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This blog is about the fascinating, fun, and challenging things about the English language. I hope to entertain you and to help you with problems or just questions you might have with spelling and usage. I go beyond just stating what is right and what is wrong, and provide some history or some tips to help you remember. Is something puzzling you? Feel free to email me at wordlady.barber@gmail.com.
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The eyes have it

A very frequently misspelled word is ophthalmology, the branch of medicine dealing with the eyes (and its derivative ophthalmologist). Most commonly, people forget the first h, likely under the influence of "optic", but the first l also often falls by the wayside. If you have problems with this word (and who can blame you?), you have two options:
1) This word is about eyes, and we have two of those, so think about that to help you remember that there are two h's and two l's.
2) Use the word "eye doctor"! (if only life were so easy...)

1 comment:

  1. I misspelled "mastectomy" for years: I associated it with "vasectomy" and cut out the "t" in the root "mast"

    Illiterate in the City

    ReplyDelete

About Me

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Canada's Word Lady, Katherine Barber is an expert on the English language and a frequent guest on radio and television. She was Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Her witty and informative talks on the stories behind our words are very popular. Contact her at wordlady.barber@gmail.com to book her for speaking engagements; she can tailor her talks to almost any subject. She is also available as an expert witness for lawsuits.