WICHITA — Private investigator Emery Goad has been collecting ridiculous spellings of "Wichita" that he's received via fax, e-mail and mail for the last quarter century or so.
"It's hilarious," he says. "I think they happen from a lawyer's dictation."
For instance, a legal service on Broadway in New York wrote to "Witichaw."
Goad also has seen "Witchtaw" and, from a circuit court in Florida, "Witchita."
There's also been "Whitchita," "Wicheta” and “Wicita.”
They get even odder, such as "Wizhna" from a prestigious bank in Pittsburgh, Pa., "Whicta" from a Holiday Inn in Iowa and "Witchate" from a sheriff's office in Georgia.
Once, Goad even saw "Cedric County" for "Sedgwick County."
"That's probably the best of 25 years," he says of his collection.
He wonders what others have seen, though.
"There might be some more that are even better."
Goad says he'd like it if people let Have You Heard? know some of the crazy spellings they've seen.
He adds, though, "I don't know how you get much ... better."
Goad says he's noticed Wichita Falls, Texas, doesn't seem to suffer the same misspelling fate from what he's seen.
"And why does everybody know about Wichita Falls?" he says. "It's like they're famous, and we're not. That's backwards."