If a timber giant is going to move its headquarters to downtown Seattle, we all better learn how to properly spell the company’s name.
Of the more than 1,000 people who have taken our multiple-choice spelling quiz, just 19 percent were able to identify the correct spelling of the prominent Northwest company that has been around for generations.
(Spoiler alerts below for those who want to take the quiz but haven’t yet done so.)
The proper spelling of the company’s name is Weyerhaeuser — with an “e” in there four times. A whopping 71 percent believed the company was spelled Weyerhauser, without the third “e.” Another 10 percent chose a variety of other incorrect options.
Some people said they had a trick to remember the spelling of Weyerhaeuser: After the “h,” there are three vowels in the name that ascend alphabetically – a, e, u. Brian Mittge, a writer for the Association of Washington Business, also noted that the vowels go left-to-right on the keyboard.
I’m not convinced either trick will help me remember.
On the other questions:
- Readers were most confident in their ability to spell Frappuccino, with more than 60 percent selecting the right answer. The vast majority knew that the Starbucks drink was spelled with a “u” in the middle instead of an “a” or an “e.” Some weren’t sure whether it had an “h” near the end.
- The name of state Sen. Jamie Pedersen was a challenge, with only one-quarter getting the right spelling. Even though he’s been a leader on prominent issues such as the state’s gay marriage law, his name may have been unfamiliar to some test takers, since three different respondents simply wrote “who?” in the answer field.
- More than half of readers were able to identify the correct last name for Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka, although nearly 20 percent believed the “h” in his name came before the “c.”
- About 60 percent of people knew the proper spelling of Shilshole — the name of a bay, marina and road in the Ballard area. The most common wrong answer added an extra “l” to make it Shillshole.
- Two-thirds of test takers identified the right spelling of the last name for King County Sheriff John Urquhart, but a large chunk of those people thought his first name was spelled without an “h.”
After the first 100 responses to the quiz, only one person — travel writer Sue Frause — managed to get every question right. Frause said she was once the 5th grade spelling champ at Roosevelt School in Arlington.
After 1,000 responses, just 16 quiz takers were able to get all six spelling questions correct.
The average score was 2.7 right answers out of six questions — or a grade of about 45 percent.
I believe that spells “failing.”