Dwyane Wade has the most commonly misspelled name in sports

The Wall Street Journal

The Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade has three NBA championship rings, 10 All-Star Game appearances, and one confusing "y" in his first name, making it the most-flubbed sports moniker.

That's according to Wall Street Journal sports blog The Count, which used Factiva, a news database owned by Dow Jones, to track the most commonly misspelled names in sports.

D-W-Y-A-N-E (AP image)

Wade showing up at the top of the list with an error rate of 4.3 percent might be a surprise considering how many longer, more difficult to pronounce names plague sports editors on tight nightly deadlines. Writes Geoff Foster:

"[W]ith two "z's" flanking a "y," Mike Krzyzewski may own the most notoriously hard-to-spell name in sports. But of the 98,144 articles that mentioned the Duke basketball coach, only 321 left off the first "z," and even fewer (175) forgot the second."

Krzyzewski's name likely demands extra attention from even the most time-crunched of copy editors. But nothing about Dwyane Wade's first name spelled "Dwayne" stands out as incorrect if you're not trained to be suspicious of every proper noun. (I found it misspelled in quite a few AP image cutlines, too.)

Still, the Wade error "remains unusual because fame seems to help correct mistakes," Foster writes. He points out that former NFL quarterback Brett Favre's name, which also doesn't stand out as potentially incorrect when written "Farve," is much less frequently misspelled than Wade's first name is.

Maybe "Dwyane" remains troublesome because first names are typically written only once per story. Or maybe Wade needs to win more than three, or four, or five, or six, or seven championships to earn enough fame to move down the list.

See the Journal's full list of names here.

  • Sam Kirkland

    Sam Kirkland is Poynter's digital media fellow, focusing on mobile and social media trends. Previously, he worked at the Chicago Sun-Times as a digital editor, where he helped launch digital magazines and ebooks in addition to other web duties.


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