How do I know if I am spelling “definitely” correctly?

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Correct your misspellings or you can lose credibility

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Some people defiantly spell definitely incorrectly. Here are some imaginative spellings:

  • defiantly (yes that is a real word)
  • definately (this is how I would get it wrong)
  • definantly
  • deffiently
  • definatly
  • definetly
  • definently
  • deffinetley
  • deffinatly
  • deffeinattelly
  • defintley
  • defnately
  • defanatley
  • defintley
  • definetlay
  • definitly
  • defnitly
  • defanately

Wait, how am I supposed to spell that word? The simple answer is it is “definite” + “ly”.

Although people invent many spellings, there is one definite spelling. Remember “definite” and add “ly” to change the word into an adverb. But don’t remove any letters or edit the spelling. “DEFINITE” + “LY”

A finite list of one correct spelling. “DE” + “FINITE” + “LY”

Spelling D-E-F-I-N-I-T-E-L-Y correctly is something of a pet peeve of many people. There is a Facebook page where people mock the misspellings. One recent commenter tells of her method to remember:

my way to remember to spell “definitely” correctly.
DE-FIN-IT-ELY. De-fin: Cut off a tail? It: explains itself. Ely: like someones name, Ellie.
like saying, “De-fin it Ely!”
so it is spelled: definitely
Author: Sabrina MacVicar

Another person created a one page website to teach the world the correct spelling:
http://d-e-f-i-n-i-t-e-l-y.com/ Of course you need to know the correct spelling to get to the page. I checked, and http://d-e-f-i-n-a-t-e-l-y.com/ , the most common misspelling is registered already. But the page has not been written yet.

Definitely means without any doubt. Using it in a sentence: With all this practice, I definitely spelled “definitely” correctly. An adverb modifies a verb. In this case the verb is “spelled”, the simple past tense and past participle of spell.

But why do you need to spell definitely in the first place? You learned what an adverb and adjective is, so you should use them when you write. Right? Maybe not:

At this point you might be thinking I have an axe to grind concerning this issue. Perhaps, but maybe not. I read an excellent article in Writer’s Digest back in ’96 on the overuse of “ly” adverbs and adjectives. I don’t have the article anymore, but it stood me on end. I checked over my own work and saw it was sprinkled with the little devils. I made up my mind not to allow them in my work anymore.

The article suggested that upon completion of a first draft, one should use the “Edit – Find” feature of your word processors. Then type in “ly,” hit “find,” and rewrite any sentence that contains an “ly” ending word in it. I found this to be excellent advice. It made my writing stronger, tighter, more powerful, and easier to read.

Erick Emert writing Those “ly” Ending Adverbs

It looks like good advice. For strong writing that is easy to read, omit the weak adverbs and instead use strong verbs.

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