Ultimate Spelling For Education

Ultimate Spelling EDU is the world's most advanced spelling learning system for schools. With Ultimate Spelling, you have your spelling teaching requirements completely under control.

Based on proven science, Ultimate Spelling EDU contains all the features of Ultimate Spelling plus:

It's absolutely essential your students graduate with their spelling educational requirements met. With Ultimate Spelling EDU these spelling requirements are more than met. Students also improve academic performance, are prepared for standardized tests, and improve their confidence.

The next step is to see Ultimate Spelling for yourself. Simply fill out the form and we'll send you a free no obligation trial of the full version of Ultimate Spelling EDU.

The Science

Ultimate Spelling is scientifically designed, and utilizes principles based on decades of research in learning, retention, and psychology. Here is a summary of the theory and research behind Ultimate Spelling's effectiveness.

Craik, F., and Tulving, E. "Depth of processing and the retention of words in episodic memory." Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Vol 104(3) (1975): 268-294. Print and PDF. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0096-3445.104.3.268

In this seminal study performed at the University of Toronto, Canada, the authors performed a series of tests in which they gave the study participants a sequence of words to learn, with information related to each word as it appeared in order. They discovered that when the information provided stimulated the participant's brain to process the word on a more involved level (referred to as "deep encoding" or "degree of elaboration" in the study), that word was more effectively learned and remembered. With Ultimate Spelling, the user is given a wide range of additional information about each spelling word, including the word's definition - one of the key factors in enhanced memory, according to this study - as well as usage examples, synonyms, and antonyms.

Gelman, B.D., Gruber, M.J., and Ranganath, C. "States of Curiosity Modulate Hippocampus-Dependent Learning via the Dopaminergic Circuit." Neuron, 22 October 2014, 84(2): 486-496. Web. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2014.08.060

Students who are eager to learn are more likely to remember what they have learned, something that the authors of this study demonstrate. They used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to show real-time connections between a person's curiosity about a specific topic, and the production of dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and the brain's reward system. The authors also concluded that a higher level of interest and curiosity in a topic or question leads to better memory and enhanced learning. Including exercises that stimulate curiosity, and providing reward mechanisms as part of the study process, also increases a person's ability to absorb and retain information, as the researchers found. Ultimate Spelling has a text import feature that allows each user to include and incorporate practice material that matches their interests, while learning the spelling of words in those texts. The system also uses several different reward systems to encourage users to continue working towards their defined goals.

Garcia, S.M., Tor, A., and Schiff, T.M. "The Psychology of Competition: A Social Comparison Perspective." Perspectives on Psychological Science, November 2013, 8(6):634-650. Print and web. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1745691613504114

Each person is influenced by a unique set of factors related to their own status and progress towards goals, but is also affected to a greater or lesser degree by the achievements and perceived standards of the people around them. This analysis of past and current studies looks at the way people view and are motivated by individual goals as well as societal achievement (competition). The authors conclude that effective use of motivational strategies must take both into account. This is something that Ultimate Spelling accomplishes by providing each user with the ability to set personal goals, earn reward points, and view their own progress tracking reports, and also to publish all of those results on public social media platforms.

Kivetz, R., Urminsky, O., and Zheng, Y. "The Goal-Gradient Hypothesis Resurrected: Purchase Acceleration, Illusionary Goal Progress, and Customer Retention." Journal of Marketing Research, February 2006, 43(1):39-58. Web. http://dx.doi.org/10.1509/jmkr.43.1.39

In a study focusing on the influence of reward-scheme programs on behavior, the authors found that when people see visible progress towards their goals they are more likely to increase the activity required to reach those goals. The study also confirms that most people are also motivated by receiving rewards for completing specific activities, even if those rewards are not immediately transferable to actual material or monetary benefits. Status points, rewards, and real-time progress tracking are all methods used in Ultimate Spelling to encourage frequent spelling practice by awarding points for the completion of exercises and activities. Because the user can access their progress charts at any time, they will always be able to see how close they are to achieving their personal spelling goals.

