Thunder bolts and lightning, very very enlightening…
Sorry to play with some great lyrics, but the word lightning always makes me think of that song! Apparently, a number of people don’t realise that there are two versions of the word lightning/lightening – that is, there is one sound for the word but two spellings and meanings. Given people don’t realise there are two spellings, I guess it isn’t surprising to see the incorrect word used.
So here are the definitions of the two words to make sure you know which is which!
lightning: a sudden burst of light in the sky
The lightning storm was exciting and beautiful to watch
lightening: to make lighter or brighter
The sky was lightening on the horizon as we arrived home.
I am looking forward to lightening my load!
Lightning in the sky is fast and sharp – there is no time for extra letters. Whereas lightening something involves some effort, it is a verb, so it has an extra e in the spelling and pronunciation.