online games. Hence, Legolaz, Legollas, Llegolasz, ad absurdum.
  • There was a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fanfiction story based on the episode "Sacrifice of Angels", where at the end Dukat cradles the body of his murdered daughter. Only the writer called the episode "Sacrifice of Angles". It was hard not to imagine Dukat tenderly holding an enormous protractor.
  • "Satan" for "Santa". Of course, this is a little girl. Author Robert Rankin plays with this in Raiders of the Lost Car Park, mentioning an urban legend about a dyslexic who sold his soul to Santa. Of course, this being Rankin, it turns out the dyslexic may not have made a mistake after all...
  • Love Hina once had a series of banners with Santa Claus's face above the word "SATAN".
    • This is more a case of Bland-Name Product than anything. The chain being referenced is a Tokyo-based department store named Isetan.
  • There was an article in the Boston University student paper entitled "Despite evidence to the contrary, many students still believe in angles". (This is the same paper which headlined its biggest issue of 2000 "BU INS SIXTH STRAIGHT POT".)
  • This was made as a pun in Latin, by either by Pope Gregory I, or by Bede. "Non Angli sed Angeli, si forent Christiani."
    • Those Angles being a tribe inhabiting England (Angle-land...) at the time. Non Angli, sed Angeli, if memory serves.
    • Parodied and made a joke on another level when, in 1066 And All That, this was translated as "Not Angels, but ANGLICANS."
    • Also parodied in the French series Kaamelott, set in pseudo-Arthurian Britannia: "And those Angles, they aren't the angles of the map..."
  • Satan in Puyo Puyo is subject to this for a joke in two instances.
    • In Puyo Puyo CD, Arle calls him "Santa", to which Satan angrily refutes. This eventually gets called back in Tsu, where he invokes the misname by dressing up as Santa and denies his identity as Satan.
    • The Fan Translation of the DS version of Puyo Puyo 15th Anniversary has Yu intentionally call Satan "Satin", among other wrong names.
  • "Begone, dark angles!" "We will deal with their kind hardly!" — Menalaus (Pox Nora)
  • WWE's Chris Jericho purposely reversed this one, referring to frequent rival Kurt Angle as "Kirk Angel".
  • But not even Satin could stop Christian Humber.
  • Steve Phillips says the death of a player during the season can derail a locker room and explains how the Angles will try to pull things together.
  • In Epic Cards Battle, the introduction states:
    In one world that is called Amleitan
    Angles and Devils fight against due to the nature of the drive
    The war has lasted for tens of millions years
    Facing the invasion of numerous demons from the darkness
    The angles which are few in number has formed
    alliance with humans in different kingdoms across the continent
    To guide and provide protection
    And defend Hell Legion together
  • In the tutorial of Epic Cards Battle 2 Yumi describes the Shrine Alliance as "Alliance formed of angles from heaven, human and dwarf forces. Believed in the power of Shrine, the human have built many great cities, prospect under the guard of angles. The brave human and dwarfs protect their homeland together."
  • Intentionally done in Stay Tuned. Roy is tied up in an underworld version of Wayne's World, and is given a rebus puzzle of an eyeball, a ship with guns, and a fabric. "Eye... Warship... Satin?"
  • Although not technically this, there is the funny supposed origin of the name for the English horn (a member of the oboe family). As the story goes, the French first named the horn "Angled Horn," because of its bent shape. It just so happens that Cor Anglé (angled horn) and Cor Anglais (English Horn) sound exactly the same. Ironically, the modern version of what we call the English horn is neither English nor angled.
  • Often seen by the less literate fans of Joss Whedon, particularly Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • In How to Kill Your Husband (and Other Handy Household Hints), the narrator, a teacher, spends part of her stakeout correcting homework. While correcting geometry, she reads out from a kid's homework, "Angles have wings and come from God," and remarks, "These kids need help!"
  • In The Simpsons, Bart enrolls his dog, Santa's Little Helper, in dog training classes but misspells the dog's name on the entry form, the trainer dryly noting the dog's name is "Satan's Little Helper".
  • There are actually some entertaining macros in fashion/clothing/cosplay communities that read "get thee behind me, Satin!" a reference to the fact that satin is notoriously hard to work with.note 
  • Happens in Hot Fuzz, when the local paper runs an article on Nicolas Angel, journalist Tim Messenger spells it as "Angle", to the amusement of his coworkers. The NWA punishes him for it in a way that would satisfy even the most literal Grammar Nazi.
  • Used in Adventure Land. While relaxing after work, James points out someone tried writing "Satan Lives" on a wall... only they misspelled it as "Satin Lives".
    Em: One of those textile-worshipping cults, no doubt.
  • In the first episode of Telltale's Sam & Max Season two, a demon gets shipped to Santa at the North Pole instead of Satan in Hell. This is an in-universe case, because when the demon finally gets headed off to where it's supposed to go, it's explicitly identified as a clerical error from the dispatch; a typo was made on the name, and then the address was filled in based on the typo.
  • Anti-decorating?
  • The Stephen King short story "The Library Policeman" makes reference to an "Angle Street". The street was named Angel Street by the patrons of a homeless shelter situated on it who were also responsible for painting the sign.
  • Obama is Satin!!!
  • Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff says "angel" instead of "angle" here.
  • It popped up as graffiti on a historical church.
  • John Waters was initially upset that someone had written "SATAN" in lipstick on Divine's tombstone, until best friend Pat Moran explained to him that the fan who wrote that obviously meant "SATIN".
  • From the Renaissance Faire troupe "Hey Nunnie Nunnie": Did you hear the story about the dyslexic devil worshipers? They sold their souls to Santa.

