Sometimes, you’re typing when you get to a word that you cannot, for the life of you, spell. That’s when you turn to Google, counting on the Internet to correct your spelling. Vocativ used Google Trends to pinpoint each American state’s most googled word.
By far the most common word, was “grey,” with California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, and Virginia all searching for that particular color. Presumably, it’s the confusion between “grey” and “gray” that drives people to the web for answers. New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania all struggled with “Hanukkah,” while Connecticut, New Hampshire, and North Carolina all searched “cancelled.”
Idaho was the state that turned to Google the most, and they were very curious about antelopes. There’s something terrifying going on in Hawaii, for its most searched word to be “pterodactyl.” And phonetic spelling got the best of both Wisconsin and Utah. The former needed Google to turn “Chiwawa” into “Chihuahua” and the latter searched “awnry” for “ornery.”
The use of Google as an impromptu spellcheck isn’t totally surprising, but it’s definitely a side effect of how much people trust Google to give correct answers. I wonder how many people ended up searching for a spelling because they didn’t believe their word processor’s determination.
I’ve done it, too. And I’ve searched a word whose spelling I was sure of when I didn’t want to waste too much time inserting accent marks. Copy and paste can be your friend there.