Buton, M., Winterbauer, N., and Todd, T. "Relapse processes after the extinction of instrumental learning: Renewal, resurgence, and reacquisition." Behavioural Processes, May 2012, 90(1): 130–141. Print and web. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2012.03.004

Instrumental learning, also called "operant conditioning," is a method by which behaviors are learned in connection with a stimulus, a reward, or both. In this research done at the University of Vermont, the authors studied the ways in which the information connected to a specific behavior is retained when the stimulus is removed, and how subsequent repetition or reward reinforces information recall and a resumption of previously learned behaviors. They conclude that there are two primary methods of reinforcing active memory and behavior: by creating a different way to test the subject's memory, and by providing the opportunity for intensive focused repetition of that stimulus-behavior response. These two methods are widely used in the Ultimate Spelling activities and games to create the link between instruction and memory that is so crucial in effective spelling learning on the student's part.

Xue, G., Mei, L., Chen, C., Lu, Z-L., Poldrack, R., Dong, Q. "Spaced Learning Enhances Subsequent Recognition Memory by Reducing Neural Repetition Suppression." Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 2011;23(7):1624-1633. Print and web. http://doi:10.1162/jocn.2010.21532

In this study comparing long-term and short-term memory, the study authors tested the neural activity of participants as they memorized a set of images. Half of the study participants used massed learning techniques, in which each new image was presented multiple times in a row; the other half were given the images in a spaced repetition mode, where the images were shown in alternating order. Although each participant saw each image the same number of times, the people in the spaced-repetition exercise were able to accurately remember more images, and for a longer period of time. Repetition is a key technique in learning spelling, and Ultimate Spelling incorporates spaced repetition in two ways. First, the system uses randomized selection of spelling words from the user's current list to populate the activities and exercises, ensuring an interval between word reviews. Second, the system's Word Discover feature provides pop-up instant review of the words on that list, again in random order. By providing users with multiple opportunities throughout the day to read and review their words, Ultimate Spelling provides all of the benefits of the spaced repetition methodology in its spelling instruction.

Blocki, J., Cranor, L., Datta, A., and Komanduri, S. "Spaced Repetition and Mnemonics Enable Recall of Multiple Strong Passwords." Cornell University Library, January 3, 2015. PDF. http://arxiv.org/abs/1410.1490v2

Spaced repetition is a memory training tool that relies on frequent and consistent review of information; mnemonics is a memory technique that involves multiple ways of looking at that information, such as the incorporation of images or story lines. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University focused on the combination of spaced repetition and mnemonics in evaluating how best to train people to remember specific pieces of information: computer passwords. They found that by combining the two methodologies, the results in both ease of learning and retention were increased. Ultimate Spelling uses each method separately and together to help users learn and remember new spelling words by using the same words in multiple exercises, presenting spelling words in a variety of formats, and encouraging users to add information related to each word to make a personal connection that helps them to remember that word and its correct spelling.

Build A Kinder World. All of Us are Equal!

Be Inspired By How Any Type of Economic Status Creates A Chain of Happiness In Just 5 Minutes

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Why Is February The Odd One Out?

Ever wonder why there are only 28 days in February? You probably think it’s because it’s cold and rainy, with changeable weather that not many people like and they want to get it over with. Everyone awaits March, the month that signals spring and brings summer a bit closer.

February has only 28 days, except once in four years. The “leap year” is the one in four during which an extra day is added to February.

But how did these date-related changes start?

Back in the 8th century, calendars were unlike ours. For one thing, there were only ten months, not twelve. For another, the calendar year was officially launched in March, in order to align with the onset of agricultural practices.

This 10-month calendar is called the “Romulus calendar.” According to Wikipedia, the calendar looked like this:

Martius: 31 days
Aprilius: 30 days
Maius: 31 days
Junius: 30 days
Quintilis: 31 days
Sextilis: 30 days
September: 30 days
October: 31 days
November: 30 days
December: 30 days

As you can see, January and February were later additions. The calendar only bothered to begin the count with spring, because winter was considered a more insignificant period of the year. March was considered the beginning of the year, in part because the turning of the seasons at the equinox happens in that month.

Counting these ten months tells you that you’re 61 days short of a full year as we know it today. It wasn’t until King Numa came along around 713 BC and said what everyone else was most likely thinking, “This doesn’t make any sense. We need to put a name to this anonymous period.”

