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This spelling help page is all about making words more distinctive and easier to remember. These tips show you the most efficient ways to use your memory. You don’t want to make it work harder than it has to.
I also want you to have a go at spelling one of the world’s longest and most useless words. Spelling a really long word is just as easy as spelling a short one.
The important thing to remember is to not get annoyed when you make a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes, but only a fool gives up trying.
To illustrate this technique we need a generally annoying word like 'Necessary'. This is a good one to use as it is quite commonly misspelled.
Remember the tricky parts of a word in a distinctive way.
I imagine the 'ece' in 'necessary' as a pair of eyes, with the 'c' in the middle as the nose (see graphic).
I also think of the double S’s as a pair of snakes. This fits well with the word ‘necessary’ as it sounds like a snake hissing. This extra audio association, again, makes it more distinctive.
If you don’t like snakes you could alternatively think of the double S's as doors in the middle of the word. You could imagine them swinging open. If the memory cue is moving it will make it more distinctive. It doesn’t matter how you make it memorable as long as it stays in your head.
Click here for books to help improve spelling.
Always find the easiest way to remember the spelling of words:
Use your memory as efficiently as possible.
I use to think the word ‘architecture’ was pretty difficult to spell. However this was a silly thing to think.
If we break the word down we can see the only unusual thing about it is the silent ‘h’ (see graphic).
Therefore to make it as easy as possible to remember you just need to think ‘architecture’ has a weird ‘h’ in it.
It’s the same with the word character it’s got a silent ‘h’ after the ‘c’
Chunking is what the country's top spellers do. In a similar way you might remember a phone number. They break long words into groups of three or four letters. This is to picture long words in smaller easy to imagine pieces. Some people referred to this as visualisation, which is just a fancy term for using imagination.
For example let’s take the word:
This is one of the longest and most unused words in the English language. However once it’s been broken down each chunk is just as easy to spell as any other small word. Any person, no matter how intelligent, will always spell a long word by breaking it down into pieces (see graphic).
As you can see (in the blue box) I’ve broken the word down into 9 chunks. Look at how each part is just as easy to spell as any other small word like ‘tree’ or ‘cat’.
Quick 'spelling help' exercise:
Learn how to spell antidisestablishmentarianism to prove to yourself there is no word you can’t spell.
Learn it one piece at a time.
Use the techniques above to help
Take your time
If you get it wrong don’t worry keep trying. Everyone makes mistakes but only a fool gives up.
Combining the spelling help techniques:
These techniques work best when used in conjunction with one another, so mix and match.
Forgetting is a part of remembering:
I’m always forgetting how to spell words I already know. Sometimes it’s because I haven’t used the word often enough. Other times it just slips out of my head. If you forget the spelling of a word don’t let it bother you. It happens to everyone dyslexic or not.
Everyone uses memory techniques:
I think you would be surprised to know that most non-dyslexic people use one kind of memory technique or another. Click here for memory improvement techniques. The alphabet song everyone learnt at school is a memory technique. At the end of the day it is just a distinctive way to make the information stay in your mind.
Try not to make your memory work harder than it has to. Chunking is the simplest and easiest way to make words easy to remember. Most people with really good memories use some form of memory technique.
Don’t worry if you don’t remember every word all the time, mistakes are a part of life.
Winston Churchill said
“Success is being able to go from one failure to the next with endless enthusiasm”