Minnesotans Survived the Quarantine, but We Can’t Spell It
My nickname through junior high was "Grammar Guy."
I kind of liked the moniker, even if it was derogatory. I was the grammar Nazi in school. I loved English. I loved spelling. I loved literature, writing and reading. And, yes -- I was the guy who corrected other people on their improper grammar. By high school I'd realized that people didn't really like that, and I'd learned to keep my pompous grammatical critiques to myself.
To this day, I do still like to think of myself as a sort of grammar guy, albeit a nicer and more considerate one. I still love reading and writing, and I pride myself in a pretty above-average vocabulary (if I say so myself). That said, there are definitely some words that I never seem to remember how to spell -- words like "receive," "conscience," "fulfill," "license," to name a few.
In 2020, a whole list of new or uncommon words entered our collective vernacular -- words like "coronavirus," "pandemic," "epidemic," "novel," "contactless," "curve," and "symptomatic." According to a new report from AT&T Experts, the most commonly-misspelled word of 2020 -- both in Minnesota and across the country -- was very much related to COVID-19.
Between March 24, 2020 and March 24, 2021 AT&T Experts analyzed Google Trends to determine the most-misspelled words in each state. Why, we're not sure; maybe AT&T are a bunch of grammar Nazis, too. In any case, they monitored the most "How to spell" searches to find what folks in each state were, well, trying to spell.
The most commonly-misspelled word in 12 states including Minnesota was "quarantine." AT&T Experts even lists the most common misspelling -- "corn teen," which is probably an accurate pronunciation for how they say it down south. "Favorite" was the second-most misspelled word (7 states) followed by "coronavirus" (6 states), and which (5 states) to round out the top four words. Here's the full list of most-misspelled words by state in 2020 according to AT&T Experts: