Hard words for good spellers: the evil spelling test

Teresa Nielsen Hayden's evil spelling test is back, with more "words that trip up good spellers, arranged in an order that’s intended to increase their difficulty."

The origin of the test was pragmatic rather than theoretical. I made it out of words and word combinations which I’d seen misspelled by good spellers. I’ve gradually come to appreciate the role played in it by over-thinking and second-guessing. It’s easier to remember how to spell battalion when it’s on its own (two Ts, one L) than when it follows artillery (one T, two Ls), and is followed by vermilion (one L, though it’s pronounced like million) and guerrilla. Millennium and millenarian are a wicked pair all by themselves. They’re followed by miscellaneous because (a.) it’s often misspelled, and (b.) it’ll trip up test-takers who figure that if the last three words had double Ls, this one has to be single.

Here are a few of the words at the start: "bazaar dumbbell bizarre abattoir accede precede supersede occurrence inoculate desiccated espresso..."

And it ends with "siege seize niece weird sieve".

The return of the evil spelling test