And with that royal pronouncement, January and February were born. King Numa meant for January to have 29 days and February 28.

As a result, the new 355-day year had the following structure:

Martius: 31 days
Aprilius: 29 days
Maius: 31 days
Iunius: 29 days
Quintilis: 31 days
Sextilis: 29 days
September: 29 days
October: 31 days
November: 29 days
December: 29 days
Ianuarius: 29 days
Februarius: 28 days

Once again, however, this turned out to be a flawed attempt at creating a functional, accurate calendar. Using this system of counting the days in each month meant that eventually the calendar would be severely misaligned with the actual weather and lunar positions, and it would be harvest time in real life – but only spring in the Numa calendar.

The Romans had an idea for solving this issue and accounting for this misalignment: simply add a leap month of 27 days called Mercedonius.

Unfortunately (as you might have guessed) this caused even more trouble, especially when it was abused by those in power for their benefit. It wasn’t until Caesar’s time that we got it all right, around 44 BC.
Julius Caesar created a calendar based on the sun’s position, and increased the year’s duration to 365 days rather than 355.

The ten additional days were assigned as follows: January, August, and December got two extra days; April, June, September, and November got an extra day. Running out of days, February remained the shortest month with only 28 days. Unless it’s a leap year, then it has 29.

This is known as the Julian calendar and it was finalized during the time of Augustus, Caesar’s successor.

The Gregorian (or Western) calendar was introduced in 1852 and it’s the one most widely used around the world. It’s an upgraded version of the Julian Calendar.

What do you do if you were born on a leap year on February 29th?

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Why Is February The Odd One Out?

Technology Concepts Every Classroom Should Embrace

Are you gamifying learning? Are you open to MOOC as a complementary  student learning aid? Technology has overhauled the 21st century classroom with virtual classes and cloud-based software that can be used to enhance and enable students’ learning.

While several large-scale Ed Tech tools are still not affordable for many educators and schools, here are 7 cost-effective technological tools that will streamline your teaching practices and help your students become more engaged in the classroom.


This is not a new concept, but it is gaining a lot of attention these days. Gamifying our learning means approaching knowledge through gaming mechanics and rules. This can be achieved either by using the format of an actual game, or by setting up a game-like environment or learning process.

For instance, using this method students get to win badges and other recognition rewards for learning their algebra or getting their science project done on time. Gamifying is essentially a way of motivating learning, and it’s a concept that’s easy and cost-effective to implement in the classroom.


Massive Open Online Courses give people access to priceless, immediately relevant knowledge on just about any subject. From web design to philosophy, physics to the arts, your students can take advantage of free online courses delivered by prestigious universities and professors. This is something that you can use to complement their classroom learning, or the students can use it as a side project.

Mobile Technology

Smartphones, tablets, ereaders, PDAs – all of these devices enable mobile learning, and you should be using them in the classroom now. Use Twitter for a Q&A with another school’s professor, or access an ereader to purchase books at a lower price.


From spelling programs to mobile apps and MOOCs, elearning is an umbrella term that covers any learning activity that takes place on a device or on line. eLearning has many forms currently, and it is constantly evolving. This modality will continue to encompass even more concepts, tools, and technologies over time, all in the service of learning and knowledge. Chances are you’re already using some form of elearning in your classroom; for example, you might be emailing students their assignments, or posting lecture notes online.

Blended Learning

Technology cannot replace the teacher, and it will not take the place of teaching practices and principles. It can, however, complement existing methods of teaching. Blended learning  refers to the mixing of traditional and tech-enabled practices to facilitate learning in the classroom. An example of this would be live-streaming a class for absent students.


Self-directed learning is what knowledge acquisition may center on in a few years. Many adults and young students are already embracing self-directed learning as the means to acquire more knowledge faster and independently. Self-directed learning in the classroom lets students devote time to exploring and feeding their learning needs through independent studying and learning, mostly carried out online and through high-tech devices.

Asynchronous Learning

The web (and the cloud more specifically) provide ample space for asynchronous learning. This term refers to learning that is not happening in real time. It means all teaching materials are available outside the regular classroom hours.

