Each State's Most Misspelled Word for 2021

Indiana, we need to talk. Google says the word we have the hardest time spelling is "friend."

Seriously? I always brag to my out-of-state freinds — dammit! — that we are the most friedly — dammit! — state in the Union.

"We're America's Canada!" I boast. "We have some of the friendliest — got it! — people in the country."

So why can't we can't spell one of our defining characteristics? That's like Florida not being able to spell "national embarrassment."

I mention this because Google released 2021's "Most Misspelled Word In Each State" list this summer to coincide with the National Spelling Bee.

Each year, Google compiles a list of words that people have sought help for in each state. Based on this year's research, we've got a few doozies and some return entries on the list.

For example, speaking of defining characteristics, Connecticut can't spell "bougie," which is weird coming from the bougiest state in the Union. It's like not being able to spell "Daddy's BMW."

Screenshot of Google's map of states' most misspelled words.
And while we're talking about "friend," Arizona had the same trouble spelling it, too. I'd encourage Indiana and Arizona to hang out, except Arizona is the Florida of the Southwest, so that's not such a good idea. Remember what your mom said about having disreputable friends? Of course, she also made you put on clean underwear any time you went in the car, so maybe she was a bit too protective.

Ohio and Iowa can't spell "dessert, or maybe they can't spell "desert." Google didn't tell us if that was the common error.

(While we're on the subject of dessert, did you know the phrase "getting their just deserts" just uses the word with one S, "desert?" It means "the punishment that one deserves.' So unless you're eating nothing but pie and cake for dinner, it's "just deserts")

Speaking of desserts, North Carolina can't spell "donut," which isn't that bad. I mean, it's not the official spelling of the word (it's "doughnut"), but I won't complain. I'll eat donuts or doughnuts, I don't care which. Also, I'd have some bacon, but no one struggled with that word.

Just down the road, South Carolina struggled with the word "tomorrow." Given the number of Confederate flags littering this state, I'm not surprised. You're not thinking about tomorrow if you're still stuck in the past. Seriously, it's time to move on.

Massachusetts had trouble with the word "disastrous," which shouldn't be that hard to spell. You just need two 2's, a 0, and a 1.

Hawaii is having trouble with the second-shortest word, "bagel," which only has five letters. To be fair, Hawaii is not known for its bagels. Also to be fair, New York couldn't spell "char siu manapua."

Pennsylvania can't spell "cousin" this year, which was a tough word Alabama had two years ago, except now Alabama can't spell "Georgia." It's a bit funny when you realize they're neighbors. Still, there are people I've known for years who can't spell "Erik," so I'll let it slide.

Except Colorado can't spell "Colorado," and now I'm wondering if being the first state to legalize pot might not have its drawbacks.

Speaking of Georgia, they can't spell "favorite" because they were spelling it "favourite," like the British do, which makes Georgia seem pretty cool right now. And now I'm picturing Jeff Foxworthy in a Jane Austen novel.

It must be tough being beautiful, especially in Oregon, California, Nevada, North Dakota, Illinois, or New York, because none of them could spell it this year. It was a similar struggle for 11 states in 2019, including — wait for it — California and Illinois.

Seriously, you guys? You've had two years to sort yourselves out, and you're still stuck on this one? Are you just going to be calling everything "nice" from now on? You'd better hope you don't have to dress up too soon.

New Jersey also struggled with "beautiful," which makes sense if you've seen the Jersey Shore Reunion.

Florida's most misspelled word was "teacher," which is what happens when you rank 45th in the nation for educational spending and 49th for teachers' salaries. You brought this on yourself, Florida.

Why can't Florida be more like Vermont, which struggled with "exorbitant?" As in, "Florida thinks a teacher's living wage is exorbitant."

Or why not New Hampshire, who struggled with "aesthetic?" Now that is a word to struggle with. 

The two longest words on the list tripped up Nebraska — "miscellaneous" — and Kansas — "prescription." They were the only two words with more than 11 letters.

Clocking in with the shortest word at four letters, Tennessee had trouble with "gray." I hope they were spelling "grey," which is the English spelling. Now I'm totally hoping that Georgia and Tennessee are Edward Ferrars and Elinor Dashwood.

From the north and south of the country, Michigan and Louisiana can't spell "different," and west and east, Washington and Maryland can't spell "because." Neither can Texas, which is weird because I'll bet every single Texan can spell "secession."

Certain states may have trouble spelling certain words, but that's okay. I still have trouble spelling embarrassment right the first time. We all have a spelling nemesis.

Especially Idaho. Theirs is literally "Nemesis."

My new humor novel, Mackinac Island Nation, is finished and available on Amazon. You can get the Kindle version here or the paperback version here.