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North Dakota considering name change
June 26, 2001 7:10 AM   Subscribe

North Dakota considering name change to get rid of lowly "North" tag and switch to plain "Dakota." The people making those commemorative state quarters are giving them stern looks...
posted by Sellersburg/Speed (55 comments total)

 
"People have such an instant thing about how North Dakota is cold and snowy and flat..."

But North Dakota IS cold and snowy and flat. I've been there in the winter and a name change definitely isn't going to make me want to visit again. Heck, a couple of years ago on a trip out west, we adjusted our schedule so we'd drive through ND at night. That way we wouldn't have to look at it.
posted by mrbula at 7:19 AM on June 26, 2001



Next will change New Jersey to Joisey


and Delaware to

Wah?
posted by brucec at 7:31 AM on June 26, 2001



Next will change New Jersey to Joisey


and Delaware to

Wah?
posted by brucec at 7:31 AM on June 26, 2001


It's only the first step in a bigger plan. North Dakota > Dakota > Dakota Smith and then the real kicker! They'll adopt Squirrel Fight as the state's anthem!
posted by heather at 7:35 AM on June 26, 2001


If they do change their name, I hope they redesign their flag instead of just taking the "North" out of it.
posted by idiolect at 7:37 AM on June 26, 2001


Why don't they just give up now and name it after Ronald Reagan?
posted by terrapin at 7:45 AM on June 26, 2001 [1 favorite]



I'm sure the "North" is what's preventing the tourism industry from taking off up there. After changing their name to just "Dakota", I predict a huge tourism windfall followed by heavy snow.

But then "Dakota" will be associated with frigid weather and wood chippers, too. So, then they'll have to change their name to "Kota". Where does it end?!?

posted by goto11 at 7:46 AM on June 26, 2001


In related news, New Mexico is pushing legislation to change their state name to "New"

"We feel that the "New" name projects an image of dynamic youth. Also, we're sick of people wondering if they can drink the water here..."
posted by fil! at 7:50 AM on June 26, 2001


Katherine Satrom, a Bismarck travel agency owner and leading advocate of the name change, called the proposal "a serious economic development initiative, which could have far-ranging benefits to our state's future."

Serious economic development initiative... how about naming rights?

The North Face?

Dakota Arms?

East Microsoft?
posted by Dick Paris at 7:54 AM on June 26, 2001


If they change their name, where in the world does that leave South Dakota?
posted by trox at 8:11 AM on June 26, 2001


hmmm...trox, I'd have to go with:

South of Dakota
posted by brokosz at 8:14 AM on June 26, 2001


If I have to go change the html for the drop down list on the shopping cart I manage, I'll be pissed.
posted by machaus at 8:17 AM on June 26, 2001


I think they should just change their name to "Reno Dakota" and make the entire flag Pantone 292. They'd already have their very own theme song (sort of) by the amazing Stephin Merritt.
posted by almostcool at 8:24 AM on June 26, 2001


North Dakota can do whatever it wants. Know why?

No one will notice. After all, when was the last time you heard something in the news about North Dakota (residents of ND, please refrain from answering).
posted by DyRE at 8:27 AM on June 26, 2001


Why not just change it to North Florida? That'd be sure to attract the tourists.
posted by darainwa at 8:32 AM on June 26, 2001


How about they look for sponsorship? They could be 3Com Dakota, for instance.
posted by darukaru at 8:40 AM on June 26, 2001


We're Reno Dakota
and we've reached our quota
of snow for the year.
Alas and alak
tourists won't travel back
out of bad weather fear.

It makes us drink beer!
posted by jennyb at 8:46 AM on June 26, 2001


"You guys think we should change the name of that state thingie?"
"Oh yah."
posted by RylandDotNet at 8:49 AM on June 26, 2001


How about they look for sponsorship? They could be 3Com Dakota, for instance.

No, no, no. They should be sponsored by Dodge.
posted by kindall at 8:53 AM on June 26, 2001


Why don't they just give up now and name it after Ronald Reagan?


