The Weirdest Error in the Dictionary: Exploring the Misspelling of a Word


Have you ever come across a word and wondered if it’s spelled correctly? Or have you ever relied on spell check to fix all your spelling errors? Well, what if we told you that one of the words in the dictionary is actually spelled incorrectly? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the weirdest error in the dictionary and explore the impact it has on our language and communication.

The Weirdest Error in the Dictionary: A Spelling Mistake Nobody Realized for Decades

Believe it or not, there is a misspelled word in every edition of the dictionary. The mistake has gone unnoticed for decades, and it’s considered unusual because the word is so commonly used and yet so consistently spelled wrong. The word in question is “judgement,” which is actually spelled “judgment.”

You may be surprised to learn that “judgment” has only one “e” in it, despite what many people tend to believe. The incorrect spelling “judgement” has been so widespread and persistent that it has gained acceptance as a variant spelling. However, in official terms, it remains a spelling error.

Did You Know That One Word in Every Edition of the Dictionary is Spelled Wrong?

The misspelling of “judgment” is more than just a simple mistake. It’s a phenomenon that raises interesting questions about our language and how it evolves over time. The mistake has been around for so long that some linguists argue that it may no longer be considered a mistake at all, but rather a legitimate variation of the word.

Still, the misspelling has had consequences. For example, it has made it difficult for people to know which spelling is correct when they encounter the word in written communication. It has also led to confusion over the proper spelling in legal and academic settings, where accuracy is essential.

The Bizarre Backstory of a Commonly Misspelled Word in the English Language

The history and evolution of the word “judgment” are as interesting as its misspelling. The word has its origin in Old French and Latin, where it was spelled “jougement” and “judicium,” respectively. Over time, the word evolved and adapted to the English language, with the final “e” eventually being dropped.

Ironically, it was not until the 19th century that the misspelling “judgement” first appeared in print. It’s unclear why or how the mistake started, but it is believed to have gained popularity through the influence of British writers and publishers. Over time, the misspelling became so common that it began to be considered an acceptable variation.

The One Word Spell Check Always Misses: A Closer Look

Despite its widespread use, the misspelled “judgement” often goes undetected by spell check and other automated tools. The reason is that spell check relies on dictionaries to identify correct spellings, and since “judgement” has gained acceptance as a variant spelling, most dictionaries now include it.

However, relying solely on spell check to spot spelling mistakes is not foolproof. Spell check can miss other types of errors, such as homophones (words that sound the same but are spelled differently) and context-dependent spelling mistakes. To catch spelling errors like “judgment,” it’s important to proofread and double-check all your writing carefully.

Why One Word Has Confused Spelling Enthusiasts for Years: A Deep Dive into the Dictionary

When we take a closer look at the dictionary entry for “judgment” and “judgement,” we can see that the definitions and usage notes are identical. However, the presence of the two spellings can cause confusion and ambiguity in some cases. For example, someone reading a legal document that uses “judgement” instead of “judgment” may incorrectly assume that it’s a different word and miss its intended meaning.

Despite the potential for confusion, the misspelling of “judgment” is likely to persist for many more years. Some linguists argue that the mistake may have become so ingrained in the language that it has become a part of its evolution. Others believe that it’s simply a matter of time before the misspelling falls out of favor and is replaced by the correct spelling.


The misspelling of “judgment” is just one example of how spelling mistakes can impact our communication and understanding of language. Although the mistake has become widely accepted, it’s important to remember that accuracy and consistency in spelling are crucial for clear and effective communication. So, the next time you come across the word “judgment,” remember that it only has one “e.”

Did you find this article helpful? What other common spelling mistakes have you come across? Let us know in the comments below.

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