These Are the Top Misspelled Words in Every State
Posted: 01 June 2016 03:57 AM   [ Ignore ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3986
Joined  2007-02-26

A bit of fun…

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/news/a38745/top-misspelled-words-in-every-state/

With spellcheck and now autocorrect, writing error-free seems easier than ever. But if you actually put a pen to paper, you’ve probably forgotten how to spell a few simple words.

Google just revealed the top spelling questions in every state, and the troublesome words are embarrassingly basic. Forget “embarrassingly” — first graders might have a better shot at nailing “tomorrow,” “gray” and “desert” than you do.

After studying queries starting with “"how to spell,” the search engine pinpointed the most popular questions across the country. Common words like “definitely,” “appreciate” and “cancelled” pop up, as well as outliers such as “ornery,” “giraffe” and “leprechaun.” But Massachusetts undeniably earns the title of the worst offender. Residents of the Bay State apparently need a little help on spelling their own address — yikes.

Alabama - Tongue
Alaska - Hawaii
Arizona - Diarrhea
Arkansas - Leprechaun
California - Desert
Colorado - Beautiful
Connecticut - Desert
Delaware - Neighbor
Florida - Tomorrow
Georgia - Appreciate
Hawaii - Boutineer
Idaho - Desert
Illinois - Appreciate
Indiana - Desert
Iowa - Maintenance
Kansas - Schedule
Kentucky - Maintenance
Louisiana - Definitely
Maine - Vacuum
Maryland - Cancelled
Massachusetts - Massachusetts
Michigan - Gray
Minnesota - Broccoli
Mississippi - Sergeant
Missouri - Pneumonia
Montana - Vacuum
Nebraska - Guarantee
Nevada - Cousin
New Hampshire - Diarrhea
New Jersey - February
New Mexico - Neighbor
New York - Beautiful
North Carolina - Pneumonia
North Dakota - Attitude
Ohio - Banana
Oklahoma - Gray
Oregon - Definitely
Pennsylvania - Cancelled
Rhode Island - Cancelled
South Carolina - Convenience
South Dakota - Gray
Tennessee - Courtesy
Texas - Niece
Utah - Leprechaun
Vermont - Possible
Virginia - Cancelled
Washington - Pneumonia
West Virginia - Giraffe
Wisconsin - Vacuum
Wyoming - Ornery

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 June 2016 04:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1173
Joined  2007-03-01

Yes, I saw that reported, too.

I find it odd that Michiganers are deemed ‘wrong’ for wavering between gray and grey, and Marylanders for canceled and cancelled. I know that gray and canceled are the preferred spellings in American English, but to call grey and cancelled outright ‘wrong’ is a bit harsh.

Even if they are ‘wrong’, uncertainty in those cases is surely a different order of ‘wrong’ from misspelling banana. How do you mispell banana?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 June 2016 06:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6323
Joined  2007-01-03

These are not “wrong” or “misspelled.” What is being measured are the words whose spelling people are querying. In the case of gray or cancelled, it’s likely that people have seen both spellings and are wondering which is “correct.”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 June 2016 08:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  471
Joined  2007-02-17

Well, quite. It would be an impossible task to determine which words were the most misspellt, unless you had enough people who were willing to be tested on every word in the English language (or even on just the ones in common use).

Incidentally, an ex-teacher in a pub once rashly bet that I couldn’t spell five words correctly, and he lost. I took his list and have modified it several times since, so I no longer know what was originally on it, but if you test the average person who spells most things correctly on a list including the following: iridescent, inoculate, diphtheria, accommodation and minuscule, your money should be fairly safe. If you lose, or get hit, don’t blame me.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 June 2016 09:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  747
Joined  2013-10-14

Below are two links to American and British spelling differences and there are quite a few to my surprise. Apparently the spelling differences was initiated by the introduction of Noah Webster’s dictionary in 1828, he was responsible for standardizing an accepted American English spelling.

http://www.livescience.com/33844-british-american-word-spelling.html

http://www.tysto.com/uk-us-spelling-list.html

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 June 2016 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  515
Joined  2007-02-13

Here’s one I am never confident about: ophthalmologist.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 June 2016 12:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2654
Joined  2007-02-19

I was surprised not to see “desiccate”, which is a word that even people who spell quite competently, tend to fumble. “Boutineer” was new to me --- I see it derives from “boutonnière”.  Hawaii has just gone up a notch or two in my estimation, and the word (if not the article) will stay with me, as the sun sinks slowly into the West............

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 June 2016 07:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  883
Joined  2007-02-07

Is the US the only country that considers spelling a sport?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 June 2016 09:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1617
Joined  2007-01-29

A few years back there were similar competitions in the UK but I haven’t heard of any recently.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 June 2016 12:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  287
Joined  2007-02-15
happydog - 01 June 2016 07:10 PM

Is the US the only country that considers spelling a sport?

Here in Holland, they have a spelling comp every year PLUS a dictation contest which is pretty much national tradition now, and both the Dutch and the Flemish take part!! (From memory, I think the Flemish usually come out on top.)

The dictation is probably related to the relatively high number of spelling ‘interventions’ (ie spelling changes ‘immediately’ implemented in daily life) prescribed by official authorities over the last century at least.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 June 2016 02:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3986
Joined  2007-02-26
happydog - 01 June 2016 07:10 PM

Is the US the only country that considers spelling a sport?

In a word, no.

School spelling bees occur sometimes in the UK, NZ and Australia. There’s a formal annual national spelling bee in NZ.

There is also a TV show in Australia called the Great Australian Spelling Bee, and Sky TV in the UK is about the launch a similar show called Spelling Star.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 June 2016 05:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  471
Joined  2007-02-17
donkeyhotay - 01 June 2016 10:40 AM

Here’s one I am never confident about: ophthalmologist.

You can substitute that for ‘diphtheria’ – it’s all those Hs that throw people. Once you know that both words are derived from Greek, you shouldn’t have any problems – Greek rules dictate that in these contexts both stops have to be aspirated, or neither. So you find words where pi is followed by tau, but phi has to be followed by theta. The former is represented in English by the letters P and T, the latter by PH and TH.

Looking back over that, I suspect I have just made something relatively simple into near-gibberish. It might just be easier to swallow the words whole, as it were.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 June 2016 06:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  515
Joined  2007-02-13

Looking back over that, I suspect I have just made something relatively simple into near-gibberish. It might just be easier to swallow the words whole, as it were.

Not at all.  As a Greek Orthodox deacon, I am no stranger to Greek, so I understand what you’re trying to convey.  The reason I struggle with spelling both words is because of the pronunciation.  I, and everyone around me, pronounces these words as “diP-theria” and “oP-tha-mologist”.  There is no “f” sound in either pronunciation (and in the case of ophthalmologist, the first “L” is not pronounced either).

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 June 2016 09:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2654
Joined  2007-02-19

Thank goodness, there are no canons in English for pronunciation, and one English pronunciation is pretty much as “correct” as another (intelligibility is another matter altogether). People use pronunciation to establish their (and other people’s) position on whatever social ladder they aspire to climb (or to stay at the top of). I remember watching an English TV series, in which an ambitious politician (performed by that fine actor, David Threlfall) went to enormous pains to get rid of his North Country accent, and sound like a graduate of a posh public school (his efforts paid off; I don’t know if they stlll would, in Britain today. Class prejudices usually die hard).

In other languages, I’m told, the situation can be quite different, and pronunciation carries all sorts of social implications.

Profile
 
 
   
 
 
‹‹ Emoji Bible      Tripping balls ››