Incorrect spelling in the medical industry can cause confusion, the wrong care or life threatening mistakes.

A bad speller puts employers off it is that simple. A confederation of British industry survey last year suggested that 42% of employers were unhappy with the standard of reading, writing and numeracy skills amongst school leavers.  It is not just about the grades, results, what university you attended or class of degree, if you cannot spell effectively this could ultimately cause communication problems, which is unacceptable in a medical environment.  Good spelling is a fundamental part of everyone’s education and is relevant regardless of your job role.

Below is a list of the most common misspelt ‘medical’ words:

abscess, adolescence, alopecia, Alzheimer, anorexia, callus, catheter, chickenpox, cirrhosis,  diabetes, diaphragm, diphtheria, eczema, effusion, elicit, fascia, flaccid, gallbladder, gangrene, gauge,  humerus, hygiene, inoculate, intraocular, ischemia, melanin, menstruation, ophthalmology, orthopnea, pacemaker, palliative, palpate, palpitation, perineum, periosteum, peritoneum, peroneal, prosthesis, prostate, protocol, rhythm, sedentary, spleen, syphilis, tonsils, tonsillectomy, tricuspid, ventricle, vertical, and xiphoid.

Below is a list of the most common misspelt ‘everyday’ words:

separate;  definitely;   manoeuvre;   embarrass;  occurrence;  consensus;  unnecessary;  acceptable;  broccoli;  referred;  bureaucracy;  supersede;  questionnaire;  connoisseur;  a lot;  entrepreneur;  particularly;  liquefy; conscience and parallel.

Why is it that people’s spelling skills seem to be weaker than ever?  Are we as a nation relying too much on the “spell checker” but what happens when you are presented with an application form in an office, few people carry around a dictionary, therefore inaccurate spelling will have a significant negative influence when completing that all important application form.

Writers who try to rely on the sound of an English word in order to spell it will often have trouble with some of the strange and unfamiliar sound-spell combination in the English language for example, if we consider the words manoeuvre and bureaucracy from the above list, both these words do in fact originate from the French language and until quite recently it was considered that most people of a reasonable education knew the basics of the French language. However, people also struggle when it comes to a double letter for example the word ‘unnecessary’ or when people apply the letter ‘s’ when it should be ‘c’.

Spelling is extremely relevant because bad spelling creates an impression that the writer is of low intelligence, careless and unfamiliar with the English language.  It can confuse and irritate the reader, having to read and re-read in order to make sense of what the writer is trying to convey, it has the effect of inhibiting comprehension.

However, others are of the opinion that bad spelling has no reflection on a person’s level of intelligence and it is simply a case of visually remembering a word, how often have we been asked to spell a word and you will say “just a minute let me write it down”.   Therefore if you do not have the ability to be a strong visual learner you will have to work extra hard to learn some of the most basic misspelt words.  You must adopt a planned and sustained effort to improve your spelling skills because this will ultimately improve your overall grammar and deliverance of the English language.