    Other mistakes 
  • It is incredibly common for Western fans of Eastern works to write novel-length fics like this in English, including the Gratuitous Japanese they splice in their works at random, which may also be machine translated or wrong to the point of nonsensical, and then get angry when real Japanese-English bilingual Asians point out their mistakes.
  • “Ascetic” means living an austere or plain and simple life for moral reasons. A lot of monks are ascetic. “Aesthetic” means “concerned with what makes something beautiful (or not)”. Art critics deal in aesthetic judgments. They’re not homonyms, but they’re evidently close enough to confuse some people. Bonus points for confusing either of them with “atheistic” (“not believing in God”).
  • Curaçao is an island at Caribbean, and is pronounched rougly "koor-a-sow" (the cedilha, ç, is pronounced as 's', not as 'k'). "Curacoa" sounds as if you were attempting to cure a koa.
  • Another favorite is "destoryed" (or "destoried") instead of "destroyed". Now that's a Freudian Slip.
  • "definitely" spelled "definately" or "definatly", seems to occur often on the Internet. Now shove this through an autocorrector and it comes out as "defiantly". Like "I will defiantly be coming to the party tonight!" So amusing...
  • "Duct/Duck tape" The stuff in general is "duct tape". "Duck Tape" is a trademark for a particular brand of the stuff. The term "duct tape" was already in use in writing before World War II, and predates any record of the "duck" version. The Other Wiki discusses this extensively. The website of the trademark holder on Duck Brand Tape, ShurTech, even states that "duct tape was invented during WWII." It turns out that the one thing Duc[k/t] Tape is no good for is... sealing HVAC ducts.
  • There is an island named "Guadeloupe" in the Caribbean, while "Guadalupe" is in the Pacific.
  • A speaker or writer implies his meaning without outright saying it. His audience infers what he meant. It's surprising how many people are aware of the two words but manage to confuse them.
  • There's a reason this article on "Cannon" exists in the Transformers Wiki, and it involves this trope...
    • In fact, it's much the same reason that on this wiki, we have Pavel Chekov's Gun.
    • The Spider-Man (1981) cartoon has an interesting case of this in "Can(n)on of Doom", an episode which features both Doctor Doom using a laser cannon for nefarious purposes and a look into Doom's Back Story. Granting a bit of a stretch on the meaning of the word "canon", there may be some legitimate confusion there (any references to a "laser canon", though, are right out).
    • Funimation gave Dragon Ball episode 100 the title "The Spirit Canon".
    • Incredibly, QI, of all things, made a similar mistake, misspelling "Cannonball" as "Canonball". Alan was quick to point this out: "they spelt it wrong, they spelt it wrong, points to me! That's some sort of ecclesiastical ball..."
    • This is canon.
    • So is this.
    • Tsukihime sees your canon and raises you a cannon of canon. That is a cannon which literally wipes from existence those things which aren't in the Church's canon.
  • Viola is an instrument in an orchestra. Voilà (or voila) means "ta-da, presto, behold!," etc.
    • It pretty much means "see here" but in other languages than French, is often used with a bit of dramatic flair.
  • It's amazing how much a sentence can change when you forget the L in Clock...
    • Especially in the threat "I'm gonna clean your clock."
    • Somebody on a forum once made a comment in the forum's IRC channel: "xxxx has an alarm cock" (name removed to protect the guilty); Hilarity ensued. They're more common than you might think; after all, they do tend to crow at dawn.
  • This mistake unsurprisingly shows up in Light and Dark The Adventures of Dark Yagami, as Dark grabs the cock from the bedside table.
  • The word "climatic" is only likely to be relevant when you're talking about the weather. "Anticlimatic"... is never applicable, period. The word you're probably looking for is "climactic".
    • Or, as God said in Joan of Arcadia, "It's anticlimactic. Anticlimatic means you're against the weather."
    • Somewhat lampshaded in an old Dilbert strip, in which a non-functioning of a terrarium is correctly referred to as "Anti-climatic" as the gag.
  • Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures has an annoying, near-systematic tendency to replace the contraction word "have" with "of" after an auxiliary.
    • They should of known better.
    • When used in dialogue it can be justified as a Funetik Aksent to depict the speaker as uneducated.
    • This is a depressingly common mistake; it comes from mistaking "would've" for a phrase instead of a contraction. It is, however, an uncommonly rewarding mistake to correct. Many younger writers really have no idea they're doing it wrong and will amend their behavior.
    • This Is Unforgivable! when a professional publication suffers from this mistake every single time the opportunity arises. It should be dead-simple for an editor to flag every instance of "ould of" for manual review.
    • Interestingly, a commonly used language assessment tool indicates that "would of" is a regional variant of British English and should be marked as correct.
  • There was a story where the author obviously intended to call the tight group of nerdy outcast high school students a clique. Instead, he called them a cliché. Which is true, but...
    • Similarly, "clique" is very often misspelled as "click", but that doesn't conjure up any funny images so it mostly goes forgotten.
  • "It's a mute point anyways" on a message board... Goshdang It To Heck, it's a MOOT point.
  • Look up the phrase "a pedal stool" (in quotes) on Google and see how many of the results are about glorifying someone by metaphorically placing them on a pedal stool, as opposed to a pedestal. "A peddle stool" and even "a petal stool" are about as common.
  • Another interesting Freudian Slip is to misspell "martial arts" as "marital arts".
  • Otacon is the Metal Gear character, Otakon is the anime convention. Either way, it still stands for "otaku convention" (and the former got his moniker from the latter, anyway).
  • An Atlas is a book of maps, named for a character from Classical Mythology. Atlus is a game developer best known for the Shin Megami Tensei series.
  • Any common phrase more obviously derived/lifted from other languages gets this treatment, especially when it's spoken more often than written. "Per se" is often spelled "per say" for this reason.
  • Sorted/sordid. Ex.: "THE ACLU HAS A SORTED PAST READ SOME SHAMELESS FACTS". It really gives the message that extra weight of Trufax. This is especially funny Oop North, where this translates as "The ACLU has a really good past".
  • A correspondent in a UK newspaper wrote that a friend emailed him "They've caught the Washington Snipper!" A rogue rouge stylist?
  • hung/hanged. The latter is used for death by hanging, the former for everything else. However, contrary to what some Grammar Nazis may tell you (are you reading this, Mr. Holmes?), using "hung" for death by hanging is not wrong. Only using "hanged" in other instances is wrong.
  • Bollocks/bullocks. "Bollocks" are British English slang for testicles. "Bullocks" are bulls with their bollocks cut off.
    • Playing pinball will get you another source of confusion: "Ball locks" are when the machine stores pinballs somewhere so the player can use them later, or the location in which they're stored. Go to an event, and you could hear someone complain, "Those tournament players broke my ball locks!" without a hint of any intended Double Entendre.
  • The last book of the Bible is Revelation. Not "Revelations". Odd how the latter usage seems to be more common than the correct one, in a society crammed with literalists who battle over the most trivial Scriptural disagreements.
  • Harry Potter fanfiction: parcelmouths/parselmouths. Harry and Voldemort are parselmouths, i.e. can speak snake-language. Neither of them has a parcel in his mouth.
    • Another Harry Potter one: Horcruxes, not "Horcri". (If "Horcrux" had a Latin plural, it would most likely be "Horcruces".) The Latin plural -i is only ever the plural of nouns ending in -us. And two other mistakes relating to the Latin -i plural: it's only ONE i (unless the singular has one already, as with radius/radii) and it doesn't apply to all nouns ending in -us. Octopi, for example, is wrongnote , as is virinote .).
  • Tounge used for tongue.
  • Prolouge for prologue.
  • Pop'n comes before the word Music. Popin' comes before the word Cookin'.
  • "This story is comprised of thirteen volumes" or "Thirteen volumes comprise this story," instead of the correct "This story comprises thirteen volumes." After all, the meaning is unambiguous, however it's worded. This error is probably Older Than Radio. Every issue of the Christian Science Quarterly since the late 19th Century has the phrase, "The following citations comprise our sermon."
    • 52 playing cards compose a standard deck.
    • A standard deck is composed of 52 playing cards.
    • A standard deck comprises 52 playing cards.
    • "Is comprised of" is currently wrong, but as this usage is already fairly common, don't expect it to stay that way.
  • It's spelled "ridiculous". Think of "ridicule". It often gets butchered; usually, it's something like "rediculus". And that's just ridiculous.
  • Gig/jig ("In his first gig, he would just dance one jig after another") and giggle/jiggle ("It's like that show when the girls giggle every time their boobs jiggle"). You wouldn't believe how people keep getting these wrong, even though the words that begin with G have the sound of a hard G and the ones with J don't.
  • For the love of God: "woah" is not a word. The word you're looking for is "whoa".
  • Regime/regimen. One letter off, a world of difference. A "Regime" is a ruler's reign, i.e. — the regime of King Henry VIII. A "Regimen" is an action plan, i.e. - Gai gave Naruto a new workout regimen to get him into better shape.
    • Romance languages tend to use the same word for both, so from a native speaker of, say, Spanish or French it's an understandable mistake. That's no excuse for the rest of you, though — and besides, you don't want any confusion over whether you're talking about your new diet or your plans for a dictatorial takeover.
    • And a "Regiment" is a large group of soldiers commanded by a Colonel.
  • There have been way too many characters feeling "exited." The word you are looking for is "excited."
  • Unique. Means there's only one. Something can be truly unique, really unique, nearly unique, nigh-unto unique, but it can never be very or quitenote  unique.
  • The other popular U-word, "ultimate," simply means "final." It does not mean "best" or "most awesome." (And calling something "final" means that it is the last one. So if you call your game Final Fantasy and then follow it up with 34 sequels, you're doing it wrong.)
  • doomed/domed - When a thing is doomed, it is headed for destruction. When it is domed, it is covered by a dome. One Star Trek Universe novel (Quarantine) does this on the cover.
  • Preform/perform
  • Prostate/prostrate - Probably not seen as much, but you would think the meaning of the sentence might change if one was mistaken for the other.
  • From a scholar of Pokémon's "Incomplete Shipping List": "[D]ouble-check your spelling of the name if you aren't quite sure. Damian versus Damien or Shauna versus Shawna (alternate spellings, same person), or Pheobe versus Phoebe (common mispellings). ... And Brendan? Brendan =/= Brandon. The former is the RuSa hero, the latter is a Frontier Brain, not a typo." (Tropes added for reference.)
  • "Quite" is a real problem internationally, because its meaning is different in British English than it is in American English. If you say "His mind is quite gone" to an American, you mean that his mind is entirely gone. If you say "His mind is quite gone" to a Brit, you mean that his mind is almost, but not entirely, gone. The British "quite" means the same as the American "not quite"!
    • Quite down; it's not impertinent enough to argue about.
    • Quiet down.
  • Calvary/Cavalry. "Calvary" is a location. "Cavalry" is a military force (originally the group on horseback). One cannot call in the "Calvary". The words are not synonymous. But you can call in the Calvary. It just takes some work getting it into position to do so.
  • Cheque: it's almost always spelled as "check" in the USA, which might confuse people from other countries. Especially if they're Czech.
  • If you worked something out, you did not "deduct" it. You "deduced" it. Yes, what you worked out is called a "deduction", but if you "deduct" something you're reducing it (e.g. you "deduct" charitable contributions from your taxes).
  • And while we're on the subject of taxes: if you paid too much tax in the U.S. and get some money back from the government, that is your tax refund. Your tax return is the form you fill out when you file your taxes. The two terms are not interchangeable.
  • Emperor/emporer. Emperor is a royal rank higher than that of a king, and the person with that rank rules over an empire. An emporer would probably be someone who runs a emporium, i.e. a vendor/merchant/shopkeeper.
  • Mythologically speaking: Cerberus is the multi-headed dog who guards the gates of Hades. Cerebus is a philosophical aardvark. Incidentally, the phenomenon for Tone Shift from Comedy to Drama is named after the latter, which is somewhat fortunatenote , because such a shift is not inherently synonymous with a shift to Darker and Edgier which is where the former would come in.
  • It's common to see "a thousand", "one thousand" or "1000" written as "a 1000", which technically translates to "a one thousand".
  • "Get a brain Morans."
  • The word for someone living in a foreign country on a more-or-less permanent basis is an "expatriate", not an "ex-patriot". "Expatriate" comes from the prefix "ex-" to mean "outside of" rather than former, and while "patriot" and "-patriate" come from the same root (patria, Latin for "homeland"), they came by different routes. An expatriate may be perfectly patriotic; he/she is simply living abroad right then.
  • Similar to the "principal-principle" example mentioned above, it's not uncommon to see words ending with "-al" end with "-le" instead. For example, "sandal" might become "sandle".
  • Customer/Costumer. A customer is someone who purchases goods or services. A costumer is someone who makes, sells, or rents costumes (or an episode of a show where the plot can be considered an excuse to put the cast in period costumes). "The costumer took great pride in supplying quality costumes to his customers".
  • Michael/Micheal: In almost all cases, the first is meant. The "a" comes before the "e" because the "e" is part of the name of God. The breakdown from the original Hebrew is that the name is a question: Mi (meaning "who") cha ("is like") El ("God")?note  This is pronounced as its three single-syllable words. Remember that the name has three syllables and put it in a pattern with "Nathaniel" ("Gift of God"), "Gabriel" ("Master who is of God"), "Israel" ("Strength with God"), "Immanuel" ("God is with us"), "Samuel" ("God has heard") and you get the picture (and the spelling).
    • Surprisingly, however, "Micheal" is Irish (and in English for people with Irish names). Technically, it's only right only if you put an accent on the "a"—i.e. Micheál, pronounced (roughly) "Mi-khawl"—but in many contexts the accent can be dropped. The most prominent example is probably Micheál Martin, who is currently leader of Fianna Fáil and Leader of the Opposition.
  • It's caricature, not "charicature." Despite the fact that it involves creating a character out of someone, the word's origins have nothing to do with character. It comes from the Italian caricatura, which means the act of loading.
  • Both Richard Dawkins and Brian Cox (among other science writers) have remarked on how their computer spell-checkers keep turning "Large Hadron Collider" into "Large Hardon Colluder".
  • Just because you're emaciated doesn't mean you're emancipated, or vice versa.
  • The iPhone has a habit of autocorrecting words to "ducking" when people meant to put an "f" in there.
  • A prima donna (literally "first lady") is someone with a grossly inflated sense of self-worth. A "pre-Madonna" would be someone who precedes Madonna.
  • The writing of "would/should/could of" instead of the correct "would/should/could have".
    • This issue derives from pronunciation in parts of the US (and possibly other places), where the contraction "would've" sounds exactly like "would of" and people may have just been writing down what they heard.
  • Word order is important; "just not X" means "everything but X", "not just X" means "X, but plenty of other things as well".
  • Norman Osborn, a.k.a. the Green Goblin, usually gets his last name misspelled. No, he is not related to Ozzy Osbourne. His 1602 counterpart is called "Osborne", with an E, but no U.
  • Fuchsia/fuschia is also common.
  • Though they are mildly sweet, the red fish-shaped wine gums are called Swedish Fish, not "Sweetish Fish".
  • Back-pedaled/back-peddled. You're trying to recover from making an ill-received statement, not conducting shady business transactions.
  • European/Europan. "European" refers to someone or something from Europe, which is next to Asia. "Europan" refers to someone or something from Europa, which is in orbit around Jupiter (or, less commonly used, within the Asteroid Belt). "The astronauts shared some European wine in celebration of safely landing on the Europan plains."
  • Continuous/Continual. This one is a bit complicated. Both words can mean something that occurs constantly, without interruption, but "continuous" is the preferred word in the English language for that. By contrast, only "continual" can mean something that occurs frequently or at regular intervals but seemingly without end, and only "continuous" can apply to unceasing occurrences in space as well as time. "The road signs we continually see along the highway speak of the scenic desert that continuously surrounds us."
  • Anthropogenic means "caused or influenced by humans". Anthropomorphic describes a non-human entity that displays human qualities. The 23,000 Google hits for "anthropomorphic climate change" presumably are people who meant to say "anthropogenic climate change", though the idea of climate change that can walk, talk and express emotions is intriguing.
  • There is no N in "dilemma". It's a direct loan word from Greek (δί...di—"two", λημμα...lemma—"proposition"), yet it often gets spelled as "dilemna", probably because people mistakenly put it in the same class as other words with the "-mn-" construct where the N is silent ("column", "autumn"). It's been happening for a while, too. Daniel Defoe used "dilemna" in Robinson Crusoe.
  • Reddit's r/etymology subreddit (a forum for discussing the origins of specific words) regularly sees users who mix up etymology with entomology (the study of insects), thus every few months comes a user posting a question about insects on the etymology subreddit. xkcd has a whole comic strip about this kind of incident.
  • Wrath/wraith. "Wrath" is anger, fury; "wraith" is a word of Scottish origin for ghost. In other words, you wouldn't want to incur the wrath of a vengeful wraith.
  • No matter how long running a company's name is or how many times we've seen their vanity plate shown on TV, there are people who are set in their ways on how they spell it and woe be to anyone who corrects them. Among glaring examples are Fremantle (which gets misspelled as "Freemantle"), Hanna-Barbera (as "Hannah-Barbara", and some even omit the dash), Warner Bros.' Looney Tunes (as "Looney Toons" which the misspellers justify as it's a car-TOON, not researching that it's a play on Disney's Silly Symphonies series), and even The Beatles, (whose name gets called "Beetles," although detractors of the band often wore buttons saying "Help Stamp Out Beetles").
  • Exacerbate vs exasperate. Too often, one sees the latter used where the former is clearly intended. In fairness, for several hundred years, exasperate did also carry the meaning of "to make worse," but that is not the current meaning, and one does not generally get the impression that this is a fact that is known by most people making this mistake.
  • The post-Crisis Superboy's civilian name is Conner Kent, yet it's common to see him misnamed as "Connor", which is a legitimate name, but more common in Scotland and Ireland.
  • The reverse of the above often happens for the Terminator franchise with the Connor family (Sarah and John), with them being called "Conner" on a regular basis.
  • Poor Denis Villeneuve often has his name botched to "Villenueve" or "Villanueve" in English-speaking countries, leading some to think he's Latino or Spanish. The man is a Canadian from French-speaking Québec, his name appears to be this hard to grasp for anglophones.
  • Since they're Flyover Country states with similar sounding names, Idaho and Iowa get mixed up frequently, even though they're very distinct geographically and culturally (Idaho is a mountainous Western state with a sizable Mormon population, Iowa is a flat Midwestern state where Catholics, Lutherans and Methodists dominate).
  • Mixing up Budapest (capital of Hungary) and Bucharest (capital of Romania) often does not end well. There was once a Romanian-led campaign against this confusion.
    • A group of 400 Athletic Bilbao fans was reported to have accidentally flown to Budapest instead of Bucharest, the latter of which where Athletic Bilbao was squaring off in the finals against Atlético Madrid.
    • A Jersey politician accidentally flew to Budapest instead of Bucharest; Bucharest had hosted 2015 Dance World Cup, and he had been trying to fly to Bucharest as part of preparations to set up the next Cup in Jersey.
  • Common on this very wiki, if you were to wreck havoc you would be destroying or ruining havoc. The correct phrase is to wreak havoc, meaning to cause or inflict havoc on another.
  • Pre-X/post-X is a *pre*positional adjective. It's post-Brexit difficulties, not difficulties post-Brexit. Pre-term labour, not labour pre-term.
  • Antechamber/anti-chamber. It's a small room people, not an antagonistic one.

