Now in The New York Times, the Most Common Mispelling of “Gandhi”

For the past couple of months I have been following the New York Times’ coverage of the link between concussions and dementia in former NFL players. Today’s article is a fascinating read and I urge you all to check it out.

However, I flinched when I got to this section (it’s the seventh paragraph from the end, apologies for the blurriness):

“Ghandi” is, by far, the most common misspelling of the surname Gandhi. Throughout my life I’ve had to correct teachers, send back checkbooks, re-fill out forms, etc. because a large segment of the population is convinced that this is the correct spelling of the name.

According to UPenn’s Language Log blog, this particular misspelling comes about because “people know there is an “h” in there somewhere, and just one of them, but they’re not too sure where it is. As a result, the omission of the “h” after the “d” and the insertion of an “h” after the “g” are not statistically independent processes.” Who knew?

SAJAforum’s 2007 post on Gandhi vs. Ghandi can be found here.

Update:: I just checked the dead-tree 1/22 edition of the Times, and the article unfortunately contains the misspelling. The online article has been corrected.

Update #2: More from this 2008 Typo of the Day post.


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