Milton   Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:02 am GMT
It's Pittsburgh with an "h"

Pittsburgh is the most misspelled city in America, according to a recent study by ePodunk.

The spelling of the city in western Pennsylvania has long been a point of contention. The U.S. Board on Geographic Names ruled in 1890 that the final "h" should be dropped from the names of all cities and towns ending in "burgh," but the citizens of Pittsburgh mounted a campaign to keep the traditional spelling. The board relented in 1911 and restored the "h." All these years later, people remain confused.

Pittsburgh isn’t the only confounding American place name. See the full list at right for the 15 communities misspelled most often.

ePodunk prepared the list by analyzing 6 months of search entries on its Web site, which profiles communities across the country. After compiling a list of misspellings, ePodunk searched for incidences of the misspelled versions on the Web and in major publications (through electronic information services such as Lexis/Nexis).

Rank City State
1 Pittsburgh PA
2 Tucson AZ
3 Cincinnati OH
4 Albuquerque NM
5 Culpeper VA
6 Asheville NC
7 Worcester MA
8 Manhattan NY
9 Phoenix AZ
10 Niagara Falls NY
11 Fredericksburg VA
12 Philadelphia PA
13 Detroit MI
14 Chattanooga TN
15 Gloucester MA


For further information, contact Laurie Bennett, CEO of ePodunk.
M56   Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:18 am GMT
Rodrigo   Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:11 pm GMT
I'm not a native English speaker and I must say that the only city of the ones above I may spell wrong is Cincinnati, I always thought it had a double T. Nontheless, I can see that most may be complicated except for Niagara Falls, I find its spelling fairly logic (at least for English standards) but it could be because in Spanish it's spelled the same (except for the accent) but pronounced according to Spanish rules. Needless to say, I also find Albuquerque very easy to write but I can see why a monolingual English speaker may go wrong.
Guest   Sun Sep 09, 2007 5:56 pm GMT
In English, Niagara is pronounced "niagra", with no "a" sound between the "g" and "r", so that's probably why it's hard.
Guest   Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:11 am GMT
Around here, "Rensselaer" is often missspelled. Some years ago they even misspelled it on the annual Christmas card from RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute).

One of my hard-to-spell favorite place names is Kayaderosseras, although it's the name of a creek and mountain/hill range, etc. Note that the 2nd "a" and the "eras" are silent (I think).

"Quioque" is tough oen, too.
Guest   Wed Oct 31, 2007 9:55 pm GMT
Does anybody know where I can download or purchase a database of misspelled cities and towns in the U.S.?

Thank you in advance for your help.
Guest   Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:03 pm GMT
Massachussetts is not a city but it is difficult to spell properly as hell.
furrykef   Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:09 am GMT
You mean Massachusetts ;)
J   Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:54 pm GMT
I went to college in "Plattsburgh, New York" it also still retains the "h"... but who cares?
Hutch   Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:58 pm GMT
How about Foxboro Massachusetts. Some people spell it - Foxborough.
Guest   Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:44 pm GMT
That's just another example of the stupidity of English spelling.

BTW those are the most misspelled cities in the United States NOT America.
Guest   Fri Nov 02, 2007 6:25 pm GMT
How about:

furrykef   Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:04 pm GMT
<< BTW those are the most misspelled cities in the United States NOT America. >>

In English, the two are synonymous. Deal with it. This is no place for a stupid political debate.

- Kef
Damian in Edinburgh   Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:00 pm GMT
I don't know so much about mis-spelled names of American cities - except perhaps the Pittsburgh situation - does it or does it not have that final "h" sort of thing? Unless you sort of realise that Pittsburg looks wrong somehow. I sympathise, because I have actually seen my own home city name mis-spelled as Edinburg - and dare I say that the correspondence concerned came from America! Now Edinburg most definitely looks wrong! :-)

Referring to American State names now - the ones that look as if they cause the most bother when it comes to spelling are Massachusetts, Mississippi and Tennessee - without a shadow of a doubt. All those double letters....

On British TV the other day, on the Anne Robinson (och no! I cannae abide her!) quiz show The Weakest Link, she asked the question: "Which is the only American State name containing the letter "z"?" and the contestant replied "Missouri". In a way you could understand his incorrect reply. Why does the double "ss" sound like a "z"? And in any case, what exactly IS the correct official pronunciation for Missouri? I've heard it voiced something like "Mizzoorah" instead of "Mizzooree". Which should it be?
Damian in Edinburgh   Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:06 pm GMT
btw: In Britain "spelt" is often used instead of "spelled". Or in this case -"mis-spelt" instead of "mis-spelled" - including the hyphen. I just thought I'd mention that.