Examples from specific media

  • Marriage A-la-Mode:
    • In "The Toilette", the notes on the floor (written on the backs of playing cards, a common practice among 18th-century aristocrats) next to the castrato singer include a sterling piece of evidence of just how poorly educated most of the aristocracy were. The card in question reads, "Count Basset begs to no how Lade Squander sleapt last nite."note 
    • Mr. de la Pilule's treaty was approved by the "Académie Royal" and not "Académie Royale".

    Comic Books 
  • Any Judge Dredd storylines featuring PJ Maybe contain intentional spelling errors for PJ's narration.
  • Doom mentions "The sugar-sweet kiss of heavy ordinance".
  • In The Simpsons story "The Prime of Lisa Simpson", after Bart manages to get all the teachers deported from the U.S., Lisa and Martin were pressed into substitute teacher duty. The first thing Lisa sees on her way into class is a gateway leading to school in a parody of Dante's Inferno, with 'Abandon, all who enter hear' on the main post.
  • "Smart and Smarter," the last DC story of The Powerpuff Girls, has Blossom breaking down the girls' battle with Mojo Jojo to a mathematical science. The letterer in error put in "sine" and "cosine" as "sign" and "cosign."
  • In American Vampire, this is actually an important plot point when the Gray Trader is first introduced in the story. The resident Vampire Hunter organization, The Vassals of the Morning Star, often get their information from sources that are hundreds of years old, difficult to make out, and come from long before the standardization of English spelling. Thanks to this, at first they're unaware that the mysterious and apparently immortal being that they've been calling the Gray Trader was actually being referred to as the Great Traitor in the original document.

    Comic Strips 
  • In one Get Fuzzy comic (this also applies to the Satin/Satan entry above), Bucky is examining a package of new underwear and saying that they were "made by Satan". Rob corrects him, telling him they were "made of satin". Cue remark from Satchel regarding hot pants.
  • Foxtrot:
    • One strip has Roger berate a coworker for a report being full of seventh-grade spelling errors. The coworker complains the computer didn't have a spellchecker.
    • Subverted in one strip where Jason writes "Mary had a little lamb, its fleece as white as snow" with homophones, leading the spellchecker to find no mistakes.
  • Peanuts:
    • Played for Laughs in a 1959 strip. Linus makes flash cards and practices them on Charlie Brown. He successfully identifies each word despite them being misspelled, he backs out from doing anymore due to the strain on his eyes. The final panel has his dialogue deliberately misspelled as a bonus.
    • In the June 12, 1954 strip, Lucy recites:
      Won four the money,
      Too fore the show,
      Three two get ready,
      And for two go!
She then remarks, "That's fun to say even if I DON'T understand it."

