Is there a specific word for the type of person who always corrects misspellings? Something exact, not something like perfectionist, grammar nazi or anal.

Something that describes the person, like the word ultracrepidarian does for a person who gives advice outside their knowledge.

  • 1
    If it's an actual compulsion then simply "compulsive speller" would work since it spells out the motivation.
    – Telastyn
    Aug 19, 2014 at 15:44
  • 2
    You mean like- a [born] proofreader/copy editor/English teacher?
    – Jim
    Aug 19, 2014 at 16:13
  • 3
    Answer is already chosen but I still believe that the most suitable answer is "spelling nazi". Just mentioning here so people can see.
    – ermanen
    Aug 19, 2014 at 19:37
  • 2
    @ermanen: although if the correcter of misspellings does so in the hope of being helpful and is courteous about it, then that's rather like calling someone a "coffee nazi" because they always offer you a coffee when you visit their home. Is there a word for the type of person who refers to all behaviour they dislike as nazism? A "nazi nazi"? ;-) Aug 20, 2014 at 10:58
  • 2
    I just call them "idiots"... nothing more seems to fit in. Aug 20, 2014 at 13:25

4 Answers 4


I don't believe there's an exact word for "someone who corrects others' spelling errors", but there is one for a person who is meticulous in spelling, generally:

orthographer (lit. "right writer"): One versed in orthography; one who spells words correctly, according to approved usage.

If there is a single word which indicates (as @ermanen puts it) a "spelling Nazi", it will almost certainly be derived from "orthography" or "orthographer"; you might consider deriving one yourself, or popularizing a new sense for an existing word, such as:

  • "orthographizer", derived from "orthographize" meaning "to write or spell correctly", which (I think) nicely emphasizes the transitive nature of his compulsion (i.e. not only ensuring his spelling is perfect, but yours, too), or

  • "orthographist", has the advantage of possessing that dogmatic little tail, -ism, but is currently only used to describe a specialist in orthography, or "one who studies orthography". So you can either popularize a new sense for it, or extend it a bit to underscore the adherence to received protocols (an "orthodoxic orthographist"? an "observant othographer"? the possibilities are endless).

EDIT: You might also consider unpopular :) Obsessive compulsive grammar disorder

  • 1
    +1 Or maybe orthographic pedant?
    – bib
    Aug 19, 2014 at 15:45
  • Corrigitis cannot be cured by a physician.
    – tchrist
    Aug 19, 2014 at 22:14
  • 1
    Unpopular is the wrong word here. Being unpopular is merely a (possible) side-effect of correcting people.
    – jay_t55
    Aug 20, 2014 at 10:14
  • Yes, @Aeron, that was the joke.
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 20, 2014 at 10:15
  • Lol. Sorry about that @Dan, I seem to have a hard time telling the difference between jokes and non jokes in writing lately.
    – jay_t55
    Aug 20, 2014 at 10:17

Perhaps spellchecker? (Whether we like it or not.) [Oxford Dictionary Online]

[Who says computing terms can't be applied to people, as in Thank you, Mr. Spellchecker. Maybe I meant to write check instead of cheque.]

And as @DanBron points out, our slightly stuffier crowd might deem him or her autocorrector.

  • Hee hee. I like that. +1.
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 19, 2014 at 15:53
  • Oh, please, oh please, add autocorrector to your answer.
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 19, 2014 at 15:58
  • @DanBron You just did. I'll punch it in since comments don't last forever (and my answer is destined for immortality!).
    – bib
    Aug 19, 2014 at 16:01
  • 1
    I only regret that I have but +1 to give for this answer :(
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 19, 2014 at 16:04
  • 1
    @DanBron Please note that I voted for the acknowledged righter answer even before I posted.
    – bib
    Aug 19, 2014 at 23:39

This is one behavior commonly associated with a pedant is, per Merriam-Webster:

ped·ant noun \ˈpe-dənt\ : a person who annoys other people by correcting small errors and giving too much attention to minor details


There is also spelling nazi as a neologism which is derived from grammar nazi.

Urbandictionary and tvtropes have entries for spelling nazi and there are some usages in Google Books.

  • a person who freaks out when a little spelling mistake has occured or has be a constant little a**hole about it.

  • people that care more about the spelling of words and correcting them then what the words mean...


Note: There isn't a single word that conveys this idea. Spelling nazi would be the most common colloquial phrase and it is self-explanatory.

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Source: http://www.documentingreality.com

Note: "Grammar nazi" is a misnomer that covers all language mistakes which includes spelling. So that might be why "spelling nazi" is derived. Some sources mention as a subtype of grammar nazi.

  • 2
    Is it ironic that the spelling nazi definition uses then instead of than?
    – Jim
    Aug 19, 2014 at 23:27
  • 1
    No: a spelling nazi cannot be a specific type of grammar nazi, because spelling has nothing whatsobloodyever do to with grammar!
    – tchrist
    Aug 20, 2014 at 3:09
  • Though, it is not the same discussion as the difference between grammar and spelling. "Grammar nazi" is a misnomer that covers all language mistakes which includes spelling. So that might be why "spelling nazi" is derived. Some sources mention as a subtype of grammar nazi.
    – ermanen
    Aug 20, 2014 at 3:38

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