I know, it’s not fair to fault people for misspelling a word that, no matter its seasonal ubiquity, is a transliteration from an entirely different language. That said, c’mon New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, get your shit together!
In light of this week marking the start of the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee, the folks at Vocativ put together this handy-dandy chart of each state’s most commonly misspelled word. While the folks in the Midwest seem to have a shockingly difficult time with “Grey” it’s everyone’s favorite not-Christmas holiday that is the #1 source of spelling confusion for the states most people associate with the Jewish Northeast: New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, none of which seem to be able to spell “Hanukkah” correctly.
And, yes, while there’s technically no right or wrong way to spell the word, sheer consensus (not to mention Merriam-Webster’s dictionary) dictates H-A-N-U-K-K-A-H as the standard form.
Here’s Vocativ’s full list:
This is not the only Jewish-themed spelling kerfuffle to be associated with Scripps season. As you may recall, two years ago thirteen year old Arvind Mahankali took home the bee gold for correctly spelling “Knaidel” which promptly caused the entire Jewish world to lose its collective mind. It was, as is most things pertaining to spelling, and spelling bees, profoundly embarrassing for everyone involved.
This is based on Google searches for how to spell the word.
So these are possibly the three states that care the most about getting the spelling correct. (Which makes sense)
And note the search is on the correct spelling. (There are states where the correct spelling is in parentheses indicating the residents are searching for the wrong spelling)
So contrary to your conclusion, it seems these are the three states that not only care the most about spelling the holiday correctly, they already know how to spell it.