The point of spelling correctly is clear understanding by your reader. You can't substitute plain for plane or rite for right or bad for bid. If your word processor has a spell check program, by all means use it, but be aware that it will not distinguish between too and two or there and their. If your communication leaves the office with spelling errors, you can't blame your typist because you should have reviewed the document before you signed or approved it.
We are all human and make occasional mistakes, but spelling errors are not readily forgiven. All your readers, from your boss to your spouse to your brother to your sister to your father or even to your mother, judge you by your spelling. Why? Because, with few exceptions, words have only one correct spelling.
A sampling of the exceptions follows. The first spelling is the preferred one:
|acknowledgment||fulfil or fulfill|
|or acknowledgement||taboo or tabu|
|adviser or advisor||tradable or tradeable|
|ax or axe||tunneling or tunnelling|
|bluing or blueing||tying or tieing|
|cacti or cactuses||wedded or wed|
Learning that a word has more than one correct spelling can be an interesting experience as the next paragraph illustrates.
When I arrived in San Francisco from the Seattle area, I was surprised to see