Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Spelling Skills on the Map

Spelling Makes the Map

The Scripps National Spelling Bee begins tonight in Washington, D.C.  The top 291 spellers advance to these finals out of the 11 million students who participated in local spelling bees.  But not all Americans count spelling as a strong suit.

Google Trends posted this map (above, click to enlarge) of the most misspelled words in each state.  Google created the map based on the most popular word followed “how to spell” in a search. 

The map is broken down by the length of the words.  So Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Tennessee share the lowly distinction of searching for the smallest words.  Rhode Island’s most popular word is “liar,” and the hard-to-spell state of Mississippi searched for “nanny.”

Most of the United States searches for words that are from six to 10 letters long.  Some of these words are tricky, like “sauerkraut” in Pennsylvania and “Chihuahua” for Arkansas.  But New Jersey searched for “twelve;” South Dakota searched “college;” and Wisconsin actually searched the name of their state the most.

Texas and Missouri searched for a longer word—“maintenance.”  And West Virginia and Connecticut searched for a phrase from the musical “Mary Poppins,” which is “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”  (And Microsoft Spell Check acknowledges that word).

For more information about using maps to study culture and current events, please contact the Ball State University Libraries GIS Research and Map Collection.

No comments: