Good writing speaks directly to the reader. That’s why taking care over spelling matters. Misspelled words distract the reader from what you are trying to say.
The same is true whether you’re working in old or new media. Mark Luckie makes the point for new media in his excellent blog on digital journalism.
So here are three pairs of words that can cause problems because they sound the same but are spelled differently depending on their meaning (officially known as homophones).
Discreet means unobtrusive or private, but discrete means separate or distinct
Complement means to go well together but compliment means to praise
Stationery means paaper or envelopes, but stationary means standing still
Are there any words that you’d like to add to the list of troublemakers?