Common Spelling Errors

Fluorescence vs. Fluorescent

Fluorescence – the noun

the fluorescence was measured by a fluorometer

fluorescence anisotropy experiments

fluorescence lifetime


fluorescence intensity

change in fluorescence

real-time fluorescence assays

phosphorescence, chemiluminescence, bioluminescence

Fluorescent – the adjective 

a fluorescent probe

fluorescent response

phosphorescent cell

Commonly misspelled:




spectroscopic approach


Former and Latter

former – the first of two listed items or concepts

latter – the second of two listed items of concepts

Neither can be used with more than two items.


Respectively and Respectfully


used when listing several items in a line and then listing the related results or outcomes. Must be in same order and all items and all results should be presented in same formats.

often over used or used when not needed (only one item and only one result)

not respectfully

and not ‘in respect to’