    Fan Works 
  • Mi Tru Lov is filled with this, going from a relatively well-spelt first chapter to illegibility in the tenth. A lot of words fall under this, however, including 'moss cow' instead of 'Moscow', 'covfefe' instead of 'coffee', 'snerflake' instead of 'snowflake', and many, many more.
  • My Immortal is infamous for this. Especially in the later chapters, if a word isn't flat-out misspelled, it's this. Notable examples include characters 'masticating' (chewing) when they're supposed to be 'masturbating', laughing (or 'laffing') 'statistically' instead of 'sadistically', kissing 'passively' instead of 'passionately', and being sent to 'Azerbaijan' or 'Abhkazian' instead of Azkaban. In one especially egregious example, Ebony casts what's supposed to be the Cruciatus Curse, but instead of 'crucio', she says 'Crookshanks', Crookshanks being the name of Hermione's cat.note  The author can't even spell their OC's name right, calling her "Enoby" as often as "Ebony."note 
  • Sherlock Season 4 makes frequent spelling errors, such as "Sherlock gave a hearthy cheer of victory", or "'hey man u shuold try this wine' waiter said and give him bottle of Cabernay Sovinyon".
  • In How I Became Yours, there are several, including Toph saying that a present came from a "curtain Fire Lord", and the infamous example in which Mai calls Zukonote  a "chard monster!"
  • The Prayer Warriors has quite a few of them, as seen in the below passage, emphasis added. There's also an in-universe example in which the Prayer Warriors travel to "Stalin Town" in "Threat of Satanic Commonism" only to find that Stalin misspelled it "Satan Town", although this is quickly forgotten about.
    "And I replayed," it was not your wife in the first pplace. So be gone from this site, or else I will have to deform you! Stan has lisped to you! Now you must realise your mistake, or I will be forced to remove you head just like I have done to my wire, who claimed to be a virgin bit was only a whore!
    • The damned will be eaten by foul breasts. Yes, it was supposed to be beasts. The same mistake is also used when the author apparently wants to say "priests".
  • Most of Homestuck high; the few words spelled correctly are used incorrectly, to the point of "eviscerated" being used as a dialogue tag.
  • The Kirby Dark Fic "The Galactic Knightmare," despite an interesting concept, has some... also interesting grammar. This usually manifests in missing apostrophes and strange phrasing. On occasion, words turn into other words, but it's usually nothing funny. However, Chapter 8 brings us this gem, as Sword Knight and Blade Knight try to fight undead!Marx:
    Their entire bodies quacked with a combination of pain, exhaustion, and rage.
  • There are some cases of this in Boys und Sensha-do!, such as "Then it's gun swung away from them".
  • This is quite common in some of the in-story reviews in Bleach: Fan Works, which range from relatively readable ("No... you made a character that is ten times more unbelievable then him.") to almost illiterate ("i lik r stoi plz rit sm mor mins me of twlit"), as well as some of the stories.
  • Hans Von Hozel's TRON fanfic is listed as a Troy fanfic.
  • Light and Dark DEUX: The New Adventures of Dark Soichiro intentionally does this. The author has joked that there are no typos, and that he is writing in his own invented English language.
  • In Thousand Shinji, Academia Nut has trouble picking a verbal tense and sticking with it.
  • Happens a lot in fanfics for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, where characters' names are constantly being misspelled, but easily the weirdest example is a fic where Tom Sawyer's first name is repeatedly misspelled as Tow.
  • The crossover story Wandering Pilot has frequent grammatical mistakes and issues with homophones in the early chapters. "To" and "too" are confused for each other, "affect" is often used to describe the effects of something, "taught" is mistaken for "taut", and other similar errors abound in the story. Actual spelling issues are relatively rare, though.
  • It's Always Spooky Month:
    • In chapter 7, Skid put up a sign so they wouldn't step on the bear trap they set up outside his and Pump's room, with "beware" and "outside" misspelled.
    "Bewar: Bear trap out sid."
    • In chapter 4 of You Can't Escape Spooky Month, Skid and Pump make a LinkedIn profile for Monster; being two young children, the profile is filled with numerous grammar and spelling errors and isn't professional in the slightest.

    Films — Animated 
  • Megamind: Megamind intended for Hal to take up the superhero name of Titan, but Hal mistakes this for Tighten and calls himself that instead, even as he turns to villainy and burns his new name into the city with Eye Beams.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Hot Fuzz, Tim Messenger is extremely prone to this beyond just the above mentioned "Nicholas Angle" gaffe. The NWA eventually kill him for it.
  • In Lethal Weapon 2, Riggs is standing outside the South African embassy (he can do little else to the movie's Big Bad at this point, because of his diplomatic immunity) with a sign that says "End Aparthied". Riggs certainly made a point of making sure the villain knew he was there.
  • In Wing Commander, depressingly enough, a major character (Admiral Tolwyn)'s name is misspelled (Towlyn) in a way that makes it impossible to ignore.
  • In V for Vendetta, Hugo Weaving - an accomplished stage actor playing an extremely eloquent intellectual and art connossieur V - manages to pronounce "voila" as "viola" (vy-oh-la), with much gusto and pomp. Although it is possible he simply saw a large violin laying around his lair that he thought he'd lost long ago.
  • In The Punisher (2004), a file reveals that the titular character lived in "Buenos Aries". Either they misspelled the capital of Argentinanote  or Frank Castle lived somewhere that could only be used by good people born between March 20 and April 19.note 
  • The DVD subtitles of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen contain an odd example. While describing his last mission for the crown to Agent Sawyer, Allan Quatermain remarks that "I even took my son along." Somehow, this was transcribed in the subtitles as "I even took my son-in-law."
  • Similarly, whoever wrote the DVD subtitles for Alien³ did not have a good ear for English accents, transcribing Clemens's line "Blast furnace" as "Blocked furnace."
  • In The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Eddie starts his letter to Doctor Scott with "I'M OUT OF MY HED. O HURRY
  • The Task has the Brazilian title Reality da Morte, "Deadly Reality Show", and yet on Netflix was misspelled Reality da Norte, which is arguably "Reality of the North". Even once it was moved to Prime Video with a correct title, the misspelled title card remained.

  • Angela Nicely: In “Matchmaker!”, Angela misspells “could” as “cud” and “would” as “wood”.
  • Captain Underpants: George and Harold's comic book writing revolves around this.
  • Chapter 7 of Felsic Current, written from the point of view of Viakel Hollenmen, confuses axle with axel. Although originally assumed to be a mistake on the author's part, chapter 6 of the sequel, Felsic Tension, reveals that it's actually the character of Viakel himself who does not know the difference between the two words, being a relative neophyte to machinery.
  • Dor of the Xanth novels has legendary horrible spelling. This was taken advantage of when his king wanted him to travel with honesty, knowing he'd misspell it as ONESTI which was the actual name of the place they were headed. His misspelling also physically changed a bouquet into a bucket, much to everyone's amusement/frustration. When he sought out a spelling bee to correct his homework, he wound up with something along the lines of... "Eye want two go two Mundania sow eye Khan sea a bare oar a hoarse..." No, really, it was that bad.
  • One of the main characters from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is Ford Prefect. Douglas Adams, writing in an introduction to a complete edition, relates "This was a joke that missed American audiences entirely of course, since they had never heard of the rather oddly-named car, and many thought it was a typing error for Perfect."
  • Intentionally invoked by the writers of Going Rouge: An American Nightmare, a collection of critical essays about Sarah Palin, referencing the title of her memoir, Going Rogue: An American Life. Not only will the two books be released on the same date, but a second "Going Rouge" — subtitled "The Sarah Palin Rogue Coloring & Activity Book" — is also scheduled for that release date.
  • Several characters in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels have awful spelling.
    • In particular, it's a Running Gag that any sign, especially in Ankh-Morpork, will either be misspelled or use Antiquated Linguistics. Of special note is the word "banana", which they know how to spell but not how long it's supposed to go on, leading to "bananananana".
    • The Discworld almost seems to exist at a time before standardised spelling. However, this would raise the question of how some people do have perfect spelling, and what it means, because if there were no standards, the modern standard would just be another convention among the rest. The Watch books in particular mention that school cost a penny a day to send kids to, which most of the poorer families can't afford and even middle-class ones can only afford for part of their child's life. Vimes, a product of one such school, provides evidence that there are competing standards, as his handwriting is neat and consistent but sprinkled with extraneous "e"s consistent with spelling habits in the 19th century.
    • Granny Weatherwax narrowly missed her chance to be the first Discworld character with a normal British-sounding first name, because she badly misspelled "Esmerelda" in her letter to the Archchancellor in Equal Rites. Her own name!
    • Carrot has legendarily bad spelling, which we see in his letters home. He also has what Vimes terms a "stab in the dark" approach to punctuation. One of the funniest is this:
    There are plenty of new faeces in the Watch which is just as well with this truble with Klatch. I feel it is the clam before the storm and no mistake.
    • Partly because he was under the influence of Music With Rocks In at the time, but mostly because he'd lost track of which side of the leather faced out, the Dean of UU wound up crafting a longcoat studded with "LIVE FATS DIE YO GNU".
    • And then there's the unfortunate spelling error in Jingo that led to one of the few Morporkian ships outfitted for battle being called The Prid of Anckh-Morpork.
    • In Feet of Clay, Vetinari misſpells "Occaſion" as "Ocasſion". He may have been suffering from arsenic-induced loopiness at the time. (The misuse of "ſ" is apparently consistent with usual Discworld standards of orthography.)
    • Major character Rincewind wears a wizard hat that describes him as a WIZZARD; the fact of his two-zed misspelling actually caused trouble for him in Interesting Times when a “wizzard” is exactly what was requested by the Agateans.
    • A Real Life example of wrongly accurate spelling occurs in Maskerade. A footnote about Ankh-Morpork cuisine in Men at Arms carefully distinguished the Morporkian "clooty dumpling" from the real "clootie dumpling". However, Maskerade uses the "clootie" spelling, creating the unfortunate impression, if you don't remember the previous book, that Sir Terry didn't know a clootie dumpling was a dessert.(The original footnote clearly states that he did.)
  • Winnie the Pooh is rife with these.
    • Tigger's name is based on his species (tiger).
    • Heffalumps and Woozles are corruptions of "Elephant" and "Weasel", respectively, and Christopher Robin was once thought to be going to skull instead of school, (which is slightly terrifying).
    • Owl, generally considered to be the intellectual of the group, can spell his name - W O L - and spell Tuesday well enough that you can tell it isn't Wednesday.
  • In The Baby-Sitters Club, Claudia is so bad at spelling, she misspells her own name at one point.
  • Dave Barry in Cyberspace demonstrates the usefulness of a spell-checker by explaining that, not only would it find the misspelled word in the following passage, it would suggest changing it to the actual word intended ("Strumpet"):
    Deer Mr. Strompel:
    It was a grate pleasure too meat you're staff, and the undersigned look foreword too sea you soon inn the near future.
  • Used a lot in the deliberately bad writing of Atlanta Nights. The writer of Chapter 10 admits to having abused the spell checker, retyping words until it corrected them inappropriately.
  • A publisher in Australia was forced to recall and destroy 7000 copies of a cookbook entitled The Pasta Bible after it was discovered that one of the recipes called for "freshly ground black people" instead of pepper. Don't rely on your spell-checker!
  • Marshall McLuhan's book, originally titled The Medium is the Message, became The Medium is the Massage after the author fully embraced a typo.
  • Josef Filser from the stories of Ludwig Thoma, a farmer turned conservative Bavarian parliamentarian, who'd regularly butcher the German language in his letters. "Filser letters" have been written by many humorist authors in Germany.
  • The Other Wiki has a list of misprinted Bibles, several of which got their printers in quite a bit of trouble
    • A 1631 edition left the "not" out of "thou shalt not commit adultery". Others misattributed some of Jesus' lines to Judas.
    • "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall inherit the kingdom of God?"
    • "Go and sin on more."
    • "the fool hath said in his heart there is a God"
    • "thy son that shall come forth out of thy lions"
    • "For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted God, adorned themselves, being in subjection to their owl husbands"
    • These Bibles are all mentioned in Good Omens. Almost all of the Bible misprints Aziraphale collects are real. Yes, even the Standing Fishes Bible - the only invented ones are the Buggre-Alle-This Bible (to which Aziraphale contributed) and the Charing Cross Bible.
  • Someone in the erotic writer Laura Antoniou's publishing house tried to correct the ugly neologism "cum" with a global search/replace, leaving her books with such words as "circomestance." All the more regrettable since Antoniou herself never actually uses "cum."
  • The Noob novels. One that happened at least twice series-wide is the confusion of French words "balai" (broom) and "ballet" (same meaning and prononciation as in English). These are novels that were written in French.
  • Kalten from David Eddings' The Elenium and The Tamuli series has spelling so notoriously bad that his best friend Sparhawk witnesses a conversation between their order's current leader, Vanion, and the leader of another knightly order. Vanion explains that he wants Sparhawk to write a document rather than Kalten because Kalten's spelling is so atrocious.
    "I once asked him to spell a six-letter word, and he didn't get a single letter right."
    "Some words are hard to spell, Vanion."
    "His own name?"
  • At a climactic moment in Robert Asprin's Time Scout Margo is about to be burned as a witch. Malcolm and Kit, in disguise as Jesuits, have told her to play along, invoking demons, devils and whatever else she can think of to drag things out until the Gate opens again. After the successful rescue, both Malcolm and Kit fall out laughing, to her dismay. They finally explain that among the names she invoked was "Saint Nick" (Santa) rather than "Old Nick" (Satan).
  • Deliberately invoked in-universe in The Silkworm. One character owns a novelty mug which reads "Keep Clam and Proofread".
  • Warrior Cats:
    • Aside from the common "rogue" error, fans frequently misspell Scourge and Lionblaze's names as "Scrouge" and "Loinblaze". You'll also occasionally find people asking others what their favorite "arch" is, or what "cannon" pairings they like. The most commonly misspelled book title is The Sun Trail, which often gets called The Sun Trial.
    • There are plenty of typos in the books, but some of the fan favorites are ShadowClan being called "ShadowClam" in earlier editions of Into the Wild, Ravenpaw being called "Ravepaw" in A Dangerous Path, and the fresh-kill pile being called the "fresh-kill pie" in Crookedstar's Promise.
  • The Gratuitous English tagline of Spice and Wolf, "Merchant meats spicy wolf," though the author has said that what "meats" really means is a secret, meaning it may have been misspelled intentionally.
  • In the Montague Egg short story "A Shot at Goal" the fragment of a note reading that someone deserves to be "put in goal" leads everyone to think it's something to do with the local football team. Egg realises that the note meant to say that someone should be put in gaol, and adds that he personally spells it "jail" to be on the safe side.
  • Bunnicula: Chester and Howard attempt to kill Bunnicula the vampire rabbit by pounding a sharp steak into his heart after misreading a book about vampires.
    Howard: I could taste it for you and tell you if it's sharp.
    Chester: It should be okay, it's sirloin.
  • The author of the self-published German sci-fi adventure novel The Adventures of Stefón Rudel seemingly doesn't know how to spell many foreign names (particularly English ones) correctly, and so instead resorts to using German phonetics, the most prominent example being a location known as "Itörnetie Plato 18".

