Random Trivia I Observed Today

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While filling out some paperwork, one of the department secretaries asked me to confirm that MN is the correct abbreviation for Minnesota. As I thought I about the other possibilities, it occurred to me that every other choice (where the choices are defined as the first letter of the state followed by a second letter occurring somewhere in the state’s name) is the abbreviation for another state. (MI = Michigan, ME = Maine, MS = Mississippi, MO = Missouri, MT = Montana, MA = Massachusetts) This is equally true of Maine and Montana, and no other states.
Of course, this bit of knowledge is completely useless. That’s why it’s called trivia.

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2 responses

  1. I remember realizing some time back that the M states give an implied ordering/grouping, depending on how you look at it:
    Tier 1 (second letter): MA, MI
    Tier 2 (third letter): MN, MS
    Tier 3 (fourth letter): MT
    Tier 4 (fifth letter): MO, ME
    Tier 5 (eighth letter): MD
    Actually, I suppose you could also group on the reason that the letter seems to have been chosen:
    First vowel: MA, MI
    End of first syllable: MN, MS
    Beginning of second syllable: MO, MT
    End of word: MD, ME
    Either way, Minnesota is a second-tier state behind Massachusetts and Michigan. Way to make both your school choices in first-class M states!

  2. And another grouping could be:
    beginning of first syllable –
    all
    end of first syllable –
    MN, MS, ME
    middle of first syllable –
    MA, MI
    beginning of second syllable –
    MT
    middle of second/last syllable –
    MO
    end of second/last syllable –
    MD
    which means E has chosen second tier states to go to school. Schools including MIT which apparently don’t deal with syllables as Missouri would be Mis·sou·ri.