I woke up this morning and I was laying in bed letting my mind wander. It started out with a message I’d picked up on my phone last night from Rose, the woman who wants us to come up to Tok, AK.
From there I got to thinking about the abbreviation for Alaska: AK. That got me to thinking about all the other A state abbreviations: AR, AL, AZ, etc. That all seems kind of confusing to me. And speaking of being confused, remember when we had to learn the names of all the states in school? And I can never remember where states are located on the map. (I’m getting better now that I’ve lived in a few of them.)
Then I got to thinking about how much easier it would have been if all the states had been named alphabetically. The first thirteen colonies would have been named from A-M and as the states expanded out they would have been named a different letter in the alphabet. There are only twenty-seven letters in the alphabet, so when we reached the end we could have started over. That way there’d only be two A states and two B states, etc. Not only that, but it would be a little easier to remember if an A state was in the eastern part of the US or the western part. You’d also have a better chance of remembering what order the states became states in. For instance, where the pilgrims landed would be named something like Alabaster. That would eventually (after the colonies became states) indicate that that was the first state.
I chuckled as I thought about this, so Mark asked me what was so funny. I told him my idea and he said, “So what would Oregon have been named?”
I thought about it and I said, “Since there are fifty states and twenty-seven letters in the alphabet, two of the letters from the eastern alphabet would be left over to go into the west, unless you skipped X or something. But assuming we used all the letters, there would be four unused letters on the west side. That would be W, X, Y and Z. There are five states that touch the Pacific Ocean.”
At that point Mark asked which beside Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California touched the Pacific Ocean and I reminded him about Hawaii. Then I went on. “Originally Washington and Oregon were one big block called the Oregon Territory. Lewis and Clark came to the Oregon Territory first, so that would be something that started with an R.”
Mark said, “Like Ramble since Lewis and Clark rambled over it!”
“Yeah,” I said, “and then there was the gold rush that drew people to California. I know it was a gold rush, but since California would be named something with S it could be named Silver. Then Washington separated from Oregon, so it would be named something like Thunder.”
“Why Thunder?” Mark asked.
“Because it rains so much in the NW,” I responded. Then I said, “I can’t remember whether Alaska or Hawaii became a state next, but if it was Alaska, it could be called Up because it’s further up than any of the other states.”
“So what about Hawaii?” Mark asked.
“Hawaii could be named Violet,” I said.
“It’s a colorful state, so I guess that would be fitting,” Mark replied. He thought about it for a minute and then he said, “You’re silly!”
“That’s why you married me,” I said with a smile.