I use this almost every day
on the CGC forums
A Guide to Spelling and Punctuation (English 101)
Accept: To receive willingly. The school is accepting new applicants.
Except: To exclude or leave out. We saw every landmark except The Statue of Liberty.
Access: The act of approaching or entering. The condition of allowing entry. The right or privilege to approach, reach, enter, or make use of something. A store with easy access. She fights for free access to her children.
Excess: The amount or degree by which one quantity exceeds another. Overindulgence. Profit is the excess of sales over costs. He drank to excess.
Advice: He refused to take my advice.
Advise: I advise the members regularly.
Affect: Room treatment affects frequency response. Infection can affect the heart. Living in England has affected his accent. Inflation affects the buying power of the dollar.
Effect: The effect of room treatment on frequency response is fully understood. Drinking has an effect on your judgment. A new law goes into effect next week. He is suffering from the effects of over-eating; His discovery had little effect at first. He tried to effect a reconciliation between his parents.
It is quite common for the verb effect to be mistakenly used where affect is intended. Effect is relatively uncommon and rather formal, and is a synonym of `bring about'. Conversely, the noun effect is quite often mistakenly written with an initial a. The following are correct: the group is still recovering from the effects of the recession; they really are powerless to effect any change. The next two examples are incorrect: the full affects of the shutdown won't be felt for several more days; men whose lack of hair doesn't effect their self-esteem.
Attain: To gain or achieve an objective. To acomplish a task or goal. Attain success or reach a desired goal. Attain a diploma by hard work. To attain glory. He's halfway to attaining his pilot's license.
Obtain: To gain possession of. Acquire. How did you obtain the visa? He obtained a large sum of money by buying and selling old houses.
Base: The lowest or bottom part. The base of the plant has turned yellow. The base of natural logarithm is 2.718281828. The nation’s industrial base. The base of the cliff. The base of the lamp is broken.
Bass: The lowest frequencies of sound waves. A type of fish. The bass performance of the front speakers are very good. I bought a bass guitar. I love bass fishing.
Bi: Two. Twice. Biweekly. Bisexual. Bicycle.
By: The window by the door. We drove by the house. I will be there by six o'clock.
Bye: Short for goodbye.
Buy: To purchase something. Buy and sell.
Capital: A town or city that is the official seat of government in a political entity. Wealth in the form of money or property. Capital letters. Primary, chief, or principal. How much capital do you need? This project is of capital importance. The capital of Canada is Ottawa.
Capitol: A government building occupied by the legislature. The building in Washington, D.C., where the Congress of the United States meets.
Chord: A group of three or more notes sounded together in harmony. In music, a number of notes played together. An emotional response. For example, her words struck a sympathetic chord in her audience.
Cord: A long thin string or rope made from several twisted strands. A length of cord. A spinal cord. The bundle was tied with a cord.
Complement: Something that completes, makes up a whole, or brings to perfection. As far as taste is concerned, salt and pepper complement each other. Bread and butter are complementary products.
Compliment: An expression of praise, admiration, or congratulation. Thank you for your compliments.
Component: Correct spelling.
Componant: Incorrect spelling.
Definite: Correct spelling.
Definate: Incorrect spelling.
Desert: A barren or desolate area. A desert island. Lawrence of Arabia was shot in the Jordanian desert.
Dessert: A usually sweet course or dish, as of fruit, ice cream, or pastry, served at the end of a meal.
Discrete: Constituting a separate thing. Consisting of unconnected distinct parts. In mathematics Defined for a finite or countable set of values; not continuous.
Discreet: Showing prudence and wise self-restraint in speech and behavior. Free from pretension; modest. Careful to avoid social embarrassment or distress, especially by keeping confidences secret; tactful.
Discretion: The quality of being discreet. Ability or power to decide responsibly. The quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid social embarrassment or distress. Freedom or authority to make judgments and to act as one sees fit. Please show more discretion in your posts. All the decisions were left to our discretion.
