Also Remembered As: Chik-fil-A
Chick-fil-A is a popular American fast food restaurant chain specializing in chicken sandwiches. The “fil-A” portion of the name is a play on the pronunciation of “fillet”. It gained notoriety in the press when it publicly declared it’s stance of opposing same-sex marriage.
The first Chick-fil-A opened in 1967 and the name was registered in 1963. The original and official trademark registration from 1968/9 can be viewed online here. Their name has never changed.
The first time I stumbled across this one was on the Subreddit, posted by The_JollyGreenGiant. The post received many replies and many people agreeing with the memory as suggested or with an alternate of memory of “Chik-fil-A”. As with many of these posts, there is also a few that remember as it actually is as well. Searching online for “chic-fil-a” will produce many examples of other people who have misspelled the company as well.
The post was titled “Chic-Fil-A?”, possibly already triggering the effect or confabulation in the mind of the reader; however, polling a few friends without the offering the spelling resulted in the same Chic-fil-A or Chik-fil-A erroneous spelling in all cases. In one case, I asked for a vocal recitation of how to spell it, the subject spelled out, “chick fil a”; however, after asking them to write it out, produced “chik fil a” instead. This may give us a hint into a possible explanation.
As a full disclosure, as of writing this, I seem to remember this always spelled as Chic-Fil-A, or Chic-fil-A. At the time of reading the Subreddit posting, I don’t believe I had seen the logo, but rather heard it said or written in articles. The pronunciation has always been “Chick”, so it is quite odd that the spelling flies in the face of how we all pronounce it.
Due to the cursive, playful script presented in the logo it’s possible to lose the “k” or “c” visually on first glance. This mistake could be than carried on in the person’s memory until one day, they see evidence that this is not actually the case. Not all people claim to have seen the logo at all though (including myself and my independent subjects).
“Chic” is another unrelated word. It’s possible that our brains are swapping the word for some reason. It’s unlikely this is happening due to pronunciation as “chic” is pronounced differently than “chick” [chik] and there is no claims that people pronounced it “chic” [sheek] in any instance. Swapping the word for “Chik” seems to make more sense pronunciation wise however, although, at the same time, chik is not a word, making it also an unlikely reason.
“fil-A” might hold the key, the rest of the restaurant’s name which appears to be consistent across all the claims. The full pronunciation key is [chik-fil-ay], which is fairly similar to what some suggest being their memory on how it was spelled, although not entirely perfect with the “ay”. “fil” and “a” are non-words, forced into a hybrid amalgamation with the “chick”; is our brains also trying to apply the same logic and rules on the “chick” as well? “Chick is a word, let’s shorten it, and make it fit the rest, “Chic-fil-A” looks about right!
Some of the packaging throughout the years, including the recent years have included their logo being cropped to produce a “Chic” logo, visually. Currently, this is on their french fry packaging. This visual could be all it takes for some people to get confused on the actual spelling.