Britons beat Americans in global spelling bee

Americans ‘embarased’ by inability to spell embarrassed

A survey conducted last year showed that 62% of Americans got the words embarrassed, liaison, accommodation and millennium wrong, against 54% of Britons.

America is a nation spellbound by televised school spelling bee competitions, and yet the US adults did pretty poorly in a survey comparing how English speakers on both sides of the Atlantic deal with commonly misspelt words.

A sample of a thousand adults in the US and a thousand in the UK were asked how they rated their own lexicographic skills and then asked to spell ten words.

American adults performed less well on eight of the ten words tested, only two —  ‘definitely’ and ‘friend’ were spelt correctly by more Americans.

Professor Edward Baranowski of California State University told the Telegraph, that the results reflected the ‘horrific’ drop-out rates of US high schools.

Jack Bovill of the Spelling Society, which commissioned the research, said the British had nothing to brag about and that the high inaccuracy rates in both countries showed the need for the English spelling system to be modernised to improve literacy.

The Spelling Society wants a cross-party committee of MPs to promote spelling reforms.


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