President Trump often takes to Twitter to announce public policy, changes to his Cabinet or bloviate on socio-economic issues. However, there are a number of times when the president misspells words on Twitter, which leads to huge spikes in searches for these misspellings and can often cause confusion.
“When we examined search data for misspelled words, comparing it to the dates of many of the president’s spelling gaffes, a pattern emerged,” according to a Dictionary.com article, which highlights the president’s abundant mistakes. “Each misspelling sparks a surge in searches on site, specifically searches for that exact configuration of letters, as Americans attempt to spellcheck both the president and themselves.”
The first example cited is a tweet from Trump the day after his presidential inauguration in January 2017.
“I am honered to serve you, the great American People, as your 45th President of the United States,” Trump wrote. The tweet was quickly deleted and corrected with the right spelling, but the misspelling led to a 3,850 percent surge in searchers for “honered” compared to the previous week.
The site noted that searches for “honer” also had a modest jump, at 1,271 percent.
Dictionary.com also mentioned Trump’s March 2017 attack on the Obama administration for tapping his phones, a claim that was later refuted by the Department of Justice. There were reports that the FBI tapped the phones of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, which some have said vindicated Trump’s claim.
Trump’s misspelling of the word “tap” led to a 46,300 percent increase in searches for “tapp” over the prior week.
Perhaps the most famous of Trump’s Twitter gaffes is his tweet nearly a year ago mentioning “covfefe.”
“Despite the constant negative press covfefe,” Trump wrote on May 31, 2017 in a now-deleted tweet. It has never been cleared up what Trump was trying to say (did he mean coverage? attention?), “covfefe” become a word on Dictionary.com’s list that defined 2017.
(In the recent “Yanny” or “Laurel” debate, Trump poked fun at himself, saying he heard “covfefe.”)
Trump’s grammatical gaffes on Twitter are not just limited to misspellings – he has homophone errors as well.
On May 8, 2017, Trump tweeted: “Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Council.”
The tweet was later deleted and replaced with the correct “counsel,” but not before a 78 percent increase in searches for the word “council.”
Trump also made a mistake when he tweeted on Aug. 17, 2017 “Our great country has been divided for decades. Sometimes you need protest in order to heel, & we will heel, & be stronger than ever before!”
The tweet was later replaced with another which had the correct spelling of “heal,” but not before searches for heel (the back part of someone’s foot or a command used to tell a dog to stay) shot up 761 percent.
In an apparent crack at Sen. Bob Corker (R.-TN.), Trump tweeted: “…the entire World WAS laughing and taking advantage of us. People like liddle’ Bob Corker have set the U.S. way back. Now we move forward!”
Not only is “little” misspelled, but it also has an apostrophe that is inappropriate for its usage. (Trump used an errant apostrophe earlier this week when he wrote: “The Witch Hunt finds no Collusion with Russia – so now they’re looking at the rest of the World. Oh’ great!)
Searches for “liddle,” which is not a word in the English language, spiked 4,900 percent.
Earlier this week, The Boston Globe, citing two people familiar with the process, reported that some of Trump’s tweets are written by staff and include grammatical errors on purpose to make it seem as if the president himself is writing them.
One of the people said that while those who tweet for the president do use poor grammar on purpose, they do not misspell people’s names or words.
“Tweets that are proposed are in his voice,” said one of the people. “You want to do it in a way that fits his style.”
Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia