How Do You Spell Inauguration? Inaugration? Anauguration?

Have a hard time spelling "inauguration"? You're not alone.

January 18, 2013, 6:13 PM

Jan. 21, 2013 — -- Nope, it's not "inaugration." Not "inaguration" either. "Inaugiration"? Not correct. And it's definitely not "innoguration," "anoguracetion" or "anauguration."

Inauguration. That's the correct spelling of the word for that big event today, at which, you know, the president officially becomes the president again.

But don't be embarrassed if you spelled it incorrectly. It turns out it's a pretty popular thing to do.

Over 2,500 people have tweeted about the "inaguration," according to Topsy, which tracks tweets on Twitter. Topsy says 866 of those tweets have been in the last 30 days. "Inaugration" has been used in over 700 tweets. "#Anoguracetion" also began trending on Twitter during the 2013 inauguration.

Google sees similar misspellings. According to Google, an average of 14,800 global users search for "inaguration" every month, while 4,400 search for "inaugration" and 58 for "inaugiration." Comparatively, 246,000 global users search with the correct spelling, though there's a good chance they put in the wrong spelling and Google suggests the correct word.

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Journalists sometimes spell it wrong too. CNN spells it "inaugration" in one piece and in a URL, the online address for the piece. TechCrunch similarly spelled it wrong in a headline last week, and then corrected it, but it had already been tweeted too many times to make the misspelling go away completely. There were misspellings in URLs on Business Insider and The Atlantic too. (We'll cheerfully admit that we're far from perfect; we found a couple of these misspellings in our own archives from past inaugurations.)

So why is inauguration such a hard word to spell?

"The reason this word is so difficult to spell is because it has so many vowel sounds," Paige Kimble, director of the Scripps National Spelling Bee and a former Bee champion, told ABC News. "There is more than an either-or choice. The speller is making a choice of an 'a' or 'e' or an 'o' or a 'u.' Because there are so many choices, it's harder to spell."

But there are some tricks you can use. "One trick that champion spellers use is they exaggerate the pronunciation in their minds. A champion speller might say 'in-awe-gue-ray-shun,'" said Kimble, who won the Scripps Spelling Bee in 1981. She said you could do it either aloud or in your mind.

Murray Suid, the author of "Demonic Mnemonics: 800 Spelling Tricks for 800 Tricky Words," suggests a memory trick. "To learn that there is just one 'n,' we link 'inauguration' to its definition: 'The inauguration of a president means installing a new leader in the Oval Office.' Noticing that there's just one 'n' in the first part of 'installing' is the clue that tells us there's just one 'n' in the first part of inauguration."

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For the rest of the word he suggests looking at the etymology. "We learn that the word was created from two Latin words: 'in' (meaning 'in' or 'on') + 'augur' (meaning 'to predict'). This teaches us that the opening part of "inauguration" has only one 'n.'"

Of course, we'll forgive you if you don't learn and you just take to Googling or relying on spell check. We do only end up using it every four years.

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