Quick. Spell the name of Duke's famous basketball coach. We'll even spot you the K. Now spell the first name of Miami's spectacular guard, Mr. Wade.
Did you get "Krzyzewski" and "Dwyane" right on the first try? No you didn't. Stop lying. At least you're in good company: those two sports icons are among the most misspelled names in sports media, according to the Wall Street Journal.
With the Scripps National Spelling Bee winding to its close, the WSJ consulted Factiva, an aggregation of 32,000 news sources, to determine which names were misspelled the most often. Coming in first, with an incorrect spelling 4.3 percent of the time, was Dwyane Wade. Second: former Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, misspelled 3.2 percent of the time for reasons that should be obvious.
Several of the names on the list have letters that seem to have wandered a bit afield from their designated slot, based on pronunciation, like Wade, Jhonny Peralta, Antawn Jamison, and Brett Favre. The names you'd most expect to be higher, like Krzyzewski or, say, Ndamukong Suh, don't rank so highly because most writers probably cut-and-paste them. (My own rule-of-thumb: pronounced "Shashefsky," spell-sounds "Kerr-zee-zew-ski").
"The most error-inducing names are ones that are deceptively difficult rather than obviously difficult," the WSJ writes. However, this is for professional publication. On message boards, comment sections, Twitter, and texts? Heaven only knows how many different ways they could mangle a name like "Laveranues Coles."
As for how to spell "Favre"? Just remember that old scene from "There's Something About Mary":
- Dwyane Wade
- Brett Favre