Carouspell: A collection of spelling mistakes in Carousell classified ads

Oral language is a blur. We don’t notice, unless we try to sing karaoke and realize we have no idea what the words to our favorite songs actually are, or—worse—that we’ve been singing them wrong with utter conviction for decades.

Eggcorns (plausible malapropisms) are words or phrases that exist thanks to this kind of ambiguity. Wrong song lyrics, in case you’re curious, are called mondegreens.

On classified ad sites like Carousell, language assumptions that pass unnoticed in speech are made visible. You can learn a lot about the local dialect by cataloging the unintentionally hilarious mistakes that local native English speakers make.

See below for examples.

Spelling Approximations on Carousell

^ ‘Threadmill’ is ‘treadmill’ spelled with an ‘h’. This is a case of hypercorrection.
^ ‘Sitter’ is ‘seater’ spelled with the wrong vowel. In Singapore short i sounds like long e, and obviously ‘sit’ and ‘seat’ have related meanings.
^ “Vibrate red” should be “vibrant red”.
^ “Spinish” should be “spinach”.
^ ‘Padestal’ should be ‘pedestal’, but people get confused because short ‘a’ and short ‘e’ don’t sound different here.
^ ‘cabinate’ should be ‘cabinet’
^ ‘caving’ should be ‘carving’
^ ‘craving’ should be ‘carving’
^ ‘craved’ should be ‘carved’
^ ‘crave’ should be ‘carve’
^ ‘Squire’ should be ‘squirrel’… I think this is my favorite!

Should we be laughing?

Humor consists of surprise. If you’re not the kind of person who makes these kind of mistakes, seeing them lights up the novelty circuits in your brain and makes you laugh. Laughing is fine.

Laughing is not the same as mocking. I don’t look down on the Carousellers who have spelled things wrong. That would hardly be fair; my English education is stronger than most people’s, even in the US. Moreover, the same Carousellers who type such imperfect English probably all speak at least one language that I don’t.

I do feel sorry for anyone who’s missed out on a potential sale because a word was misspelled and thus the item didn’t appear in someone’s search results, but… in the case of carve/crave, the search results include items with both spellings!