Doe: The female of various mammals, such as deer, rabbit, goat, or kangaroo. In Law: Fictious name. John Doe.
Dough: A thick mixture of flour, water or milk, used for making bread, pastry, pizza, etc. Slang: Money.
Doughnut: Correct way of spelling.
Donut: Lazy way of spelling.
Ensure: To make certain or to make sure. To make safe or secure; protect guarantee. This nest egg will ensure a nice retirement for us. This victory will ensure his happiness.
Insure: To guarantee or protect against risk, loss, etc. To arrange for the payment of a sum of money in the event of the loss of (something) or accident or injury. Is your car insured?
Every Day: Every day is a phrase that combines the adjective every with the noun day. I walk my dog every day at 8 a.m.
Everyday: Everyday is an adjective that means “daily.” Walking my dog is an everyday activity.
For: For movie applications, bipole/dipole surround speakers are preferred. I put the house for sale. She was for the proposal.
Four: Two or four subwoofers are better than one.
Farther: To or at a more distant or remote point. I ran farther than the others. I went no farther that day. He carried the idea farther.
Further: More distant in degree, time, or space. Additional. To a greater extent; more. A result that was further from our expectations than last time. A further example. A further delay. He stated further that he would not cooperate with the committee. We went only three miles further. I will be reading five pages further tonight.
Since the Middle English period many writers have used farther and further interchangeably. According to a relatively recent rule, however, farther should be reserved for physical distance and further for nonphysical, metaphorical advancement. Thus 74 percent of the Usage Panel prefers farther in the sentence If you are planning to drive any farther than New York, you'd better carry chains, and 64 percent prefers further in the sentence We won't be able to answer these questions until we are further along in our research. In many cases, however, the distinction is not easy to draw. If we speak of a statement that is far from the truth, for example, we should also allow the use of farther in a sentence such as Nothing could be farther from the truth. But Nothing could be further from the truth is so well established as to seem a fixed expression.
Feel: I don't feel well today. I can feel the vibrations.
Fill: Fill the gas tank. Fill a prescription. You must fill the requirements.
Gray: The color gray (between black and white).
Grey: Name of a person. Charles Grey. A variant of gray.
Hair: I am losing my hair. He won by a hair.
Hare: Any of various mammals similar to rabbits but having longer ears and legs.
He’s: Contraction of he is. He’s going to school today.
His: The possessive form of he. His speakers are great. It is his own fault. If you can’t find yours, take his.
Here: Come here, please. We come here every summer.
Hear: Can you hear any sound from the subwoofer? Hear what I have to tell you.
Hole: An opening. I dug a hole in the ground. There is a hole in your argument. I am in a hole.
Whole: Containing all components. Complete. Constituting the full amount, extent, or duration. I want the whole thing. The baby cried the whole trip. Your whole idea is wrong.
Horse: A large hoofed animal having a short-haired coat and a long tail used for riding or carrying loads. Informal: To indulge in horseplay or frivolous activity. Stop horsing around and get to work.
Hoarse: Having or characterized by a husky, grating voice. Rough or harsh in sound. We shouted ourselves hoarse. You sound hoarse – do you have a cold?
It’s: Contraction of It Is. It’s 5 o’clock in the morning.
Its: The possessive form of it. The performance of its driver is impressive. The airline canceled its early flight.
Loose: Loose is an adjective, the opposite of tight or contained. My shoes are loose. I have a loose tooth. There's a dog running loose in the street.
Lose: Lose is a verb that means to suffer the loss of, to miss. I win! You lose! Don't lose your keys. I never lose bets.
Licence: British spelling.
License: American spelling.
Lot: A tract or parcel of land. Land lot. Parking lot.
A lot: To a very great degree or extent. I feel a lot better. A lot of things are different now.
Allotment: In gardening: a small area of land for individuals to grow their own food. In travel industry: a block of pre-negotiated airline seats or hotel rooms held by a travel organizer till a certain period of time.