Students can access notes, extra materials, projects, videos, lectures, and even assignments any time they choose outside the school hours and off school premises. It offers convenience, flexibility, and an intuitive way for accessing information.

Technology can be intimidating sometimes,  but do make the first step to familiarize yourself with its capacities to overhaul your students’ learning experience and performance.

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7 Phobias Every Technology User Should Be Aware Of

Phobias are fears, but they’re generally not immediate and obvious like other fears. In other words, a phobia is not the fear you feel when you’re walking in a dark place and hear a noise in the bushes, or when your friend jumps out of a closet and shouts “Boo!” A phobia is often unconscious and not related to things that are happening to you at the moment. A phobia is more like a nagging emotional turbulence you might not even be aware of, one that causes you to unintentionally avoid things, people, situations, or places.

A phobia could also be a fear of something in particular, like a fear of trains, or spiders, or even selfies. Read on to find out about the most bizarre tech phobias the technological revolution has unfortunately brought upon us.


This is a fear of technology. Technophobia existed as a concept long before the era of smartphones and tablets. People have always be prone to panicking over the effects and ultimate impact new technology will have over their lives, families, and the world’s future in general. Today more than ever, our tech-driven lifestyles are still making many people uncomfortable and even anxious.


This is the fear of telephones, not in the sense of being lethal weapons but in the sense of answering a call or having to call someone.

It actually falls under the anxiety disorder spectrum of phobias, and affects a lot of people. Just think of how many times you postpone an important call because you’re afraid of how it might turn out.


The proliferation of social media made everyone preoccupied and even stressed over missing out on important developments, events, and even social news due to being without instant access to a mobile phone.  “No-mobile phobia” led to the abbreviated term “nomophobia.”


You might think that there’s no reason on earth why people should fear technology and the use of computers and computerized devices. The truth is there are many people who are afraid of using computers, considering their use as an invasion of privacy. Some people are more concerned about the potential drawbacks of computer use than any benefits they provide.


This is a general concept that refers to fear people feel when speaking “in public” – in other words, each time they attempt to answer or share their views on YouTube, a forum, or a website of any sort.

Polls have shown that the number-one fear for many people is public speaking, and that obviously translates into the digital world as well.


This is the fear of not being able to be online or connected all the time. The No-Internet phobia is quite similar to nomophobia and leads to similar symptoms.


The dreaded, soul-crushing second when you realize your smartphone has violently landed on the floor and its screen has broken (if you’re lucky, you’ll then wake up and realize it was just a dream). Drosmartphobia is the fear of Dropping your Smartphone, a fear quite familiar to all of us. (H/T to Itworld.com)

Don’t let technology related phobias get the best of you. More importantly, don’t succumb to the mother of all fears, Phobophobia, fearing fear itself. Now that’s scary.

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Does your GPA really define your future?

A grade point average (GPA) is a number that means more – and less – than you might imagine. It shows a knack for learning, an ability to abide by rules, a tendency to follow instructions and efficiently study for exams. On the other hand, it doesn’t reflect many true work-related skills — or at least not as much as colleges have wanted us to think.
Some people who dropped out of school or did really badly in classes went on to become successful, even filthy rich, entrepreneurs and leaders. Steve Jobs and Virgin Record’s founder, Richard Branson, come to mind.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to drop out of school or forgo a college education. It’s a reminder that GPA scores aren’t the only way to judge your progress and your potential. There are other ways you can estimate your skills and abilities.

It’s all relative

Your GPA is really not something that you should count on to improve your future prospects for employment, though it will often help you with your educational ones. If you want to get in a top-tier college, you will be asked to have a GPA around 4.0. It’s expected.
But if you don’t have this score, does it mean you’re not good enough?

What you might lack in terms of grades and exam efficiency you can make up for in other ways: volunteer work, artistic and cultural initiatives, community involvement, and sports and innovation excellence. Your innate charisma and talents don’t necessarily translate to a good GPA.

Your GPA is not you

Don’t think for one moment that a GPA is a complete assessment of your worth as an individual, or that it fully illustrates your potential and skills.

