Google is no longer content to be one of the most successful corporations in world history. It isn’t enough, anymore, that they’ve functionally replaced the term “internet search” with its own name as a common verb. No, Google also wants to rub your hometown pride in the dirt by releasing information displaying exactly how hard your state sucks at spelling.
Helpfully compiled by Google Trends, the map breaks down the very specific ways in which various areas of the United States have mysteriously failed to learn very common words. The data is drawn from the top searches (... or “googles”) for “how to spell” by state, and illustrated in weather map degrees of red, green, blue, yellow, and gray to show just how popular each query is in a given region.
Exempting searches for “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” which is a word nobody ever needs to know how to spell (unless they’re, like, writing something for a website that includes it), the most popular word is “beautiful.” Eleven states, perhaps only having seen a flower, heard a violin, or witnessed the visual poetry of this GIF after graduating from grade five, never found themselves needing to use such an important word until later in life. Other, less surprising searches, include “resume,” which does make some sense if you drop the accent on the last “e,” and “canceled,” whose second “l” is one of the casualties inflicted by the Americanization of English. (See also, searches for “gray” and “favorite.”)
More than a harmless bit of trivia, the map reveals certain truths about modern America. It shows us that sticking too many vowels in the middle of a word blows peoples’ minds, that Floridians are shamefully denied opportunities to read and write about “hors d’oeuvres,” and, most revealing of all, that there’s still a sizeable portion of the country looking up how to spell stuff rather than just right-clicking on the squiggly red lines beneath their mistakes.
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