There’s one word Australians have really struggled to spell over the past year. But it’s far from the only word we need some help with.
There’s one word Australians have really struggled to spell over the past year. But it’s far from the only word we need some help with.

The word most Aussies can’t spell

It's official, our spelling has gone to ..... well, diarrhoea.

That is the word most Aussie's have struggled to spell over the past year, Google Trends data reveals.

It tops national online spelling searches ahead of "received" - remember the "i before e except after c" rule?

"Spelt or spelled" also had us stumped, as did "cancelled" and "favourite".

As thousands of kids across Australia start sitting the Prime Minister's Spelling Bee, the data shows "diarrhea" also topped the spelling searches of South Australians, Western Australians and folks from NSW.

People from NSW also turned to Google to ask how to spell "jail", while those from the ACT had to check on "euthanasia" and "emphenage", which is actually spelt "empennage" and is the rear part of an aircraft.

Queenslanders wanted to know how to spell "beautiful" - so Queensland - and it was clearly a mixture of business and pleasure in Tasmania, where "stationary", "mortgage" and "cappuccino" were among the most searched spelling words.

Cappuccino was high on the list of tricky spelling words for Tasmanians. Picture: Shae Beplate.
Cappuccino was high on the list of tricky spelling words for Tasmanians. Picture: Shae Beplate.

Victorians grappled with the US spelling of "cancelation" and we're not really sure where Northern Territorians were headed with their spelling searches for "pechracliff" and "identerfying spelling".

While some experts fear digital technology is degrading our spelling, the Google Trends data reveals the extent we are using online checks to get us out of spelling pickles.

The data shows spelling related searches hit an all time high in May last year.

Literacy expert Dr Jennifer Buckingham said the English language was full of traps for unwary spellers and it was no wonder we needed help.

"Double letters are the things that catch people out. They often don't look wrong when you write them, so they often catch people out," Dr Buckingham said.

She said Australian spellers also had to contend with different US and UK spellings, as well as changing spelling conventions over time, such as the trend to remove the first "a" from encyclopaedia.

Registrations are now open for the 2021 Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee.
Registrations are now open for the 2021 Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee.

Time is running out for teachers to sign up to the Prime Minister's Spelling Bee. Registrations for the free online competition for Year 3 to Year 8 students close at 11.59pm Wednesday, March 24. Register at kidsnews.com.au

 

Top spelling related searches on Google in the past 12 months

 

 

AUSTRALIA

Diarrhea spelling

Received spelling

Spelt or spelled

Cancelled spelling

How to spell favourite

 

ACT

Spelled or spelt

Spell filed

Spelling of licence

Spell emphenage

English spelling for euthanasia

 

NSW

Diarrhea spelling

Received spelling

How to spell jail in Australia

Spelled or spelt

How to spell colour

 

NT

Correct spelling of familiar

How do you spell pechracliff

How to spell damaged

How do you spell celebrate

Identerfying spelling

 

QLD

Spelt or spelled

Diarrhea spelling

Received spelling

How do you spell beautiful

How to spell delicious

 

SA

Diarrhea spelling

Received spelling

How do you spell vocabulary

How do I spell piniata

How do you spell virus

 

TAS

Spell stationery

Spell mortgage

Spelling of cappuccino

Spell utmost

Spelling of exactly

 

VIC

Received spelling

Diarrhea spelling

Spelt or spelled

Cancelled spelling

How to spell exercise

 

WA

Diarrhea spelling

Received spelling

Spelt or spelled

Cancelation spelling

How do you spell colour

 

 

 

Originally published as The word most Aussies can't spell


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