An online company’s research department has revealed the top misspelled word in each state, based on search-engine queries.
In Iowa and Kentucky the chief troublemaker is maintenance. Arkansas and Utah apparently can’t spell leprechaun—but why would Arkansas and Utah want to? For irony aficionados: drought-plagued California’s top misspelled word is desert. Florida struggles with tomorrow (in more ways than one). Michigan and Oklahoma wonder how to spell gray. We wonder how to misspell it—both gray and grey are acceptable, and it’s hard to imagine any other option. Mississippi has trouble with sergeant, but in all fairness, many sergeants can’t spell Mississippi either. Oh, and Alaska can’t spell Hawaii.
Here is another of our spelling drills. In keeping with our policy, these are words that you hear all the time. You’ll find the answers directly below.
1. Her ___ is her mother’s best friend.
A) step father
2. The executives sent a letter of ___ to their best agent.
3. He was acting in ___ to his conscience.
4. The changing of the seasons is a natural ___.
5. The man wore a suit and had ___ just come from work.
6. Tests in the ___ have so far been encouraging.
7. Shonda read the class an ___ from her new play.
8. The movie was called a ___ by the critics.
9. Blane transformed the firm into a sleek ___ that dominated the market.
10. I think I’ll drive to ___ tomorrow.
1: D) stepfather
2: C) congratulations
3: B) obedience
4: D) occurrence
5: A) evidently
6: B) laboratory
7: A) excerpt
8: C) debacle
9: D) juggernaut
10: C) Massachusetts
Because of the e-newsletter’s large readership, please submit your English usage questions through GrammarBook.com’s “Grammar Blog.”