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LanguageTool’s Mixed Bag—September 2021

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Our mixed bag explains how to spell these words correctly: lieutenant, rhythm, miniscule vs. minuscule, and colonel.

This mixed bag is full of surprises. Learn about four tricky cases of spelling.
We present four tricky challenges when it comes to English spelling.

Some topics are rather compelling, but don’t require profound explanations. That’s why Insights bundles up this mixed bag once a month. This time, we focus on spelling challenges. How do you spell military titles like lieutenant and colonel? Is there a difference between minuscule and miniscule? Where should I put the “h” in rhythm?


How do I Spell Lieutenant Correctly?

Certain titles and ranks stick out because of their difficult and unexpected spelling. Lieutenant, for instance, comes from French. In British English, you even include an “f”-sound in the first syllable (“lef-”) whereas the American version sounds like “loo-TEN-ənt”.


What is the Correct Spelling of “Rhythm”?

If you struggle with the word “rhythm”, try this mnemonic device: “Rhythm helps your two hips move.” Take every first letter of the sentence, and you’ll get it right. Oh, the “two hips” may also stand for the two “h’s” of the word. Happy dancing!


Do You Spell it “Miniscule” or “Minuscule”?

Language is weird. It would make sense if the opposite of the noun “majuscule”, for instance, started with the prefix “mini-”, as it literally means “small”. However, “miniscule” as well as “minuscule” can both be adjectives, and only the latter is the proper antonym of “majuscule”.


How do We Spell “Colonel” the Right Way?

Certain words stick out because of their unexpected spelling. “Colonel”, for instance, is spelled as if it would have three syllables, but actually has the same pronunciation as “kernel”. Do you know of other examples of these so-called homophones?


LanguageTool is a helpful assistant for successful writing. It can spot misplacements of majuscules and minuscules, as well as spelling mistakes in words like rhythm. It also supports you cracking the nut if you want to eat the kernel.

Signed, Lieutenant Colonel
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