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7 ways to sharpen your spelling skills

Skilled spellers aren’t a magical breed. Sure, some folks seem to be endowed with an innate ability to memorize and recognize correctly spelled words. Others have to work at it a bit. But it is certainly possible for anyone to hone his or her own spelling skills.

Try these seven tricks for perfecting your own spelling ability.

Adapted from public domain photo

 NOTE: Written by this author, this copyrighted material originally appeared on another publisher’s site. That site no longer exists. This author holds all rights to this content. No republication is allowed without permission.

1. Read a lot.

Reading boosts your vocabulary and sharpens your spelling skills. The more you read, the more you will notice and remember correctly written words.

2. Work crossword puzzles.

Daily newspapers offer these. The Sunday crosswords are the most challenging (especially The New York Times variety). You can also find crossword puzzles online and on various phone/table apps. Basically, you cannot complete these criss-cross puzzles, unless you spell words correctly. They simply won’t match up.

3. Play word-related games.

Enlist your friends and family, and increase everyone’s word power by playing Scrabble, Boggle, Words with Friends, and other word games. Choose board games, or play internet or electronic versions. Get out the dictionary to check unknown words. Watch everyone’s spelling abilities grow.

4. Do word searches.

Word find puzzles are fun to solve, and they provide excellent practice in working with correctly spelled words. Books of puzzles are widely available, and you can play with these online or on your phone for free.

5. Practice word games online.

Many puzzle sites offer word games that you can play solo, against automated opponents, or with other actual users. Popular ones include Bookworm, Hangman, Tumble Bees, Wheel of Fortune, Word Whomp, and more.

6. Purchase a word-a-day calendar.

Remember those page-a-day calendars? Why not learn a new word (along with its proper spelling and definition) each day? The entire household can benefit from this bonus. Stick the calendar on your desk or right on the kitchen counter, where everyone will see it often.

7. Explore etymologies.

By looking at the roots (and histories) of words, you will quickly spot similarities, which will make you a better speller. Consider the following words and how they are linked.

  • accommodations, commodities and commode
  • because, causal and causative
  • cessation, procession and recess
  • confuse, defuse and refuse
  • contest, pretest and testing
  • creator, recreation and procreation
  • deliberate, liberation and liberty
  • digest, congest, ingest and indigestion
  • frigid, refrigerate and refrigerator
  • insist, persist and resist
  • lax, laxative and relaxation


You get the point. The ability to spell words correctly is like a muscle that needs to be exercised. Why not make it fun?

Adapted by this user
 from public domain image

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