As an editor, part of my job is to make sure that published material is correct. Words that sound alike but have different spellings are a common source of error. Most writers quickly learn the correct usage of who/whom, its/it’s, and their/there/they’re. But some sound-alikes are tricky enough to trip up professionals, too–especially when we’re on a tight deadline or have a cat strolling across the keyboard.
Here’s a list of ten word pairs that I’ve seen used incorrectly in recently-published books, magazines, and authoritative blogs. Have you misused any of these words? You’re in good company! Even editors make these mistakes, sometimes.