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Around the Bluhmin’ Town

6/14/17

Judy Bluhm

How do you spell stupid? Oops…not what I meant to say. Is your spelling “up to par?” Hmm, I didn’t think so. Mine either. Actually, I use Google quite often to spell words that I cannot quite figure out. Well, Google has been “tracking” what words in every state of our fair country are Googled for spelling, in honor of the 2017 National Spelling Bee. And evidently, some words “speak” for themselves.

Do you want to live in the cold Northeast? Because in New Hampshire, I guess “diarrhea” is a big problem. But wait, why the heck are the folks in Utah unable to spell the word “disease” and having to use Google for the correct spelling? Could this Google analysis be the litmus test for what people in every state are thinking? Uh oh, I hope not!

So in South Dakota, more people are confused on how to spell the word “college” than there are college students! And what is wrong with the residents of Rhode Island when they seem to want to know how to spell the word “liar?” And how can it be that people in New Jersey do not know how to spell the number “twelve?” Okay, this is just too weird.

My father was a publisher of a monthly magazine. For over fifty years (and before computers and spell-check), he had to proof the galleys and make sure grammar, punctuation and spelling was correct. He could spot a misspelled word in an article of 1,000 words. He had the “eye.” Most of us, with the advent of technology, autocorrect and other spell-checking programs are able to glide along and not worry too much about spelling. Of course, it hasn’t exactly made us smarter.

I mean, what in the world is going on in the great state of Wisconsin. A beautiful state with a great football team. So perplexingly, the word for which Wisconsinites most need spelling help is: “Wisconsin.” No, this is not a joke! Not a lesser-known Badger fight song, like W-I-S-C-O-N-S-I-N for the win. This is just residents of a state not knowing how to spell where they live. Lordy help us.

Okay, so does a state’s people spelling problems make a statement about that particular state? I suppose in a damp state like Washington, that is why people need to know how to spell “pneumonia.” But why can’t folks in New Mexico spell “banana? And should we be concerned that residents in North Carolina want to know how to spell “angel?” What the heck is going on here?

I love going to San Diego in the summer. Cool breezes, big ocean, nice beaches. Very beautiful. But wait! The 39.5 million residents cannot seem to spell the one word that they hold dear to them: “Beautiful.” Yep, that’s right. Living in La Jolla in a ten-million-dollar mansion overlooking the ocean and I cannot seem to spell the word that sums it all up. Beautiful. Or tragic.

"Tommorrow", or tomorrow, Arizonans will wake up and realize what a “beautiful” state we live in and not be bothered that we seem to not be able to spell the word that describes the “next day.” But the sun will come up, the day will begin and we are the type of people “living in the moment.” Who cares about “tomorrow”? At least we know how to spell our great state.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and local realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at judy@judybluhm.com.