Time for another installment. (To see previous editions, search my journal for the phrase "words easily" (no quotes)—that'll show the whole series.)
- Easy typo to make: alter for altar. (And of course a spellchecker won't catch this, as is often true for common typos.)
- adverse for averse. Both are words, of course, but they're not synonyms.
- ostensively—I'm not sure what this was a typo for, but at least two authors have used it in the past few months. From context, I'm vaguely guessing it was meant to be either ostensibly or ostentatiously, though neither of those quite fit the contexts either. (Ha, joke's on me: MW11 sez ostensive has been around since 1782 as a synonym for ostensible (and it has another meaning as well). I don't care; it still looks like a typo to me, and almost nobody ever uses it, and in any case the people who I saw using it were misusing it.)
- It's often easy to type then for than or vice versa.
- Very common misspelling: beautific for beatific. Though I don't think I've seen beautified for beatified.
- Also fairly common: pentultimate for penultimate.
- puss for pus.
- Very common, and I'm surprised I haven't mentioned it before: diety for deity. Many years ago I started pronouncing it "DAY-it-ee" instead of "DEE-it-ee" to remind myself of the spelling.
- Seen this a couple times lately: exasperated for exacerbated. (MW11 does list this meaning for exasperated, but lists it as obsolete.)
- Also saw this a couple times recently: malinger for linger. To malinger is to fake illness (as one might do in order to avoid work).
- Last time I posted a set of these, Merrie mentioned one in comments that I should've noted, because it's a mistake I make all the time now: hoard for horde, and vice versa. As with reign/rein, I see this confusion so often that it's infected me; I have to stop and think through it two or three times to make sure I'm using the right one (I almost typed "the write one"), and I still get it wrong sometimes. My confusion may've started back when I decided I wanted to put together an organization for wordplay enthusiasts, to be known as the "Word Horde." (If you don't know what I'm talking about, cf word-hoard.)
One more thing, along related lines: I keep seeing authors using the verb quipped in stories, connected to lines of dialogue that aren't quips. A quip is usually a clever or witty or funny comment, often impromptu, usually brief. If a remark is longwinded, serious, or even just not funny, it's probably not a quip. I suspect a better word in many cases would be rejoined, but in most of these cases said would probably be best of all.