It’s just a number seeking to generalize your academic performance and provide a succinct picture of who you could be in the educational arena.

Your GPA is not all that matters. Skills, talents, and capacities that don’t show up in a GPA calculation should still be equally emphasized in your college admission application. A college or prospective employer should know about extra-curricular work you’ve done, a leadership summer camp in 10th grade, and that medal from an Science Innovation fair last year.

People are multifaceted and intricate human beings, and judging them by a single GPA score is meaningless. Yes, earning the best grades possible is a necessary evil you must go through if you want to go to college. Do try your best to get a high GPA, but if you don’t, it’s not the end of the world.

Weigh your options

As with every big decision in life, consider your options carefully. A high GPA will open the doors of elite colleges; however, less expensive schools that accept a lower GPA might open different doors of excellence and professional, entrepreneurial success. And sometimes bypassing higher education and moving directly into the workforce is the right thing to do.

There’s no right and wrong answer, just what’s right for you. By and large, people who move onto tertiary education tend to have better career prospects, but that’s not the rule and there’s no guarantee that a Bachelors or even a Doctorate degree will get you your dream job.

Ultimately, your GPA will matter as much as you want it to. If you are eager to pursue further education, make sure you do your best to achieve a high GPA. If your passion, creativity and innovative ideas can’t wait to be used until after a college education, perhaps you can channel them into a start-up project while securing a place at a college or attending another course that can boost your employability.

For better or worse, GPAs matter in education. A GPA alone won’t get you anywhere, though. Without true passion and purpose you cannot achieve great things. Take a step back and see what your true passion and priority in life is, and then pursue it. Before you start, see how a GPA can push you towards that direction. Good luck!

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Amazon Considers Adding “Cli-Fi’ Genre To Category List (Guest Post)

Dan Bloom

A year ago, in keeping with my interest in climate change issues and the arts, I began lobbying book industry standards groups in New York and London to create a new genre category for climate-themed novels dubbed “Cli-Fi.” It’s in the works, but there are a few more hurdles to jump over.

I found the Book Industry Study Group’s email address through an Amazon Associates discussion group and then sent out a few emails explaining the rise of this new genre to several members of BISG group, including its director.

One of the members, listed as the project manager for standards and best practices, was kind enough to write back to me last summer, noting: “Thanks for this good suggestion. Coincidentally, this ‘cli-fi’ heading was recently suggested by someone else and was discussed at the last subject codes committee meeting. I’ll send your email along to the chair of that committee, to be discussed again at the upcoming meeting. If the code gets added, it will be available with our new editions.”

I also wrote the director of the entire operation, and he was kind enough to take the time to reply.

While he did not commit to any date, he did say that it could happen in late 2015 or early 2016.

“I was not directly involved in the discussions about a ‘Cli-Fi’ subject category possibly being included in the Book Industry Standards and Communications (BISAC) subject headings as you lobbied for last year,” the executive director. who is himself a novelist and knows the power and marketing clout of literary categories, wrote to me in a recent email:
“Thank you for thinking of us.”

So what’s next? Well, as with any novel lobbying effort, things take time, and patience is the order of the day. The thing is to keep trying, keep up the polite, yet persistent lobbying efforts and then, time will tell. It could take five years, it could take ten years. But one day, the Book Industry Study Group will include “Cli-Fi” in the BISAC subject headings.

It’s in the cards. With a large lobbying army of cli fi novelists and movie scriptwriters, in addition to lobbying efforts by literary critics and book publishers themselves, it will happen. These things take time, yes.

The group does include ”science fiction” as a category, of course, and lists several ”sci-fi” subgenres as well: Alien Contact, Apocalyptic, Post-Apocalyptic, Cyberpunk, Hard Science Fiction, Space Opera, Steampunk and Time Travel.

Notice though, the list does not include the “sci fi” genre term per se as a category, just “science fiction” and its various subgenres.

I am sure it will just be a matter of time before “Cli-Fi” — is listed either as a subgenre of science fiction, or as an entirely separate genre of its own. A committee will decide, and it’s all in their hands.

Meanwhile, man-made global warming is not going away anytime soon.


