Spelling Errors We Should See

The internet is so full of transpositions of its/it’s and their/they’re/there that I often have to re-read correct usages multiple times out of surprise.

I recently wondered why we don’t see whore/who’re transpositions.  Structurally, it’s similar to its/it’s, but I wonder if the pronunciation difference between the two (aside from some British dialects) allows people to keep them straight in their heads.

This message brought to you by the people whore attending the meeting.

5 thoughts on “Spelling Errors We Should See”

  1. Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s mostly a pronunciation thing. I have a terrible time with homonyms of all kinds. I mostly know the correct usage when I make mistakes, but for some reason when I’m typing quickly my brain just picks whatever sounds close. Of course I’m sure in the “who’re/whore” case the stigma associated with the word “whore” helps keep the distinction clear too.

  2. I wonder if your brain picking a similar-sounding word has anything to do with exposure to bad examples. In recent years, I have caught myself having to edit an its/it’s transposition that I wrote. I never would have done that before, but I suspect I see so many incorrect examples that my pattern recognition has made the wrong usage no longer stand out as being unusual.

  3. FYI, I’ve had to second-guess myself every time I’ve come across an its/it’s situation ever since you posted this. I did not USED to have to do that. I blame you. 😛

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