In honor of the National Spelling Bee (which really ought to be a federal holiday), The Wall Street Journal has compiled a ranking of the athletes (and one Polish-Catholic coach) whose names are most commonly misspelled in print and online articles. You will probably guess No. 1.
The most frequently misspelled name is Dwyane Wade—he of the unintuitively transposed "Y" and "A"—with the wrong spelling being used in a whopping 4.3 percent of first references.
Second is Miikka Kiprusoff at 3.2 percent—We all know Finns love their doubled letters, but two in a row? Mark Buehrle, Skylar Diggins, and Agnieszka Radwanska round out the Top 5.
Some on the WSJ's list are inexplicable. Cal Ripken? Alex Rodriguez? But coming in at 17th place is Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, which at first glance, seems low. But while no one knows how to spell it, everyone knows they don't know how to spell it. They're googling and copy-pasting his name. Irrational confidence on the part of the writer doesn't come into play.
PS. A handy trick to spell Coach K's name: Remember that it's just "Krewski" with a "zyz.")
PPS. I used to be a fact-checker for a big sports magazine. Part of the process of getting the job was taking a sports knowledge quiz that included spelling some tricky athlete names. I remember that Dwyane Wade was on there, as were Laveranues Coles, Andruw Jones, LaDainian Tomlinson, and three different Antwans/Antawns/Antoines.
PPPS. Muphry's Law dictates that I misspelled something somewhere in this post. Apologies in advance.