Research on Kansas spelling doesn’t quite add up

By Joe Stumpe | July 1, 2021

Here’s a two-pronged headscratcher: Why do Kansans have a hard time spelling “multiplication,” and why are we trying to in the first place?

Researchers affiliated with AT&T looked into what words residents across the United States have been asking Google for help spelling. (No, they’re not spying on your laptop or phone. A website called Google Trends allows anybody to conduct such research).

This research covered the period from March 24, 2020 to March 24. 2021. Not surprisingly, “quarantine” was the word that people needed help with most across the country, leading queries in 12 states.

But in Kansas, “multiplication” was tops. Unfortunately, the research didn’t reveal why people searched for certain words.

Is it because we whiled away the pandemic revisiting our old mathematics textbooks?

Started raising rabbits as a hobby? Needed a five-syllable rhyme for “misinformation”?

If it’s any consolation, our spelling bugaboo wasn’t the oddest on the list. That honor goes to Floridians, who for some reason wanted to know how to spell “pharaoh.”

Joe Stumpe