That fact in and of itself isn’t surprising. What is surprising, however, is that each state in America is uniquely bad at spelling certain words or phrases.
Google tracked all the “how to spell” search queries by state, and then tracked which words followed “how top spell” most often. That tracking resulted in the map below.
Of all the words Americans are having trouble spelling, it appears that “beautiful” is the most common. Five states — California, Minnesota, Ohio, Kentucky, and New York — seem to be having trouble with it. It’s an ironic frontrunner, given that one of America’s favorite theme songs is “America the Beautiful.” People would rather sing it than spell it, it seems.
“Beautiful” is followed closely by “pneumonia,” with Washington, Michigan, Maine, and Alabama apparently struggling to remember that silent “p.”
Only two states, West Virginia and Connecticut, are having trouble with words that are more than 20 letters long. And in both cases, that word is “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” so it’s likely not one that anyone has to worry about writing down too often. The vast majority of states are having trouble with words that have five letters or fewer. The trickiest of those is probably “chaos,” which is stumping Tennesseans. Hallelujah is also a problem word for some.
But perhaps most alarmingly of all is the word that apparently gives the people of Wisconsin the most trouble: Wisconsin. People there are, in what could be described as a cheese-induced brain fart, unsure of how to spell the name of their own state more than any other word.
Google released the map to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which also began on Tuesday. There, contestants are going to be confronted with words much more obscure and challenging than what appears on Google’s map.