    Live-Action TV 
  • ''Breaking Bad" after Skinny Pete hands Jesse a iece of paper containing the adress of the couple who stole some of their meth:
    Jesse Pinkman: Jesus, how the hell do you spell "street" wrong? "S-T-R-E-A-T?"
  • Corner Gas: The local newspaper, the Dog River Howler, is known for its crappy spelling. It was only a matter of time before one of their many typos ended up being the correct spelling of a different word.
    Davis: You remember that guy who stole that grain truck?
    Karen: That guy? Pfft. He was barely a thief.
    [A Spinning Paper shows the headline "COP NABS BARELY THIEF"]
    Davis: He was a barley thief. That was a typo.
  • During one of Jon Stewart's stand-up routines (taking place at RIT in 2005), the transcriber typing words for the hearing-impaired in the audience spelled "ate" like the number. The track when it occurs is even named that on the recording.
  • Friends:
    • Mocked when Rachel tries to write a romance novel. Her attempts are derailed when the male lead is mocked for pulling out his "huge throbbing pens", which is only one of several errors.
    • In another episode Rachel gives Ross a lengthy letter, which Ross promptly falls asleep over. In the inevitable discovery and ensuing fight, Ross ends up quipping, "Oh, and by the way 'Y-O-U apostrophe R-E' means 'you are'. 'Y-O-U-R' means 'YOUR'!"
  • It is mentioned a few times on NUMB3RS that Charlie, though a great mathematician, is a terrible speller, as he misspells anomaly as "anomoly" in the first season finale, which was inspired by David Krumholtz's spelling mistake in the Pilot episode.
  • The game show Lingo has pretty simple rules: Try to guess and spell a five-letter word properly, and the letters will light up and let you know how close you are. Nearly every episode had at least one egregious spelling error (E-R-R-E-R) from a contestant.
  • Even Wheel of Fortune, a show where spelling should be of the utmost importance by the staff, had a few misspelled puzzles. Among them: one in 1988 that had Charley Pride's name misspelled as "Charlie", "Piece of mind" instead of either "Peace of mind" or "a piece of your mind" in a 2003 bonus round, and several instances of hyphenated words either not being hyphenated, or being rendered as a single word.
  • Match Game had a Audience Match that began with "There's a _____". The best answer was "fly in my suop," which Brett Somers immediately pointed out.
  • Being Human:
    • In the fourth episode, Mitchell is mistaken for a pedophile, which makes the whole neighborhood turn against the trio (well, mainly him and George). Some enthusiastic hater spray paints the word "Peedos" on their front door, much to highly intellectual and anal George's chagrin.
    • Similarly, in the fourth episode of the second series, George (a.k.a. Mr. Sands) gets a job teaching English to foreign students. His reaction to seeing the graffiti "Mr. Sands Suck Cocks" on the school's bathroom mirror is to comment "For god's sake! It's Mr. Sands sucks cocks. Singular, not plural — gah, have I taught you nothing?", and then use a marker pen to correct said graffiti. Of course, he is caught doing this by his boss.
  • One gag in the TGIF show Teen Angel has Marty conjuring up closed captioning for his and Steve's dialog, though the captions lose accuracy almost immediately. When Marty notices and remarks, "That's not what I said!" the caption renders as "There's snot on my head."
  • Any live broadcast can suffer this with closed captioning, which has to be created on the fly either by a human operator or a speech recognition program. Naturally, this leaves virtually no time for proofreading, though occasionally the caption will back up for retyping if a recent typo is spotted quickly.
  • One show from the U.S channel Destination America, Mountain Monsters has an info card claiming that a cryptid is a member of "the K9 family" instead of the intended "the canine family".
  • Frasier: This ends up happening to an ad Niles places in the paper. Great Hilarity Ensues. Because of one simple typo resulting in one word being a different word than was intended ("hung" instead of "Jung"), the ad reads: "Niles Crane. Hung specialist. Servicing individuals, couples, groups. Satisfaction guaranteed. 'Tell me where it hurts.'"
    Frasier: Any calls?
    Niles: It's a telethon.
  • CSI: In "World's End" the team arrests a group of teenaged white supremacists on suspicion of murder. When Greg goes to interrogate one of them, he hands Greg a note that reads, "I want a layer," which he insists is how you spell "lawyer."
    Greg: Well, even if the two dummies ended up killing Sean in retribution, we're not getting anything out of them. They both layered up.
  • In an early episode of The West Wing, President Bartlet is amused that a draft of the State of the Union address has him announcing that the country is a lot "stranger" than it was a year ago rather than "stronger" (though it could go either way). He's also feeling rather ambitious when he sees that the speech examines the possibilities for the country in the 321st century.
  • The Kids in the Hall sketch "This Scene Was Written in Haste" has the premise that the sketch itself was written by a writer who was too anxious about meeting a deadline to pay attention to his many spelling errors, leading to things like a character sitting on a "chain" instead of a chair, being offered a "cop of coffee" (a policeman with coffee pouring out of his uniform), and wearing "rubber boobs" on his feet instead of boots.
  • The Wire: In season one, judge Phelan berates McNulty for his sloppy grammar in affidavits for warrants. In particular, McNulty's constant mixing up of than and then.
  • In Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell, it's revealed that when Ted was alive, he was the "Tree Huger Bomber", an eco-terrorist who struggled with basic literacy skills as many of his letters and packaging featured blatant spelling and grammatical errors.
  • The bonus round for the teen game show Pressure 1 involved a clock labeled "Pressure Gage" instead of the correct "gauge". The error was never corrected.

