What trick do you use to remember to spell a word correctly?

No matter how hard you study, how familiar you are with a word’s Latin/Spanish/French/other root, or how many times you’ve looked it up in the dictionary, you probably have one or two words that repeatedly trip you up and slow down your creative writing.

As I mentioned in a previous post, it often helps to pronounce a word correctly before trying to spell it. Unfortunately, the English language is full of words that are exceptions to this rule. You then need to develop your own mnemonic or trick to help you remember the correct spelling.

When I was in elementary school, the word separate always gave me problems—at least until my parents found a rodent in our basement. Suddenly it was easy to remember a rat, right there in the middle of the word separate. (For the sake of full disclosure, it was a mouse, but that hardly works with the word separate, does it?)

What tricks have you learned to remember difficult words to spell?

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