Here’s a list of misused words I hate.

I like to think that spellcheck erodes our ability to write and spell. Without constant practice and use, this tool became an eventual crutch. Add the lazy misspellings the internet generates, and it’s turned into a veritable cesspool of awful mistakes that smack me in the nuts, at a pace that is all too frequent. Amazingly, these mistakes are not exempt, even in publications like newspapers, where I often expect the quality of writing to be much better.

Alas, ’tis a tragic world we live in. Or I’m just too nitpicky.

Your / You’re

Wrong: “Your an idiot.”

Right: “You’re an idiot.”

Right: “Your uncle is an idiot for saying that – does he not understand the gravity of the situation?”

Their / There

Wrong: “Their was a fool in front of me.”

Right: “There was a fool in front of me.”

Right: “Their uncle was a fool who squandered his fortunes away, and died penniless.”

Must of / Must have

Wrong: “He must of left his brain at home.”

Right: “He must have left his brain at home.”

Right: (There is no right version.)

Rouge / Rogue

Wrong: “The operative has gone rouge, we must capture him as soon as we can.”

Right: “The operative has gone rogue, we must capture him as soon as we can.”

Right: “The operative paused to apply some rouge on her cheeks. Pleased with the effect, she smiled at her reflection, and turned away for an evening of subterfuge.”

Free rein / Free reign

Wrong: “The servant had free reign in the house, and did as he pleased.”

Right: “The servant had free rein in the house, and did as he pleased.”

Right: (There is no right version.)

Peek / Peak

Wrong: “He took a sneak peak at the lady in the shower.”

Right: “He took a sneak peek at the lady in the shower.”

Right: “He was at the peak of his life, enjoying the freedom of being an unfettered, healthy young soul who chose to do whatever he wanted.”


These are just common mistakes that continue to stab me in the eyes, every single time I see one. The list is definitely longer, but I’ll stop here.

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