  • The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster named a song "I Could Be an Angle" after a spelling error on the sign of a beggar, trying to invoke the Angel Unaware trope.
  • According to legend a German monk made a mistake at copying sheet music in medieval times mistaking a "B" for an "H". That's why today in Germany the note B is called H and the note B-flat is called B.
    • Actually the Germanic notation denotes the Phrygian scale (mode); the English notation denotes the Aeolian scale (natural minor), so it may not be a mistake but intentional. The Phrygian mode is very common in church music.
  • The liner notes to an unauthorized Beatles cash-in compilation, which actually only featured four Beatles songs, included a rather embarrassing mistake: "It is with a good deal of pride and pleasure that this copulation has been presented". The word "copulation" even stayed in the liner notes when the album was repackaged in an even more misleading manner.
  • Yo La Tengo have a song called "The Story of Yo La Tango," as a joke about their band name frequently being misspelled that way. Ironically enough, this leads to people "correcting" the song title: Even All Music Guide's track-listing for I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass lists it as "The Story Of Yo La Tengo." The CD-text that appears when you put the CD into your computer adds "Yes — it should be Tango!" after the song title.
  • Mr. Bungle deliberately used this by calling an early demo tape Bowel Of Chiley. Some unsanctioned re-releases of this demo mistakenly rendered the title Bowl Of Chiley.
  • The back cover of the compilation Gimme Indie Rock Vol. 1 mistakenly lists Dinosaur Jr's "Little Fury Things" as "Little Furry Things."
  • The lyric sheet for Rust in Peace by Megadeth contains the following line from "Tornado of Souls": "I can't replace the lies that let a 1000 days go." Needless to say, it's hard to not have the line play out noticeably differently in your head as opposed to the actual recorded version.
  • Abney Park has a couple of these on Lost Horizons: Post-Apocolaspe Punk and The Emporer's Wives.
  • Flaming Lips have "Riding to Work in the Year 2025 (Your Invisible Now)." It's been speculated that they spelled the title of the song this way deliberately for the sake of ambiguity - depending on spelling and punctuation it could mean "you are invisible now" or "the invisible now that belongs to you."
  • The Moody Blues, in their song "Dr. Livingstone I Presume," referred to "Antartic" eels instead of "Antarctic". Probably because in Britain "artic" is a common term for an articulated truck.
  • The Genesis track "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight," as well as the obvious one in the title, also has the lyric "all of their hands are playing apart" which is commonly misheard as "playing a part."
  • Chopin's "Minute Waltz," whose name is usually pronounced as the time unit despite the fact that performances of it are usually slightly longer than a minute, is said to be a misunderstanding of the (translation of the?) title, which apparently was supposed to be the "Mine-ute" (that is, "minute" as in "very small") Waltz.
    • Amusingly enough, in "Hyde and Hare," the audience is supposed to laugh at Bugs Bunny for pronouncing it that way, reading off the title page of a score, "The Mine-ute Waltz, by Chop-pin." For someone who can't pronounce "Chopin," he then proceeds to do an excellent job of playing it on the piano.
  • "Hands All Over" by Soundgarden has its line printed as "Your gonna kill your mother" in the CD version, twice, despite said "you're" being spelled correctly with "Big Dumb Sex" at the end of the sheet.
  • The Bird And The Bee take this trope all the way to your ears. In the song "Because," the vocalist actually sings that she is "lying prostate on the ground." There is no wordplay to suggest that this is anything but a mistake.
  • Sabaton, whose first language is Swedish, have a habit of getting singular and plural forms mixed up in their lyrics, and consistently use "led" (past tense of "to lead") in place of "lead" (the metal that bullets are made from).


    Print Media 
  • One issue of Game Informer had a reader's letter in the Feedback section accuse the magazine of being "a part of the liberal, eltist media that likes whine [sic] and cheese parties and is constantly defending video games as an art medium". The response took the error and ran with it:
    (...) But don't you dare mock our "whine" and cheese parties. We spend a lot of time ensuring they have just the right complaining-to-cheese ratio.
  • Both the editors and readers of the Polish magazine Top Secret were very likely to misspell any English word or phrase they quoted. The user-submitted cheat codes section was an especially eye-searing minefield of errors, so most of the codes had no chance of working.

    Puppet Shows 
  • On the Harry Belafonte episode of The Muppet Show, Fozzie attempts to write an opening monologue for Kermit, but Kermit confronts him about the blatant typos throughout. Fozzie then admits he's not a great typist. Kermit just decides to read through the monologue, typos and all.
    Kermit: Leggies and genglefins, welcun again to tie Mupple Shocks. Uh, my name is Kermit the Forg... the "forg"?!

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Monks in 1st edition books were sometimes referred to as “aesthetic”. While the writers clearly meant “ascetic”, this did invoke some appealing images.
    • There was one table of monsters that included the stat "% in liar". No, they weren't specifying how honest the monsters were; it was supposed to be "% in lair".
    • When 1st Edition products were adapted to 2nd in some products, "damage" was often spelled "dawizard." likely due to an auto-correct that changed every use of the word "mage" to "wizard".
    • Another well-known typo was referring to "Minions of Set" as "Minionions of Set." Eventually, Dragon Magazine featured a cursed magic item called Minonions of Set in their April Fools edition. This proved popular enough that the magazine would go on to have a regular April Fools article featuring comics based on spelling errors that appeared in the books. For example, the Spinning Owl (a misspelling of spinning awl) and the "multiple small encounters can be strung together to create a lager adventure."
  • Magic: The Gathering has a few cards that players have easily misread over the years in sort of a reverse case of this trope.
    • Lorwyn features an elf creature called "Imperious Perfect." Many people assumed it was meant to be "prefect" without realizing that "perfect" is a caste of elves on Lorwyn. Lorwyn elves are obsessed with beauty, and their castes are named after various levels of physical perfection.
    • The Ravnican assassin "Orzhov Euthanist" was very frequently called "Orzhov Enthusiast," which puts rather a different spin on the card.
    • As a reversal of such reversals, there is the Orgg, a monster first appearing in the Fallen Empires set. It was named to poke fun at a playtester who consistently mispronounced "ogre".
    • A famous example is the Ice Age card "Hyalopterous Lemure". The artist drew a Hyalopterous Lemur. In self-referential humor, the card "Viscid Lemures" has flavor text from in-lore character Norin the Wary making the same lemur/lemure mistake as the original real-world artist, and assuming the "lemurs" were harmless. The most recent printing of the original card continues his quote, presumably after he has seen the lemures and realized they are not harmless.
  • Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot includes a card called Guardian Angle. This was originally a typo by the designer, but the artist produced such an amusing illustration that the name stuck.
  • The spine of the first printings of the original edition of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness spells the last word as "Strangness".
  • The core book for Black Crusade is chock full of those. The most egregious example is misspelling of "Ruinous Powers" (a collective name for the Chaos gods) as "Runic Powers." But attaching melta bombs to metallic surfaces with "mango-adhesives" is a close second.
  • Despite being the first edition of the game, and thus containing a fairly large amount of typos., only one card in Sentinels of the Multiverse actually fits this. In the Rook City environment, the card Scum and Villany. It should, of course, be Villainy, but as it turns out, Villany is a place.

