This Map Shows the Most Commonly Misspelled Words in All 50 States


America is a nation of industry, of athletic heroes like Michael Jordan and incredibly weird town names like Catfish Paradise and Booger Hole. For its part, the United States definitely handles some things with aplomb -- come for the cheeseburgers, stay or the redneck parties -- but the process of stringing together consonants and vowels is a task that stymies American intellect with a metric shit-ton of force.

According to this map, which shows the most commonly misspelled word in every state, speling is very hardt for many Americans, regardless of whether you’re from Georgia or Hawaii, but especially if you hail from Wisconsin (more on the cheeseheads later). Compiled by the geniuses at Google using Trends data, this is truly an unbecoming case study in American literacy. Why? Because we totally suck at spelling, you guys!

Google’s Trends data cited the most common “how to” spelling searches for 2017 by state, finding that most Americans search for words between 6 to 10 letters long. In this cohort of states, we have Oklahoma (“patient”), California (“beautiful”), Arkansas (“chihuahua”), and Nebraska (“suspicious”), among the majority of other states across the county. There are some spelling mishaps that are more understandable -- Michigan struggles with “pneumonia,” for example -- but everything here is eclipsed by Wisconsin, because Wisconsin can’t even spell “Wisconsin,” correctly. Yes, according to the map, people in Wisconsin can’t spell the word “Wisconsin,” even though it’s literally scrawled across all state ID’s, government buildings, and most places you can look with two eyes. This, my midwestern friends, is unacceptable, so let me spell it out for you: W-I-S-C-O-N-S-I-N. This better be a cruel joke or the Vikings are totally going to win the Super Bowl next year.

Next, there’s the states that struggle with words between 1 and 5 letters. There aren’t that many, so let’s discuss them at once: Oregon can’t spell “sense,” which makes sense only if you confuse one of the five senses with hard currency or a fragrance. Idaho looks up “quote,” because W makes a reasonable substitute for U, at least in a purely phonetic sense. North Carolina doesn’t spell “Angel” right, and Tennessee can’t spell “chaos,” which is weird, because “Tennessee” is way harder to spell than “chaos.” Georgia spells “Gray” incorrectly, because they’re probably taking cues from English people, who spell literally everything wrong. Finally, Mississippi spells “Nanny” wrong and Rhode Island can't grasp "Liar." Please tell me this is a lie. 

Anyway, suffice it to say that this isn’t indicative of Americans writ large. There are smart people everywhere, especially in this country, they just weren’t included in this data sample.

[h/t Sports Illustrated]


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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Vice. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.