This content is recommended for 30~60 minute sessions. Note that tutors may not be familiar with the content. Make sure you consult with your tutor before using this material.
After a quick greeting, read the following article out loud. Your tutor will go over pronunciation if necessary.
[P1] Karthik Nemmani, this year’s 14-year-old Scripps National Spelling Bee — crowned Thursday night after correctly spelling “koinonia” — puts us all to shame. But do you know who puts us even more to shame? Us. That’s the takeaway from the 2018 list from Google Trends of what English words, simple words, really, that Google searchers are misspelling the most — broken down by state. Examples?
- Beautiful: The word most mispelled by residents of Washington, California, Utah, Arizona, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Virginia, North Carolina and Massachussetts
- Tomorrow: Montana
- Chaos: South Dakota
- Hors D’ Oeuvres: Florida
- Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: Texas, Oregon, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio and Georgia
[P2] Of course, some purists might object to that last, rather obscure, word, culled from Mary Poppins. And at least one complainant on the Google Trends page noted that North Dakota’s most misspelled word, “yacht,” isn’t exactly pertinent to that land-locked state.
[P3] Then there was a smattering of words that might, might, pop up in a business context: One was resume, the most misspelled word in New York, New Jersey and Colorado. Google’s version had no accent, so we’re guessing that the site meant the verb, as in “to start again”; but job applicants should be aware of the difference and recognize that for the noun, two apostrophes over both “e’s” are generally used for the title of the vita.
[P4] There’s sincerely, the most misspelled word in Missouri and Connecticut; cancelled, in Delaware and Oklahoma; and apparel, in West Virginia. All in all, not a bad list. Just remember that apostrophe, people. And, again, if you’re a job applicant, remember to apply to the personnel office and not make things personal.
Read the word/expression and definition out loud. Your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.
|spelling bee||(n) a contest in which competitors are eliminated as they fail to spell a given word correctly
|hors d’oeuvres||(n) an appetizer served before a meal.
e.g. a tray of assorted hors d’oeuvres
|purist||(n) a person who has very strong ideas about what is correct or acceptable and who usually opposes changes to traditional methods and practices
e.g. jazz/music purists
|cull||(v) to select or choose (someone or something) from a group
e.g. She culled the information from newspaper articles.
|pertinent||(adj) relating to the thing that is being thought about or discussed
e.g. His comments weren’t pertinent (to the discussion).
Use the following questions as a guideline to help develop an interesting conversation with your tutor. Feel free to diverge from these suggestions if anything interesting comes up.
- Summarize the article in your own words.
- What are some of the words that you commonly misspell?
- Find other words with confusing spelling with your tutor.
- Does misspelling and grammar mistakes bother you? Share your thoughts with your Cambly tutor!