    Video Games 
  • 77p: Eggwife is filled with mispelled signs throughout, as part of their Stylistic Suck. From the local Pissco (a Tesco Parody) having Self "Cevix" counters and "Porn" Flakes, to the ending screen of each level telling you to "Press Any Key To Cuntinue" and randomly misusing "a" and "an" ("You've eaten an burger!").
  • In Backyard Football 2008, the instructions are filled with spelling errors.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, who could forget saying "Off course!" when asked if you want to continue at the Arena? Also, Sephiroth is itself highly doubtful, grammar-wise, since it's the plural form of the Hebrew word Sephirah.
  • Final Fantasy IX: The territory of Lindblum is spelled "Lindbulm" on several maps, including the one in the opening cinematic.
  • Half-Life contains a building full of explosives with a prominent sign reading "ORDINANCE STORAGE FACILITY".
  • A late-game battle theme in La-Mulana bears the official name "Insterstice of the Dimention." This is an official mistake on the part of the devs.
  • The web MMORPG Kingdom of Loathing bases much of its humor on playing with this trope, most notably with the Misspelled Cemetary and its denizens.
    • Captain of the Gourd, indeed.
    • One of the Items of the Month specifically starts life as the familiar hatchling, "a cute angel," and becomes on hatching the much uglier and less intelligent-looking "obtuse angel."
    • Taken up to eleventy billion by the Staph of Homophones, which replaces various words ingame and in chat with random homophones. Many of the garbled words it produces would be easy spelling mistakes to make if the "staph" wasn't doing it for you.
      This ate-foot staph is rot of timbre maid from sturdy seeder would. A corps of guilt quarts ads wait and axe as a channel threw witch thee castor can chute bolts of lightening at his oar her soon too bee chard faux.
  • DDRMAX2 has the song Little Boy (Boy Oh Boy Mix), but the music select menu calls it the "Boy On Boy Mix" thanks to a typo and the fact that the H key is directly above the N key on a standard QWERTY keyboard. According to legend, this originated with a fansite typo that Konami staff turned into an Ascended Meme for laughs.
    • According to reality, this same spelling error also occurred on multiple Dancemania releases, where Konami licensed a good portion of their pre-Super NOVA (non-original) content from. No one knows why Konami or Toshiba-EMI (company behind Dancemania) never fixed the error, and Captain "Franky Gee" Jack himself was puzzled by the continued usage of the misspelling.
  • In the HD version of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, the subtitles misspell soldier as "solider" during the line "And, like a true soldier, she saw through it to the end."
  • In ARMA II and its expansion, any version of the M16A4 with an M203 attached is given the description "Assault rifle with grenade luncher."
    • So that's why it keeps eating my grenades...
    • Modern Warfare 2's FAL with M203 is similarly referred to as a "FAL Grenade Laucher". There's minor examples all over the place in the subtitles if you know where to look, too, such as Sandman in MW3 referring to a "couryard."
  • Occurs a few times in the subtitles for Sonic Heroes. One example is Vector saying "Looks like we're in jam boys!" when it should be "a jam." No, Vector, you aren't in a condiment made of fruit or berries that is good on toast.
  • There's a Commodore 64 game called Witts End. "We hope that after playing this game you do not end up at your WITTS END !!" The programmer apparently wasn't that good at English.
  • Score an S-Rank in 10-Outrun Mode of Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune and the game will say "SUDDEEN KILL" on the results screen.
  • One of the menu prompts in Initial D Arcade Stage asks the player if they want to "accept your oppornent's challenge?"
  • Bandit guns, grenade mods, and shields in Borderlands 2 have horribly misspelled names. Because, you know, they're manufactured by Bandits, who typically have very poor literacy if they can read at all. Take for instance the "Akurate Acurate smgg" — they misspelled "accurate" twice, and are too stupid to spell "SMG" (and they can't even keep that consistent, with some of their other submachine guns being called "smigs").
  • In Lollipop Chainsaw, after Juliet gets a phone call from her mom in the prologue chapter, an on-screen message appears telling you how to listen to other phone calls you get throughout the game. Said on-screen message spells "receives" as "recieves."
  • The 3DS title for Resident Evil: Revelations was misspelled as "Resident Evil: Revelaitons" on the spine.
  • In DotA 2 Sven the Rogue Knight even has a voiceline for that: "It's Rogue Knight, dammit! It's not rouge knight."
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies has many, many examples of this in the text, with such lines as "I must serve and well as protect" and "It is your brain that has flow the coop", as documented in this article. In fact, grammar mistakes of some variety are to be expected in any Ace Attorney game - this is the same franchise that gave us "The miracle never happen."
    • The most offending error in a game that revolved heavily around bombs and explosions was repeated reference to "diffusing" a bomb. Bombs do not move their molecules from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration - not before they explode, anyway. The word they were looking for was "defuse," and it was not used once.
    • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney had an almost identical mistake regarding terminology. The game introduces the "jurist system" to the series in the final trial where six jurists had the last word when it came to declaring a final verdict. The correct term for a member of a jury is "juror"; the term "jurist" can refer to a judge or an expert in the law, the latter of which is ironic considering the whole point of the "Jurist System" was to have common people decide verdicts.
  • The PC game Elixir of Immortality doesn't have voice acting; all dialogue appears as subtitles. Toward the end, one of the characters is shown to say "I shouldn't of trusted him," instead of "I shouldn't have trusted him."
  • An ad seen on this wiki for War Thunder commanded you to "DISTROY ENEMY TANK". Besides the abominable grammar, it essentially instructs would-be players not to troy them, however one goes about troying something.
  • Tales of Vesperia: If you upgrade the weapon "Ogre Hammer," it becomes "Orge Hammer +1".
  • Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People: At one point, the subtitles for Baddest of the Bands misspell "singing" as "signing."
  • One prompt for Drawful was "Everyone knows your bald."
  • Dishonored: You can find a book about whaling with the line "The silhouette of one of these creatures makes a moving site as it cruises to its final resting place."
  • In Lufia: the Legend Returns , Gades's Badass Boast ended up losing a bit of its edge (but being loved nonetheless) due to a simple typo:
    Gades: "THIS is what I would call frue destruction!"
  • The Arfenhouse series runs on Stylistic Suck, including but not limited to the copiously misspelled all-caps dialogue spoken by the main characters. This receives Lampshade Hanging in Arfenhouse 2, in which the normal-speaking Joseph joins the party:
    Joseph: ...Tie? ...Whatever...
  • In the Golden Ending slide for Matches and Matrimony, the protagonist observes that "Lady Catherine denounced the bands." What she denounced were the banns - the formal public announcement of the heroine's engagement to Mr. Darcy, Lady Catherine's nephew.
  • Intentionally invoked in the titles of Skool Daze and its sequel Back To Skool. The character Boy Wander also misspells most of the messages he writes on the blackboards.
  • The non-optional text chat filter in World of Warships has a severe affliction of the Scunthorpe Problem, even asterisking out the end of one word and beginning of the next for forming a remotely rude word with a space in the middle. And considering some of the words it objects to, it's evident that it was not programmed by native English speakers (game's dev is Russian).
  • Deliberately invoked by the title of Arc Angle, made to sound like a misspelling of Arch Angel. The titular player character is an angelic cyberspace program that resembles an arc, and "fights" by turning enemy Bullet Hell within the angle of its "cone of sight" into holy bullets that home back in on the attacker.
  • The North American version of Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony announces in the opening cinematic that "A new killing game with begin again." A patch that was released shortly after corrected this mistake, but not before many players took notice.
  • Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden: One of the artefacts you can find is a Defribrillator. People in The Ark think that it was used for removing Fribs.
  • The spanish translation of the first StarCraft game inexplicably changes the Zealot's creation line from "My life for Aiur!" to "My life for Auir!". It's even stranger as "Aiur" is correctly named everywhere else, and it's a typo in a line that has voice acting... yet they didn't notice.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents "Detective" mocks the original game's frequent typos, including in the very first line of dialogue:
    The mayor was murdered yeaterday night
    Mike: Yeaterday? Is that like Veterans' Day?
  • In the N-Spade bonus game in Super Mario Bros. 3, Toad says "Miss twice and your out." It was later changed to "You can only miss twice," because there wasn't any room in the text box for an apostrophe. The All-Stars version brought back the original message, and Advance 4 corrected it.
  • Sunman: Great is misspelled as "grate".
  • Breath of Fire IV: the "Damascus Helmet" item is misspelled as "Damacsus Helmet".
  • Parodied by Shantae and the Pirate's Curse with Dagron, the "Massive Misspelled Monstrosity" as well as the achievements gained by defeating it once ("Graet Job") and doing so with no damage ("Prefectionist").
  • The GBA version of Tales of Phantasia had the infamous "Kangaroo War" mentioned several times through the game. Ironically enough, this is most likely the product of actually using a spellchecker that accidentally auto-corrected all the instances of "Ragnarok" to the Australian mammal.
  • Mega Man:
    • Doctor Wily, when he reveals his true identity in Mega Man 6, states that his plan has "faild". His actual line should be "failed".
    • Prior to his second phase in Mega Man X6, Sigma does this during his death threats to X. Examples include replacing the T's in "battle" and "just" with D's (resulting in "baddle" and "jusd", respectively), spelling "begun" with two N's (resulting in "begunn"), and merging "just" and "die" together into "jusdie". X gets the impression that his foe is suffering from And I Must Scream as a result. The result is below:
    Sigma: (laughs evilly) "Not yet! The baddle has jusd begunn! Die!! X!! Jusdie, X!!!"note 
  • Octopath Traveler II: At the end of the "Upbringing" party chat, Agnea's name is spelled "Angea".

    Web Animation 
  • Homsar, the infamous Cloudcuckoolander and Talkative Loon from Homestar Runner, owes his very existence to this trope. He was originally created as a joke to make fun of a fan letter's misspelling of "Homestar".
  • In RWBY, the character Jaune's name frequently gets misspelled as "Juane", for whatever reason. This has prompted a fandom joke and meme that "Juane Arc" is Jaune's Spanish cousin, who wears a sombrero, carries maracas, and has an awesome mustache (the fact that those stereotypes are Mexican rather than Spanish is occasionally brought up as well, although not that the proper Spanish spelling would be Juan).
  • The Light of Courage is rife with this, such as Ganon's terrifying "troupes", "my friends where need a map to Nayru's temple", "by the looks of thing", etc. Naturally, the Dancing Triforce animations retained each and every grammatical screw-up.

  • Common joke pattern for Doc Rat when Ben is dealing with pharmaceutical pitches. For example: when a goat offered a retreat where his company was "workshopping statin", Ben confused it as "worshipping Satan" and did a Spit Take.
  • Used for a punchline in Questionable Content #360.
  • Duke, writer of Ansem Retort, frequently typos and, unlike some other webcomic writers, never goes back and corrects them. Not all but quite a few of these are of the Rouge Angles of Satin type.
  • Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff hass many intentional spelling errors as part of its Stylistic Suck shtick. It's still fairly legible itself (relatively speaking) and the errors are generally played more as highlights for significant words and phrases, but fanwork has a tendency to flanderize the spelling goofs to the point of complete unintelligibility.
    • Also used with Roxy Lalonde, Rose's Alpha counterpart. She misspells things frequently due to being constantly intoxicated, before correcting herself (or trying to).
  • Spoofed in this strip of The Unspeakable Vault (of Doom). Apparently, computer-generated pentacles aren't that great an idea.
    Cthulhoo: For once, drawings are good, but using Childhood unstead of Cthulhoo and Feting for Fhtagn is more than a beginner's mistake.
  • The Non-Adventures of Wonderella, "QUOTE of Arms". After Killroy's misuse of quotation marks (Lord Killroy: "Supreme Leader", from a misunderstanding on what "Scare Quotes" means) gets pointed out, he switches the message on his billboard... to Lord Killroy: You're Leader.
  • The Order of the Stick in-universe:
    • Haley is annoyed to learn that the rogue's guild she almost joined was actually a cosmetics guild akin to Mary Kay. Yes, a Rouge's Guild. (Not so annoyed that she didn't buy products, however. The desert sun can be harsh on skin, you know.)
    • Later, Belkar prepares some steaks in anticipation of a fight against a vampire.
      Belkar: No, you're a homophone!
  • Dark Legacy Comics: Played with in this strip which shows "rouge" as an actual character class using cosmetics to deadly effect.
  • Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures
  • Turn Signals on a Land Raider: The Firey Loins... sorry, "Fiery Lions".
  • Mariokidd319, a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic cartoonist, sometimes inserts spelling errors in his comics:
    • Kidder saying to a changeling "Now neither of us will be vergins!" (instead of virgins) here
    • This one has Scootaloo saying "AGGRED!" (instead of "AGREED!") to the other Cutie Mark Crusaders, which is especially egregious as it was in a larger font than the rest of the dialog.
  • Mass Effect 3: Generations arguably takes it Up to Eleven, by misspelling the poor word as rougue! It also has Neo medi-gel being bought in rather than brought in, etc.
  • Spoofed in Darths & Droids in the part retelling the Rogue One movie. When comes time to choose a call sign, Jim (playing Bria) settles on... "Rouge One", naturally provoking a Hurricane of Puns.
    Chirrut: Really? French?
    Bria: The call sign is just cosmetic anyway.
    Chirrut: That's a bit cheeky.
    Cassian: At least we didn't get the brush off.
  • For an unknown reason, words in Sonichu containing "eni" followed by another vowel almost always get misspelled as "ein." Examples include "geinus," "seinor," and "deinal."
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal pointed out the presumably real fact that as of January 1, 2016, there were 77 academic citations for a journal called Experimental Brian Research.

    Web Original 
  • Lampshaded in Paul Robinson's Instrument of God where the story mentions that when 246 is holding up a copy of a law, he is holding an "ordinance", but when he is referring to weapons, they are "ordnance".
  • Akinator: As all the characters in his database are entered by contributors from all over the world, they tend to be poorly spelled. Luckily it's possible to fix them.
  • True Capitalist Radio: Ghost sometimes fell victim to Twitter and Chatroom names that are intentionally misspelled in an attempt to trick him into saying something he doesn't like or doesn't mean.
  • There used to be a spoof website for a company named Games Worksop. Unfortunately, it seems to have been removed — all that turns up on a search for "Games Worksop" on Google is 2000 misspelled pages...
  • Quiz websites normally do not have built-in spellcheckers. However, users sometimes use external or in-browser ones, or simply mangle one word into another because they're in the habit of typing the other word. These issues inevitably result in phrases such as "Does your best friend have fillings for you?" and "What is your favorite collar?"
  • A scoundrel at used to go out into chatrooms pretending to be a 14-year-old girl named "Amber" looking to cyber, mess with the head of whichever poor chap engaged him, and post the results on his website. One such "client" had the unlucky username of dragon_worrier2001... And the jokes just wrote themselves.
  • "Is Barack Obama Muslin?"
  • LOLcats and other similar Image Macros were originally these (the language expected of forum-dwelling Net-generation tweens) combined with pertinent images of cats, and thus suggested the child-like nature of our feline friends. Newer attempts at these are much less memorable, merely being intentionally (and gratuitously) misspelled captions with ordinary photos.
  • GameFAQs' Board 8 is so used to certain misspellings that "SNOIC", "SMAUS" and "CORNO" are Running Gags, if not Memes.
  • Misspelling various religious terminology is a bit of a meme among atheist regulars on Yahoo! Answers's Religion & Spirituality board, especially when pretending to be parody versions of fundamentalists. Apart from the standard "Angles" and "Satin", the Bible is called "the Bibble", worship is known as "warship", repenting is referred to as "repainting", the Rapture is "the Rupture", God is "Gawd" or "Cod", Jesus is "Jebus", the Holy Ghost is the Holey/Wholly/Holly Goats, and the all the letters in the word "atheist" excluding the first and last are rearranged more or less at random (misspellings of "atheist" are never pluralized, lampooning the repeated failure of the board's religious fundamentalists to pluralize the word at all).
    • Yahoo's Twitter account had an amazingly unfortunate example in early 2017. It attempted to tweet the headline "Trump Wants Much Bigger Navy". Let's just say it was "bigger" that was spelled wrong, and that B and N are right next to each other on the keyboard...
  • The SCP Foundation:
    • After the Wiki saw one too many "SPC" misspellings, eventually the Backronym "Shark Punching Center" was created.
    • In-universe, SCP-586 somehow Invokes these in every sentence written about it, even one as theoretically foolproof as "It is".
      Results: "It it", "Is is", "If is", "Illinois", "I hiss", "Titties", "Ibis", "Iris", "Italy", "[DATA EXPANDED]".
  • You don't have to go farther than TV Tropes to find some funny ones. For example, before correction the page for Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope stated that in a scene, Gohan "used salves and politics for healing." After a Double Take, you may realize it's meant to be "poultices".
  • Reddit:
    • The subreddit r/BoneAppleTea chronicles examples of this. Its name comes from an incident in which someone misspelled "bon appetit" as "bone apple tea". Examples of this found on this subreddit include spelling "floor to ceiling" as "Florida ceiling", spelling "déjà vu" as "day jaw food", spelling "Bohemian Rhapsody" as "Bohemian Rap City", and spelling "confiscate" as "coffin skate".
    • This Word Salad Philosophy uses the word "sew" in place of "sow" and "sea" in place of "see". One commenter thinks the latter is evidence of a sovereign citizen bent, as he mentions "ruler-ships" in the prior sentence and sovereign citizens seem to see naval legalese in everything, but there's no explanation for the former.
  • Gary: Landlord of the Flies: Lampshaded when Gary leaves an informal eviction notice for Gabe that read "YOUR ARE EVICTED!" When Gabe first writes about this incident, he makes sure to leave a (sic.) after the improperly-used "your."

    Web Videos 
  • Obviously parodied in Jacks Films "Your Grammar Sucks" series, where he reads off comments filled with all kinds of bad grammar. The Rouge Angles aspect is only one part of it, but still a fairly prominent one. For example...
  • When there's something written on screen on Third Rate Gamer, it's pretty much guaranteed to be misspelled. This is part of the Stylistic Suck nature of the show.
  • The scammers in Scamalot make spelling and grammar mistakes all the time. One scammer claimed to be dying from "cancer of the lever." He later "passed out."
  • How many ways are there to hilariously misspell the word "pregnant"? Let Yahoo! Answers and YouTuber J.T. Sexkik show you here.
  • As shown in the Honest Trailer of Rogue One, the fans who requested that movie misspelled the title as "Rouge One".
  • Game Grumps:
    • Dan's dad Avi's tenuous grasp of the English language has become a Running Gag.
      Dan [using three actual examples of his father's misspeaking]: I often think, whenever I'm watching Peeweedidinote , it's so nice to have a place where I can decomposenote  and think about my extrismismnote .
    • Some years earlier, Arin stumbles over the name of Rouge the Bat:
      Arin: Hey Barry? Barry, just as a challenge to you, can you replay that audio, and then put up the words- the letters, that you think what I just said.. is.
      Jon: Dude, you can go a few passes on that shit. See what you come up with.
      Barry [in captions, while replaying the audio in question]: Roige the Bat Royj a Bat Roiygjxehbad / Rohjj Rujz is with me.
  • Seen on some of the 'case cards' which the player can gather in the third installment of Detectives United. These were clearly not proofread before the game launched, as they contain multiple misspellings such as "dimention" and "confromt."

    Western Animation 
  • Subverted on Bojack Horseman. On the set of the detective show Philbert, Bojack reads the line, "This time, it's personnel." He questions the writer if the line is meant to be "It's Personal", but the writer insists he meant "personnel" because his character realized someone on the force betrayed him.
  • In Frisky Dingo the Big Bad Killface wants to advertise his new Doomsday Device, but since he doesn't have much money left after building it, has to resort to a rather incompetent marketing firm who send out postcards of him posing in front of the machine with the words "Welcome to you're "doom"."
    Killface: Welcome to 'you are' doom? And why is 'doom' in quotation marks? Is this this some kind of ironic doom?
  • Futurama:
    • The episode "The Day The Earth Stood Stupid" ends with Fry defeating the Brainspawn by writing a book full of misspelled words and Plot Holes, sending the aliens back to their home planet "for no raisin."
    Big Brain: The Big Brain am winning again! I am the greetest!
  • "The Adventures of Letterman", an animated segment of The Electric Company (1971), plays with these kinds of errors ("feet" for "feat", among many other misspellings).
  • This was the basis for the entire plot behind the South Park episode "Jared Has Aides". Guess what most people thought he had.
  • The closed caption of The Mask/Ace Ventura crossover "The Aceman Cometh" has Pretorius saying that his mind swap machine "had served it's purpose."
  • In the Regular Show episode "Birthday Gift", Rigby makes his own video game (and almost dies doing it) that Mordecai beats in less than 10 seconds, taking him to a screen reading "Your a winer game over".
  • The Beatles singalongs usually have impeccable spelling of the lyrics (flashed on the screen during each song), but the singalong of "I Should Have Known Better" has a glaring error. The line "You're gonna say you love me, too" is printed out as "Your gonna say you love me to."
  • During the climax of the movie A Boy Named Charlie Brown, the titular character loses the spelling bee by spelling "beagle" as "beagel", with the spelling he uses being similar to the word "bagel".
  • Used for comedic effect in Hey Arnold!, where a banner welcoming contestants to the city spelling bee reads "WELCOME SPEELERS!" One can't help but wonder if it was completely intentional, or a genuine mistake that was so hysterically ironic that it turned into a Throw It In moment.

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Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Rouge Angles Of Santa


Satan Claus

Santiago accidentally ordered a Satan costume instead of a Santa costume for the white elephant party. He decides to roll with it by stuffing the belly and adding a white beard.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / RougeAnglesOfSatin

Media sources: