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更新时间:2017-6-1 18:42:18 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Is Wisconsin Really That Hard to Spell?

“Beautiful” and “pneumonia” hardly go together, but they ranked as the top two words that Americans most sought how to spell in the first four months of this year, according to an analysis by Google Trends.

“美丽”和“肺炎”两个词很难联系到一起,但谷歌趋势(Google Trends)的一项分析显示,在今年前四个月里美国人最想知道如何拼写的单词中,它们高居前两位。

The analysis, which covered Jan. 1 through April 30, identified in each state what word was searched most often when users typed “how to spell” into the company’s search engine. Google Trends posted a map of the results on Twitter on Tuesday, one day before the start of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

这项分析覆盖的时间是1月1日至4月30日,确认了各州民众在该公司的搜索引擎里输入“该如何拼写”(how to spell)时搜索最多的词。周二,也就是美国拼写比赛(Scripps National Spelling Bee)开始前一天,谷歌趋势在Twitter上发布了一张显示其分析结果的地图。

Naturally, the map, labeled “America’s Most Misspelled Words,” included a misspelling.


The original map listed the most-searched word in Washington, D.C., as “nintey.” That was corrected in a revised map a few hours later.


The analysis produced some surprising findings.


“Beautiful” led the list of most commonly searched words, with California, Kentucky, Minnesota, New York and Ohio residents checking how to spell it. “Pneumonia” came in second, stumping residents of Alabama, Maine, Michigan and Washington.


The significance of the most-searched words in certain states is a mystery: “giraffe” (Louisiana); “twelve” (New Jersey) and “people” (Hawaii). And then there were the residents of Connecticut and West Virginia who wanted to check on the spelling of “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” the word (or is it a phrase?) that was popularized in the 1964 Disney movie “Mary Poppins.”

在某些州,被搜索最多的词的含义让人不解:“giraffe”(长颈鹿,路易斯安那州);“twelve”(12,新泽西州)和“people”(人,夏威夷)。然后,还有康涅狄格州和西弗吉尼亚州民众想查询如何拼写“supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”(难道它不是个词组吗?),这个词是在1964年的迪士尼影片《欢乐满人间》(Mary Poppins)中流行起来的。

In Wisconsin, residents most frequently searched for how to spell “Wisconsin.” (In fairness to the people of the Badger State, if you stare at the name long enough, you’ll convince yourself it’s not spelled right.)


Stephanie Klett, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, attributed the confusion to the numerous Indian tribes that are native to Wisconsin and their conflicting spellings of the state’s name.

威斯康星旅游局干事斯蒂芬妮·克勒特(Stephanie Klett)将这个问题归于该州众多的印第安部落,他们是威斯康星土著人,在州名的拼写上本就意见不一。

Other states have simpler names, she said, adding: “Much like our incredible state, there is no word out there like Wisconsin. We’re unique.”


The Google list is a collection of results that are returned by one specific search by the company’s users; others who have sought to catalog misspellings have arrived at different examples in recent years.


For one, the words compiled by Google were at odds with those most commonly checked on the Oxford Dictionaries website, Katherine Connor Martin, the head of U.S. Dictionaries at Oxford University Press, said in a email.

比如,牛津大学出版社(Oxford University Press)美国词典部负责人凯瑟琳·康纳·马丁(Katherine Connor Martin)在一封邮件中表示,谷歌总结的词汇与人们在牛津词典(Oxford Dictionaries)网站上最常查阅的词不一样。

“The top misspelled words are ‘accommodate’ and ‘accommodation,’ so the tricky double letters in these words (and words like ‘address’ and ‘occurrence’) seem to be tripping up the most users,” she wrote.


“Accommodate” was also the most misspelled word for users of Dictionary.com in April, a spokeswoman said.


The spellings of some words were more irksome than others. A 2015 online survey conducted on behalf of Dictionary.com found almost 40 percent of Americans were most bothered by the misspelling of “February.”


English poses unique spelling challenges, especially to nonnative speakers who are learning the language, Julie Amberg, associate professor of English and humanities at York College of Pennsylvania, in York, Pa., said on Wednesday.

宾夕法尼亚州约克学院(York College of Pennsylvania)的英语和人文副教授朱莉·安伯(Julie Amber)周三表示,英语构成了一些独特的拼写挑战,尤其是对学习讲这门语言的非本土人而言。

For instance, the vowel sound “e” can be expressed in combinations of “ey,” “ee” and “ea,” she said.


“English does not have a sound-to-letter correspondence,” she said. “We have many ways to spell the same sounds. That right there is the real problem.”


What word has her constantly consulting a dictionary?


“Occurrence,” which was No. 6 on the Oxford Dictionaries list.