Passed: Past tense of the verb to pass. The car passed the train.
Past: Used as an adverb of place, or as a preposition. The past few days have been very tiring.
Potato: Correct spelling.
Potatoes: Correct spelling.
Tomato: Correct spelling.
Tomatoes: Correct spelling.
Quiet: Making little or no noise. I prefer to watch movies at night when it is quiet. I took a quiet afternoon nap. The child wouldn’t quiet down. I prefer to live in a quiet neighborhood.
Quite: To the greatest extent; completely; to a degree. I am not quite finished. This food is quite tasty. The speakers are quite attractive. That is quite impossible.
Sale: The exchange of goods or services for money. Activities involved in selling goods or services. The sale of a house. Temporary reduction of prices to increase sales. Clearance sale. Inventory sale. I bought my BD player in a sale.
Sell: Verb. To dispose of or transfer of goods or services to a purchaser in exchange for money or other considerations. He sells used cars. To sell an idea. Hard sell. Soft sell.
Stationary: Not moving. Fixed. Standing still. The car remained stationary with the engine running.
Stationery: Writing materials and office supplies. Writing paper and envelopes.
Than: She is older than I. Separate amplifiers are better than receivers. The manual was easier than I thought. I sing better than he does. I prefer to own separate components rather than wasting my money on a cheap HTIB.
Then: I was still in school then. He watched the late movie and then went to bed. The bus leaves at four; until then let's walk. The then chairman of the board was Big Daddy. It costs $20, and then there's the sales tax to pay. I need a vacation. Then again, so do my coworkers.
Their: The possessive form of they. Many members prefer to have external amplifiers in their HT setup. Everyone should bring their own lunch.
There: There are many speaker companies. Sit over there.
They’re: Contraction of They Are.
Thorn: A stiff, sharp-pointed woody projection on the stem or other part of a plant. A rose plant has many thorns. He is a thorn in my side.
Torn: Past participle of tear. Divided or undecided, as in preference. My shirt is torn. He was torn between staying and leaving. Torn between love and hate.
Through: Went through the tunnel. A walk through the flowers. Climbed in through the window. Bought the antique vase through a dealer. Her application went through our office. Run the figures through the computer. A tour through France. Stayed up through the night. We are through the initial testing period. A play that runs through December; a volume that covers A through D. Drove through a red light. She succeeded through hard work. He declined the honor through modesty.
Thru: Informal spelling of through.
Threw: Past tense of throw.
True: Not false or erroneous. Reliable; accurate.
To: In a direction; towards. The ocean water was clear all the way to the bottom. I am going to send the amplifier to you. I am waiting for an answer to my question.
Too: I like the speakers too. She worries too much. He's only too willing to be of service. Can I come too?
Two: Two subwoofers are better than one.
Toe: The forepart of a foot or hoof. The part of the leg of a human being below the ankle joint. The part of the head of a golf club farthest from the shaft. Step on someone's toes.
Tow: To pull or drag (a vehicle, boat, etc.), by means of a rope or cable. He was using the vehicle to tow his trailer.
Vary: To make or cause changes. To be different or cause to be different The subwoofers vary in price and performance. The temperature varied throughout the day. These apples vary in size from small to medium.
Very: In a high degree; extremely; mere. Thank you very much. I am very happy. The very thought of four subwoofers is frightening.
Were: I wish you were here. If I were a carpenter.
Where: Where is your subwoofer? He lives where the climate is mild.
We’re: Contraction of We Are.
Who’s: Contraction of Who Is. Who’s your daddy?
Whose: Possessive adjective form of who. Whose car are you driving?
Which: The movie which was shown later was better. Which of these is yours?
Witch: A woman claiming or popularly believed to possess magical powers and practice sorcery.
You’re: Contraction of You Are. You’re a knowledgeable person.
Your: The possessive form of you. Your blu-ray collection is impressive. The switch is on your right. I like your system. I need your help.