Suprise, Surprise

How to Enjoy a Suprise or the Best Way to Levitate Your Supper

by Owen Fourie

It’s all over the Internet. Here are some headings and parts of headings found there (without correction):

  • Michael Jackson Suprise on Britains Got Talent
  • Debt Talks and Suprise Verdict Top Media Agenda
  • Expressing Shock And Suprise
  • The Answer May Suprise You!

Suprise Suprise

This set me searching for this Suprise—who or what is Suprise? The only clue from the above usage was that, whatever it might be, it occurs as a noun and a verb. In the second heading, it seems to be an adjective. We’ll disregard the missing apostrophe in the first heading.

Of course, it was a vain search because there is simply no such thing as Suprise. It does not exist.

There is a way to give it life, though. Let’s say that while I prepare my supper I fondly refer to it in abbreviated terms as my sup. Now, my sup is ready, but before I eat it, I decide to exercise some of my arcane powers to levitate my sup.

Success! Did you see my sup rise? You did? Good. It was, indeed, a sup rise.

As far as I know, that is the only way that there can be a suprise.

Surprise Surprise

What is intended by those who use this word is actually the word surprise. Note the new letter r.

The problem is that when you pronounce surprise, the first r is not heard.

Consequently, there is the tendency to write this word according to what is heard—suprise—without the first r.

This cannot be excused. It is a flagrant misspelling, which should not be seen in print at all. The word is s-u-R-p-r-i-s-e.

I’m sorry, but I cannot divulge the secret of precisely how I make my sup rise. Does that surprise you?


Your comments, observations, and questions are welcome. Have you found other annoying, ridiculous, and careless misspellings on the Internet that should be mentioned here?

Here are more articles to help you with English words, grammar, and essay writing.

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    • Mike on April 24, 2013 at 22:43

    Haha, I might try a sup rise tonight at dinner. Should entertain the wife.

    I’m an Englishman, and do a lot of design work for American clients. I’m constantly pulled up on supposed spelling errors when I don’t remove the U in words like “colour”, or if I don’t swap the S for a Z in words like “emphasise” Even the fact that this post has red underlines under those words bugs me 😀

    I understand that it sounds like Z, but I can’t emphasise enough that I haven’t made a spelling error!

    1. Quite right! I have lived in America for twenty years, and I still prefer the spelling that I learned when I went to school in South Africa in the days when it was originally part of the British Commonwealth as the Union of South Africa. For me, it is far better to deposit a cheque and keep a check on my bank balance than to deposit a check and keep a check on my bank balance! Of course, living and teaching here in America, I must have regard to the American orthography. Thank you, for commenting, Mike.

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