How to avoid humiliation and appear to be as smart as a teenager

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We always get a kick out of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. It’s so much fun to watch the kids on stage, in front of the television cameras, trying to work out the spellings of words they’ve never heard before.

Their emotions are so pure and honest, whether they’re eliminated after getting the vowels wrong at the end of “schwarmerei” (which means to be enthusiastic) or celebrating their victory by shouting out the letters in “euonym.”

And so GillespieHall congratulates Snigdha Nandipati of San Diego, the 14-year-old winner of the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee. The word she spelled correctly to win? “Guetapens,” which means an ambush or a trap.

Spelling is one of those things that should get easier as you get older, because of spell check programs that are very good at identifying errors and because, outside of spelling bees, how often does anyone have to spell “ericeticolous?”

But yet, adult life has its own guetapens, and there’s not much that’s more embarrassing (with two ‘R’s) than making a spelling mistake in a business document.

Headline News put together a list of 11 words that many adults stumble over. How many of these would you admit to misspelling (with two ‘S’s)?

Never forget that a good dictionary is a writer’s best friend. A writer’s second-best friend? A tasty daiquiri (with 3 ‘I’s), as long as the writer is at least 21.

 Are there any words that always trip you up? Be brave and admit to them in the comments – we’re all friends here.

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