North Central College in the News

North Central College English department chair and Shimer Great Books School professor featured in HuffPost

By Olivia Rosenberg '25

Jun 29, 2023

Jennifer Smith and Stuart Patterson shared expertise on commonly misspelled words 

During the week of May 30, the Scripps National Spelling Bee was held in Washington D.C. Beginning in 1925, the Spelling Bee pulls from the Merriam-Webster dictionary as students eighth grade and below compete by spelling complex words for the Scripps title.  

The recently held competition brought up the question of what words non-competitive spellers frequently get incorrect and why they are so commonly spelled wrong.  

North Central College’s Jennifer Smith, associate professor and chair of the English department, and Stuart Patterson, associate professor in the Shimer Great Book School, were quoted in HuffPost providing their expertise about why words get misspelled.  

Smith said students tend to mistake “definitely” with “defiantly,” while Patterson notes difficulties with differentiating “there, they’re and their.” 

Click the following media coverage links to view the full story: