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Infographic: America’s Most Misspelled Words

In celebration of spelling bee week, Google has posted a little chart that shows the most searched for spelling word from each state.

They explained on Twitter that they mapped the top "how to spell" searches by state, and compiled the results into this map:

As you can see when you enlarge the image, the most searched for words include pneumonia, chihuahua, diarrhea, and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, words which have tricky spelling.

But then there is the most misspelled word for Wisconsin, which is Wisconsin. Yes, Google is inexplicably telling us that cheeseheads do not know how to spell the name of their home state.

Or at least that is how everyone is spinning it on Twitter while tittering. I too laughed at the joke when I first saw this map last night, but 12 hours later I have a different opinion.

This map tells us what people are searching for, not what they are having trouble spelling.

Wisconsin is the most searched for spelling word for Wisconsin, yes, but there’s a high probability that teachers are having students Google for that phrase as part of the lesson plan on using computers.

Wouldn’t it make more sense for this to be part of the public school curriculum rather than a word that people can’t spell?

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Ulrike Sárkány June 1, 2017 um 3:45 am

I always thought the correct spelling for diaorrhea had an o in it.

Nate Hoffelder June 1, 2017 um 7:04 am

A quick Google search says that it a valid spelling, yes.

Frank June 1, 2017 um 10:28 am

The other valid spelling for it is "diarrhoea" so there is an "O" but not where the first post suggests.

Another misspelling was the original map posted by Google listed the word for Washington, D.C., as “nintey" instead of the proper ninety. From numbers larger than ten, those should just be numbers to avoid such issues.

Nate Hoffelder June 1, 2017 um 10:37 am

Google also miscounted characters for several words in the first map.

I have the second map, of course.

Frank June 1, 2017 um 10:42 am

To be fair to the Badger State, if you stare at the name long enough, Wisconsin starts to look wrong. It sounds like it should be spelled "Wiskonsan".

For the Georiga folks, if they are spelling gray as "grey" that is fine because that is how all the other English speaking countries spell it and the popular novel "Fifty Shades of Grey" (this Grey is referring to the main male character).

Michael June 2, 2017 um 10:11 am

Interesting insofar as it reveals popular search terms, but not a good measure of spelling ability as you point out. I make typos all the time when entering things into a search form. It has nothing to do with spelling. (I’m sure the mapmaker would agree after that "nintey" gaffe!) Fairly often I’ll even catch a typo but hit Enter anyway, because I know there’s a good chance the search engine will autocorrect it.

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