UK towns hard for Brits to spell
Published 18/01/2010 | 09:28
British tourists have trouble with the local spellings of popular destinations - even when holidaying at home, a survey has found.
Lazy spellers head to the beaches of Tourkey and Britan - as opposed to Torquay and Brighton - while others seek out the beauty of The Costworlds (The Cotswolds), according to a survey by budget accommodation firm Travelodge.
In all, some 20% of people wanting to book a room at one of the firm's 390-plus hotels misspell their desired locations.
A subsequent survey of 5,000 adults across the UK revealed the most common mistakes when it comes to spelling holiday destinations.
Morecambe, the popular northern seaside town, topped the list with 70% spelling it incorrectly as "Morecome" or "Morecombe".
Around a fifth of those quizzed could not spell Torquay, Scarborough or Bournemouth, opting instead for "Tourkey", "Scarbrough" and "Bornmouth", according to the survey.
Airports did not fare much better, with many would-be travellers opting to head off from "Heatherow", "Gatwhick" and "Stanstead".
Female holidaymakers tended to do better than their male counterparts, the report found.
Commenting on the findings, Dr John Gledhill, of the Spelling Society, said: "Britons consistently underperform in spelling tests regarding every day words which include popular British locations.
"Correctly spelling a location can be more difficult because a place name may be a preservation of an old spelling that made sense at the time the place was named but has little bearing on life today. The spellings could represent a pronunciation from any century from 1066 onwards that just happens to have stuck."