Dan Bloom is a freelance writer in Taiwan and blogs at korgw101.blogspot.com

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Amazon Considers Adding “Cli-Fi’ Genre To Category List (Guest Post)

The 8 Most Important Ingredients For An Awesome First Blog For Beginners

Many bloggers out there empathize with this statement: “I wish I had known that before I started my own blog.” Don’t be one of them. Here are 8 tips for making that first blog post go viral (well, you can at least give it a shot!).

  1. Write with the reader in mind

It’s understandable that you want your first blog post to be something you’re passionate about. Sadly, your first blog post on your photography website cannot be about unicorns, no matter how much you like them.

Write with your reader in mind. Make sure you properly understand the persona of your target audience, their demographics, their desires, and needs and try to address these in every blog post – especially your first.

  1. Research and create informative, up to date content

Unless it’s a personal story you’re going to tell, make sure you thoroughly research your subject. Enrich it with hard data to make an argument more compelling and ensure the relevancy of your blog post.

  1. Choose a voice and stick to it (but first A/B test several styles)

It’s crucial that you pick a style, because your first post sets the tone for all of the ones that follow. Is it going to be a formal blog, or are you going for a more laid-back style with tongue-in-cheek writing and witty puns?

A/B test various styles to discover what makes you most comfortable and which style represents you better.

  1. Think quality, not quantity

Always go for quality short blog posts rather than long but useless ones. If you have nothing new or compelling to say, say nothing at all.

  1. Don’t go crazy over SEO

Instead of trying to get your blog post to rank well on Google, it’s best to write for your readers rather than an algorithm. Your readers will sense your SEO efforts if you stuff your blog post with awkward, flow-interrupting keywords.

Write for humans. Period.

  1. Offer a valuable, groundbreaking or new perspective

Each blog post you create —and especially your first one— will make or break your reputation as an expert in your field. Offer valuable, insightful, or creative new perspectives and ideas. This will soon gain you a faithful community and engage people in a dialogue.

  1. Fact-check

Fact-check and proofread your blog post thoroughly. Online readers are often unforgiving of grammatical and spelling errors, let alone inaccuracies. If your first post has problems, readers may not give you a second chance.

  1. Don’t write pitchy, preachy blogs, but insightful, engaging ones

Yes, your blog is part of your marketing strategy, but don’t forget its main function: to give readers a reason to trust you and your product/services.

Instead of going with aggressive, pitchy writing, go with insightful content that intrigues your readers.

Implement these practices and your first blog post will exceed all your expectations.

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The 8 Most Important Ingredients For An Awesome First Blog For Beginners

What “WE” Can Do That Will Make The Situation Better For Our Future World

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Improve Your Spelling Skills and Bypass the Spell Check Step

You might think that your spell checker is your savior. After all, how many thousands of  times during your academic and professional life have you used it? Each time you needed to touch type an essay, report, or letter you knew you could rely on your spellchecker to identify misspellings and suggest the right spelling of words. Talk about relief!

But did you know that spell checkers aren’t what will save you from spelling mistakes? In fact, it’s a spelling mistake to rely on spellcheckers and autocorrect features, because they won’t always make sure your content is error-free. In fact, spell checkers have many weaknesses. They cannot identify atomic typos: misspellings where the misspelled word is a legitimate English word. Examples of atomic typos are “four” and “for” or “nuclear” and “unclear.” These errors are almost impossible to catch if you only rely on a spell checker, because these are all correctly-spelled English words, even if they don’t make sense in context.

What’s more a spell checker will flag “ur” – but it might not suggest the right spelling for the word you want. Worse, it might suggest irrelevant ones instead of what you intended to write (like “urn” and “us” rather than “your”). In the end, a spell checker can make things worse instead of better.

However, the most counterproductive thing spell checkers do is affect people who use them. If someone relies entirely on machine-assisted checks, they’ll start to assume that if nothing is flagged in the document, that means everything is fine. They get too complacent, they assume their content’s perfect, and so they don’t proofread or don’t proofread as rigorously. The result: a lot of embarrassing misspellings and misused words.

Don’t despair, though! You can improve your spelling skills easily so you don’t have to rely on anything but your own foolproof spelling knowledge.

Use a Dictionary

Invest in a print dictionary that’s small in size and easy to have around so you can quickly look up words in it. Thankfully, the best dictionaries have online versions too; try the  Oxford and Merriam- Webster ones.

Consult your dictionary each time you’re uncertain of a word’s spelling. Then write it down using pen and paper a few time to really learn its spelling, and you’re good to go. You’ve just learned how to spell that word, and you will most likely never have to question your spelling of it ever again.

Use Spelling Software

You can substantially improve your spelling skills with the help of technology. Practice using spelling activities and play fun spelling games with programs like eReflect’s Ultimate Spelling™. Before you know it, you will become a competent, confident speller!

Be a Smart Proofreader

Proofreading is 95% being intuitive and shrewd, and 5% being attentive to detail. You know which words give you trouble, so look out for them. Words with suffices and prefixes are the usual suspects of many misspellings, so know when the endings –able and –ible are used (as in “formidable” and “responsible”). You’ll immediately be able to spot the incorrect spellings once you’ve mastered this technique. Check it out for yourself with this quick quiz: Is it “impartial” or “imparcial”? What’s the right spelling, “significance” or “significence”?

And then of course there are the homophones and near-homophones, words we all mix up from time to time. Know your “eminent” from your “imminent,” your “proceed” from your “process,” and of course, let us never forget the unholy trio of “their,” “they’re” and “there” – and remember that none of these words would be flagged by a spell checker, even if you use them incorrectly.

Such tricky words often sneak up on us and ruin our writing, but if you’re smart about it you can prevent them from ever messing up another essay of yours. Improve your spelling knowledge and never rely on a spell checker again!

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Improve Your Spelling Skills and Bypass the Spell Check Step

How Well Do You Know Your Business Jargon?

We’ve all be tempted at some point to use buzzwords and popular phrases such as “innovate” and “think outside the box” in a meeting – or worse, in email correspondence.

We mindlessly throw words out there like “influencer,” “ballpark figure,” and “circle back” when there are simpler words that convey your meaning more clearly. Why are we wasting our time with worn-out words and phrases? Mainly because corporate culture thinks it needs to stand out. It wants its own jargon of empty, pompous phrases, but that’s one of the reasons why this jargon is so hated by people outside corporate culture – and, frankly, outside it as well.

Here’s a collection of business jargon: the words and phrases we hope you’ll never be forced to use. Others are bound to use them with you, however, so it’s good to know what they’re mumbling about.

Analytics — This is a fancy word for information obtained out of data analysis. Analytics is the process of identifying relationships between data and presenting these results.

Buy-In — Asking someone to buy-in is to ask them to agree on an already preset course of action. It’s about convincing others to get on board even if you don’t value their opinion on the matter.

Best Practices — Must-abide-by insights and approaches that you need to follow for better results.

Pivot — A word that beautifully covers up the mess one makes with a project.  If you pivot, you’re adjusting your approach.

Move the needle — This word refers to a product or project that makes an impact, more likely a financially positive one. So if your new software moves the needle, your boss will be very, very pleased.

Piggyback — Piggyback is a great concept about being creative and expanding on someone else’s ideas, but it can also be a lazy way of stealing others’ ideas and giving them zero credit.

Bleeding-edge — This adjective is the perfect example of the business jargon madness that reigns over the business world. Cutting-edge was no longer doing “hip” enough as a term, and the culture frantically searched for a more visually powerful word, hoping it would catch on. This phrase is none other than “bleeding-edge.”

Paradigm Shift — A change of a model, approach, or course of action. It’s been so blatantly abused in business contexts that’s now almost meaningless.

Make Hay — It’s about making the best out of an opportunity or short period of time, usually by being productive or creative.

Eyeballs — This rivals the “bleeding edge” phrase in creepiness, don’t you think?  The word “eyeballs” here is a metonymy (a single word that represents a larger whole). We substitute living, breathing consumers for one part of their body: their eyeballs. For example, you might see the sentence, “More eyeballs need to read and click our Facebook campaign.”

What business jargon do you find that you absolutely cannot stand?

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How Well Do You Know Your Business Jargon?