Cincinnati Skyline

Before you begin an online search for ‘Cars For Sale in Cincinnati’ there is one step you MUST take first, in order to guarantee success. Want to play a game? Okay, let’s see if you can guess what that one very necessary step is…


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If you want an online search for ‘Cars For Sale in Cincinnati’ to be successful you must first and foremost (drumroll please)…know how to spell ‘Cincinnati’.

While this may seem like a no-brainer, don’t get ahead of yourself. You might feel inclined to revel in the glory of your college degree or high-school diploma (or aging ‘Honorable Mention’ ribbon that you received in a 2nd Grade Spelling Bee) but it’s harder than you might think. In fact, how many of you would actually rely on features such as autocorrect or autofill in order to complete the word?

For anyone thinking this is some kind of veiled insult to the residents of Cincinnati and its surrounding communities, rest assured that it’s not. After all, Ohio rates 18th overall in terms of the 50 States ranked by intelligence. On the other hand, all you have to do is drive across the bridge into Kentucky and suddenly you’ve dropped down to #31 (but…at least you’re not from Nevada).

Professor Yiu Lai’Ng Phuk is a tenured linguistics professor at Southern Cincinnati Technical School of Northern Kentucky. Currently teaching ‘English as a First Language’ to rural Kentuckians, we asked, ‘Wouldn’t that just be regular English?’

He laughed.


Agreeing to speak with The Lemon, we asked him to share his thoughts on the matter. “It’s not just Cincinnati. You’ll find similar issues in Tallahassee FL, Albuquerque NM, Tucson AZ, Worcester MA, Pittsburgh PA and even Niagara Falls. In fact, it’s safe to say that one of the greatest challenges faced by automakers within specific geographies is caused by disparities in phonetic pronunciation and spelling. Consumers attempting to initiate their purchase with an online search may be unsuccessful if (i) they use too many L’s, S’s, E’s (ii) don’t observe the ‘i before e’ rule (iii) are distracted by condensed syllables, or (iv) disregard silent letters. If the consumer is unable to type the city’s name correctly, their search results may be flawed. Many car purchases are never completed due to this kind of user error.”

In a ‘Man on the Street’ interview, we spoke with Randy Lee Joe-Johnson Jr., a 1982 drop-out from SCTSNK, who agrees. “I blame them (expletive deleted) Indians.” With apologies to our Native American (and SJW) readers, we attempted to run away. Nevertheless, he persisted. “I don’t give an (expletive deleted) gator’s cooter if you’re an (expletive deleted) Wakahoochee Indian, an (expletive deleted) Bigmac Indian or…some other (expletive deleted) kind, you and your crazy (expletive deleted) names ruined everything. I mean, why can’t y’all (expletive deleted) spell well? We were here first. A scalp that and smoke it in your (expletive deleted) peace-pipe, why don’t ya…”

Rather than waste our breath explaining to Mr. Joe-Johnson Jr. that Native Americans were, in fact, ‘first’, we chose to ‘zone out’ through the rest of the conversation. Fifty-two minutes (and 426 ‘F-Bombs’ later, we were free to resume our investigation).

Prompted by Professor Phuk’s theory, we spoke to Matthew Maddocks, an Automotive Industry Consumer Statistician. ‘It’s very true. In fact, the effect of spelling difficulty on automotive sales is evident on two levels. First, fewer automotive dollars are spent in cities whose names are more difficult to spell. Second, consumer satisfaction suffers among the illiterate, whether that illiteracy takes the form of technological-illiteracy or actual inability to read. Unable to research vehicles online, a customer is less likely to locate a reputable dealership.”

We visited ‘Rowdy’ Ron Wrecktim, proprietor of ‘Rowdy Ron’s Wrecks’  a privately-owned roadside used car dealership, just over the bridge from Cincinnati in Covington KY. “Yeah. Lots of Cincinnati folks used to head over the bridge to buy cars from me. Then the government started that whole internet fad back in the 90’s, and it was almost ‘lights out’ for this guy. Luckily, there ain’t a lot of computer-savvy folks here in Kentucky. Most of them don’t even believe in that sort of thing.”

When we inquired what he meant by ‘that sort of thing’ he clarified, “You know…things that ain’t real. Like Bigfoot, or Google or Anti-Incest Legislation. I’m a little more open-minded than most folks, though. So if Bigfoot or Google showed up on my doorstep, I’d have a shotgun ready fast enough to scare ‘em the hell away. Someone would be like, ‘Did you hear that GoKentuckyogle tried to attack Rowdy Ron?!’ and other folks would be like, ‘ Yeah. But Wrecktim damn killed him!”

Once we had exhausted our patience in speaking with people from Kentucky, we reached out to Google themselves for a statement. While we were unable to secure an interview with a corporate representative, we did receive a formal statement via Gmail, which we have reprinted below in its entirety.

‘First and foremost, Google is very real; as is Anti-Incest Legislation. And much like Anti-Incest Legislation, Google plays a role that is both proactive and protective albeit to information (as opposed to the watery gene pool of redneck hillbillies).

Results obtained through Google’s search functions are certainly influenced by search engine optimization. That said, our ability to help users is limited if they type the wrong words in the search bar. We have worked to implement programming that helps to identify misspellings and improper spelling of homophones, but there’s only so much that we can do.

If it helps at all, Cincinnati is spelled with three N’s and one T.’

Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted earlier this year. Since then, automotive sales in Cincinnati resulting from online search have increased by nearly 45%. Since we don’t expect anyone from Kentucky to have read this article, we can only assume that Cincinnati dealerships have Google to thank.


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