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Press releases

BRITS STRUGGLE TO SPELL POPULAR UK LOCATIONS CORRECTLY

1st Feb 2010


Ask Britons to spell Morecambe, Torquay, Carlisle, Bournemouth and the Cotswolds and you will receive answers which read:

Morecambe, Tourkey, Carlilse, Bornmouthe and the Costwolds.

These are just some of the examples of how Britons spelt popular UK locations in a spelling test conducted by Travelodge.

The budget accommodation provider which has over 390 hotels, tested the spelling skills of 5,000 Brits, in order to investigate the most common UK locations Britons spell incorrectly.

The research was conducted in response to findings from a Travelodge reservations audit which identified around 20%* of the companys bookings on a daily basis are for locations which are misspelt.

Interestingly the most popular misspelt locations revealed in the Travelodge bookings audit also appeared within the top 20 results from the independent locations spelling test.

Key findings from the spelling test revealed:

One in ten Britons has difficulty spelling renowned UK cities such as Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham, Cardiff, Birmingham, Brighton and Norwich - and will spell these locations as: Ednburgh, Manchestar, Nothingham, Cardif, Birmangham, Britan and Norwitch.

Fifteen per cent of respondents in the spelling test spelt Cambridge as Camebridge.

Its not just cities Brits struggle to spell correctly, popular UK holiday destinations also featured within the top 20 misspelt locations poll. Four out of ten Britons struggle to spell the famous North West seaside resort Morecambe correctly and will spell it as Morecambe.

A fifth of British adults cannot spell Torquay, Scarborough and Bournemouth correctly and will spell these locations as Tourkey, Scarbrough and Bornmouthe.

One in ten adults spells Blackpool as Blackpole, Newquay as Newquey or New Quay and Snowdonia as Snowdoenia.

Twenty per cent of adults spell Carlisle as Carlilse, Scunthorpe as Scuntrope, the Cotswolds as the Costwolds and the Chilterns as the Chilltins.

One in ten Brits spells Wembley as Wemblay.

When it came to airport locations only four out of ten respondents from the spelling test could spell Stansted correctly, 48% of respondents spelt it as Stanstead. One in ten respondents could not spell Heathrow and Gatwick correctly and spelt is as Heatherow and Gatwicke.

Dr John Gledhill from The Spelling Society commented on the findings and said: "Britons consistently underperform in spelling tests regarding every day words which include popular British locations. Our research has shown that Britons struggle to spell correctly due to the inconsistencies of our spelling system which has remained relatively the same since the 1600s."

"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. Spelling these variants with their ancient roots is difficult and often has little link with common sense."

Charlie Herbert, Travelodge E-Commerce Director said: Over 87% of Travelodge bookings are conducted via the web. As an e-retailer we constantly keep a close eye on locations that Brits have difficulty spelling correctly and have to continually expand our online search terms facility in line with our findings. It appears that misspelling our famous towns and cities is a growing problem."

Other key findings from the spelling test revealed:

Female respondents constantly out performed against their male counterparts in achieving a higher spelling score throughout the test.

The 36 to 40 year old respondents consistently achieved the lowest score in the spelling test. The silver grey category of respondents (aged 60+) achieved the highest score throughout the test.

Travelodge has also developed a series of images to demonstrate how their hotel signage would look if they changed the correct spelling of locations to the most common misspelt version. E.g. Edinburgh Travelodge to Edburgh Travelodge. Please contact the press office for images on: 01844 358 703 or email pressoffice@travelodge.co.uk.

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Popular Travelodge Destinations