Accidentally or Accidently

The other day I was walking past a sign which contained the word tragically. I had to stop and look at it, really look at it, because I was convinced that it was misspelled.

I couldn’t quite put my finger on why though. It certain looked too long (and that might have been due to the kerning), but every letter seemed to be in the right place. Continue reading


You may have said this today, in frustration perhaps, or in anger. Maybe it wasn’t quite as long as that. Maybe it was just a quick, cathartic Argh! I’m sure it’s something we’ve all said at least a few times in our lives. Did you ever wonder why it’s spelled in such a strange way though? Continue reading

I Put a Spell on You

At some point in the last few days I was writing about spelling, and a thought recurred to me: is it a coincidence that the verb to spell (as in, How do you spell that word?), and the noun spell (as in magic spell) are identical?

This time I’ve decided to pursue this line of inquiry, and the answer is basically: No, it’s not just a coincidence!

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Racking my Brain

Writing yesterday’s post, I came to a point where I wanted to use the phrase racking their brain. A few words before I got to the point where I had to type it though, I paused: was it wracking their brain?

I’ve never been sure how to spell it, and it’s not something I often have to write, so I never had to look it up. At least until yesterday anyway, so to satisfy all our curiosity, here’s the answer…

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