Spelling and Hyphenation
Good spelling skills are essential for a copyeditor. Although copyeditors who work on-screen are rescued from some misspellings by the spellchecking feature, spellcheckers do not distinguish between homophones (principal and principle), do not account for spellings determined by usage (resume and résumé), and may allow variant spellings (catalog and catalogue) in the same document. And, of course, spellcheckers do not highlight a misspelled word if the misspelling is itself a word (from and form). Thus spellchecking would not detect any errors in the following sentence: “Too bee oar knot two beet, what is the question. ”
People who are good spellers not only know how to spell many commonly misspelled words but also
readily look up unfamiliar or unusual words know which words they always have to look up know that usage affects spelling are not fooled by homophones double-check a word in the dictionary before changing it on the manuscript do not introduce misspellings into a manuscript
The following list should give you a little trouble—but only a little—if you're a strong speller. Don't look at the dictionary yet. Place an X next to the words you know are misspelled and put a next to the words you're not sure about.