I decided to take a break from Interstates and play a bit. To do this road series, I printed out a list of the “Two Letter State Abbreviations” because I sometimes have trouble remembering some of them. This led to a self-invented alphabet game as I contemplated this list. Let’s call what followed a blogame.
First, I noticed that two alphabet letters account for 16 of the 50 states names, and these 2 letters are next to each other in the English alphabet. They are M & N. Yes, 8 state names start with M and 8 start with N. Is MI Mississippi, Missouri, Michigan, or Minnesota? It’s Michigan. Is NE Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico or New York? It’s Nebraska and there are still two more states beginning with N, both due to territorial separations. The Dakotas separated in 1889.
Second, I noticed that 7 alphabet letters were not ever used to begin a state name–B,E,J,Q,X,Y, and Z. Q,X,Y, and Z are not so surprising, but you would expect namers to come up with a Bethel or a Bertrand or a Bootheel. Why didn’t someone propose Jasper, Jumpin, Johnston, or Jefferson? Where were the eager when it came to naming a territory Eagle or Erieland or Evergreen when it became a state?
Third, I noticed that 4 states’ name begin with the lesser used letter W. How did that happen? Four more begin with the A vowel, and six more begin with the vowels O & I. Three states begin with a C. This beginning letter game accounts for 33 of the 50 state names with only 17 to go.
Who or what was Rhode? Since so many early immigrants came from countries with royal houses, why didn’t a state get named after a Queen? Why is there a Maryland but not an Elizabethland? Or a king? Why is there a Louisiana but not an Albertina? I quit at this point due to a headache.