Word War 2: Sequelitis

By Marc Catalano
Featured Image via roomrecess.com

On October 26, 2017, I published an article named “Word War”, which focused on words in the English language that have taken on different definitions over time. As Hollywood does with any semi-popular film, 2 months later I knew it was time for a sequel.

But as the name implies, much like World War 2, Word War 2 was made to be bigger and better than the original. Rather than focusing on words with different definitions, I set my sights on common misspellings and misquoted films, ranging from Forrest Gump (1994) to The Empire Strikes Back (1980).

I learned from past mistakes and made sure the Google Form I sent out was multiple choice rather than a short answer. This quiz also had a point system, Fill in the Blanks were worth one point, and spelling was worth 2. There were 10 questions in total, adding together for 17 points.

I received 80 submissions, with a range of 0 points to 15 points. The average was 7.48 points. The most common point scores were 6 points, 15 responses, and 8 points, 12 responses. Enough exposition, time to dive right into the specifics.

The first question went as follows: “Finish the film quote: ‘Life ___ like a box of chocolates’ – Forrest Gump Forrest Gump” 

This was the hardest question for the responders, only 9 out of 80 got it correct. That is only 11.3%. 67 people, 83.8%, picked “is” as the answer. I bet you are confused, thinking “is” is obviously the correct answer, but you are wrong. The correct answer and quote is “Life was like a box of chocolates” – Forrest Gump Forrest Gump. Yes, saying “life was like a box of chocolates” doesn’t have the same philosophical ring to it when used by others, but it fits contextually in the film because Gump is talking in the past tense.

The second question went as follows: “Complete the film quote: ‘_____ mirror on the wall.’ – Snow White Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).”

This question was a bit easier than the first, but overall more people got it wrong than right. 30 people, 37.5%, guessed it right while 48 people, 60%, were fooled by the common misconception.

Many people remember it as “Mirror mirror on the wall.” but that is only half correct. “Mirror mirror on the wall” was said in the original book version while the film version says “Magic mirror on the wall”. Some people used that to complain that mirror should be right because it is used. But, the question says “Complete the FILM quote” not book quote.

The third question, and first spelling question asked people for the correct spelling of The Flintstones. 

This was also the first question where the number of people who got it right outnumbered those who got it wrong. 59 people, 73.8%, said Flintstones correctly, while the majority of wrong answers,  25%, came from Flinstones. However, there was one person that guessed Flenstones.

The fourth question returned to the common pattern of the wrong outnumbering the right. The question asked for the correct spelling of Kit Kat, the popular candy.

This was a first, as 3 of the 4 answers were chosen many times. 53.8% of people incorrectly chose Kit-Kat, 27.5% of people incorrectly chose KitKat, and 17.5% of people correctly chose Kit Kat. That’s right, there is no hyphen in between the Kit and the Kat, just a space.

The fifth question, the halfway point, was a special case as instead of correct spelling it asked for the amount of “e”s in Febreze.

This is one of the more common misconceptions, although that means it is bringing more attention to it. This wasn’t as split as the previous question, with the 2 most common responses being Febreze with 32.5% and Febreeze with 63.7%. The correct spelling only has 3 e’s, Febreze. I know it looks like it would be “feh-brehz”, but that’s the English language.

The sixth question returns to misquoted films with “Complete the film quote: ‘__, I am your father’ – Darth Vader The Empire Strikes Back

Most of you filled in the blank with “Luke, I am your father” and if you did, congratulations, you’re wrong. One of the most quoted and iconic lines in cinema history isn’t even remembered correctly. When Vader has Luke cornered and defeated after chopping off his hand, Luke and Vader have a conversation about Luke’s father.
“Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father” – Darth Vader
“He told me enough. He told me you killed him!” – Luke Skywalker
“No, I am your father” – Darth Vader
Yes, it’s no. In fact, this is only one of the pieces of Star Wars that is remembered incorrectly, but that’s for a separate article at a different time. Over 50% of participants, 55% to be exact, said “Luke” was the correct answer but “No” wasn’t too far behind with 38.8% picking it.

Question 7 restored some of my faith in humanity. By far the question with the largest gap between correct and incorrect asked them to spell “Regardless”.

Just how large was this gap? 87.5% of people got this question right. When assembling this quiz, I thought a margin of people would pick “Irregardless”, one of the most common grammatical errors in the U.S. To my surprise, not a single person chose it. Thank you to all 80 people who didn’t choose that. I’d like to say “That’s all Folks!” but that’d be a lie.

If you didn’t catch what question 8 is, it asked people for the correct spelling of Looney Tunes.

This was a lot closer than I expected. Just me telling you the percentages doesn’t do it justice, look at the graph! The correct spelling was only ahead by one vote. I know the correct spelling doesn’t make sense, and Looney Toons would make more sense, but I didn’t ask for what made sense. Two more questions left, and this next one is pretty sketchy.

Do you get it? Because question 9 asked for the correct spelling of the popular shoe brand Skechers.

The common misconception here is that there is a “t”, making it Sketchers. However, there is not, and never was, a “t”. If you’re one of those Rick and Morty watching intellectuals thinking no one would get that wrong, only 21.3% of people got it right, that’s 17 out of 80. 61 out of 80 chose Sketchers, so this misconception is more common than you might think.

I want to be an Oscar Mayer Wiener! Not really, I much prefer being human, but question 10 asked people for the correct spelling of the popular hot-dog brand.

This is probably one of the most common misconceptions out there, with everyone swearing on their life that it is Oscar Meyer. If you’re one of those people, I regret to inform you that you are going to die. This one probably surprised me the most, as 12 more people guessed Oscar Mayer than Oscar Meyer.

That was the quiz! I really enjoyed making this quiz and seeing the results. Hopefully, you learned something new. Even if this article bored you to death, at least you learned something!

Special shoutout to sophomore Mya Yetso, sophomore Tyler Forchelli, and freshman Sarah Gaetano for getting 15 out of 17 points each, the highest scores!



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