Monday, February 7, 2011

Frequently misspelled words and names

Let's play the name game. My name is Harmony. My mom's name is Meleani (think Melanie). I get called Melody and Melanie all the time, while my mom deals with telemarketers who think she's from Hawaii and who pronounce her name Mel-eee-on-eee.

Misspelled words and names are common errors in every profession. From the simplest words to the most technical jargon, words are weapons and tools that we need to use carefully.

My mom's name is not the only example. Mallary Tenore writes on Poynter that her name is frequently misspelled and mispronounced by journalists and peers alike. She writes:
Craig Silverman, author of “Regret the Error,” said academic research shows that misspelled names are the sixth most common newspaper error. Misquotes are the most common, followed by incorrect headlines, numerical errors, general misspellings and incorrect job titles.
So the spelling game or name game isn't as easy as it sounds. Spelling may seem easy, but having mindset that spelling is easy will keep you from accurate writing. Newspapers don't like corrections, bosses don't like it when you spell their names wrong, and the public does not trust inaccurate publications, so watch out for those uncommon and common spelling errors. They'll get you.

And we're not just talking newspapers or press releases here. My mom is a singer and has had her name misspelled in numerous show programs.

How do you fact check and spell check your writing?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Harmony,

    Interesting read you have here. I feel your mom's pain, as my last name Visaisouk (pronounced vee-sai-sook) has been mispronounced my entire life. Sometimes it can be funny, sometimes it can be annoying... It can be easy for others to mispronounce a name, but fortunately there is a new tool out there helping people with hard to pronounce names.

    It is called an ANT, or audible name tag, and basically it is an icon that teaches others to pronounce your name correctly, without you actually having to tell them. I think your mom could benefit! Our website is Also please be sure to drop by our blog called The Mispronouned Name at

    Thanks for sharing!