Rite, Write, Right, Wright
Here are four frequently misspelled words that your computer Spell Check won’t catch.
A rite is a ceremonial act. Ex. Catholics celebrate the rite of the Mass. A boy’s first haircut is a rite of passage.
The form write is the present tense form of the verb to write. Ex. Please write me a letter. The past participle form written is also often misspelled, but your spell checker will catch “writen.”
The word right is spelled with “three-letter i,” i.e., igh. Ex. Citizens have the right to assemble. Go two blocks and then turn right. He always thinks he’s right and everyone else is wrong.
The word wright is from an Old English word meaning worker or maker. A wheelwright makes wheels. A shipwright makes ships or boats. The word is more common now in a literary sense. One who writes plays is a playwright. A related word is wrought.
When Samuel Morse demonstrated his telegraph, his first message was “What hath God wrought!” The word wrought is an archaic past tense form of work. Used transitively, work has various meanings, including to bring about, to prepare, to fashion. Ex. He worked his will on the gullible crowd. She worked her initials into the embroidery design.
One more note on the word wrought. Sometimes spelled “wrot,” this is the word that refers to iron that has been shaped by hand. You may, for example, have some wrought-iron lawn furniture or a wrought-iron gate.
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