We hope you’re aren’t sick of learning how to spell difficult words! Whether you’re a conscientious student, a dedicated career professional, or just someone who wants their communication to be as carefully crafted as possible, keep in mind that the best way to make a good impression when you’re writing to someone is to spell all the words correctly. Doctors and other medical professionals might have a reputation for having hard-to-read handwriting, but once you decipher their scrawls, you’ll find important and accurately-spelled terminology on their records and prescriptions. The field of medicine is full of difficult words, and learning some of the letter patterns in these words will help you be a better speller in any field. Open up your mind and say “Aaaaah – a new set of words to practice!”
Double Letter Disease
In some cases, it’s easy to remember when a letter is doubled in a word, because the pronunciation of the word changes. For example, the word vaccine is pronounced vak-SEEN; you can think of the first ‘c’ as possessing the ‘k’ sound and the second ‘c’ as possessing the ‘s’ sound, and you’ll need both of them to spell the word correctly. On the other hand, there’s no easy way to know that the ‘s’ sound at the end of abscess involves not one ‘s’ but two. For words like these, you need to practice and memorize the spelling. Learn more about double-letter difficulties here.
Silent Letter Syndrome
As we’ve mentioned before, one of the hardest things to do is figure out the “silent letter” aspect that makes the connection between English spelling and English pronunciation so difficult some times. In these three words, the ‘ph’ sound is pronounced ‘f’ (which in a way makes both the ‘p’ and the ‘h’ silent letters!) and in the first two words, the ‘g’ is silent, with both diaphragm and phlegm ending in a simple ‘m’ sound.
While several Eastern European languages are more notorious for their difficult consonant clusters, it’s not unknown for English words to have combinations of three or even four consonants in a row. However, in the the second and third words below, the consonant ‘y’ is technically acting as a vowel.