They already did but Reagan keeps forgetting.
posted by DBAPaul at 9:01 AM on June 26, 2001


I'm all for it... really. I'd also like West Virginia to come up with something original.
posted by silusGROK at 9:07 AM on June 26, 2001


There's a North Dakota?
posted by bondcliff at 9:24 AM on June 26, 2001


How about "Green Dakota"? That kind of marketting sure worked for Greenland.... Plus it has that nice environmental tie in for "today's youth".
posted by bison at 9:46 AM on June 26, 2001


woot! jennyb, that little verse made my afternoon :)
posted by chacal at 9:49 AM on June 26, 2001


East Hawaii has a nice touristy ring to it.
posted by briank at 10:02 AM on June 26, 2001


In other news, one of its largest cities is considering a name change to "Neargo".
posted by dhartung at 10:05 AM on June 26, 2001


How about they look for sponsorship? They could be 3Com Dakota, for instance.

HA! That's great! How about..

Coca-Kota
Miller Genuine Dakota
AOL-akota (say it.. it rolls off the tongue nicely).
e-dakota.com

Come on... help me out here.
posted by goto11 at 10:18 AM on June 26, 2001


James Michener's "Dakota"

Or maybe they'll try and hip-hop it up by just going with the initials, like KFC or "The WB". "Where are you vacationing this summer?" "Yo, we be chillin' in the ND."
posted by Shadowkeeper at 10:33 AM on June 26, 2001


My vote's for "Da' Kota".
posted by bjennings at 10:42 AM on June 26, 2001


They should choose a name that gets in front of people, like "Pop-up Dakota".
posted by vanderwal at 10:44 AM on June 26, 2001


"After all, when was the last time you heard something in the news about North Dakota"

Hey, you're maligning the birthplace of Lawrence Welk, not to mention the fact that Rugby, ND is the geographical center of the North American continent (if you leave out Central America, which they seem to have done in their calculations).

Oh! You meant recent news. Let me think....Senate Majority Leader -- no, that's the other Dakota. Bombed with frozen dead golfers -- nope, that's the other one again. Mt. Rushmore -- nope, it's still that other one. Oh, hell, why don't they go all the way and change the name to something really evocative of the state's image, like Wilbur (especially when pronounced in a Mr. Ed voice).
posted by joaquim at 11:00 AM on June 26, 2001


"North Dakota: Like Canada, Only Not As Sexy!"
posted by Skot at 11:02 AM on June 26, 2001


I think that they need a name change that's hip and fresh. I'm all about the abbreviations, so I suggest: NoDak. Yes, NoDak. It's new, it's now! And really, just imagine the marketing possibilities:

"NoDak: We don't take no flack."
"NoDak: Where y'all can mack."
"NoDak: So cool you won't need smack."
"NoDak: Get up here, Jack!"
"NoDak: 'Cuz Idaho is Whack!"
posted by Dreama at 11:21 AM on June 26, 2001


Congratulations to Dreama on snagging Metafilter post number 100,000!
posted by rodii at 12:00 PM on June 26, 2001


Congratulations to rodii on snagging MetaFilter post number 100,027!
posted by MarkAnd at 12:05 PM on June 26, 2001


Congratulations to MarkAnd for snagging Metafilter post number 100,032!
posted by daveadams at 12:10 PM on June 26, 2001


Pipe down, you guys, this is a serious thread. Go hack the pot thread.
posted by rodii at 12:29 PM on June 26, 2001


(100,063!)
posted by rodii at 12:29 PM on June 26, 2001


I think they should rename North Dakota to "The Land of Nudity."
posted by daveadams at 12:35 PM on June 26, 2001


Wow, post smartassedly with a nickname that your old friends from the Dakotas always used, and become a MeFi milestone in the bargain. Go me!

Er, um, I still say NoDak is the way to go.
posted by Dreama at 12:40 PM on June 26, 2001


How about, Godforsakenland?
posted by geronimo_rex at 12:45 PM on June 26, 2001


It's already the Peace Garden State; truly a bizarre nickname considering:

1. There already is a Garden State.
2. If ND seceded, it would become the world's third largest nuclear power; Peace indeed.

If they indeed want some tourism, they should just legalize pot and watch as their coffers started bursting. Then they would earn their name as the Peace Garden State.

(Rodii, what was that snarf for? I mean, Aaron got the 100001 palindrome; he should be crowing.)
posted by norm at 12:47 PM on June 26, 2001


Rugby, ND is the geographical center of the North American continent

But the geographic center of the contiguous United States is located on mile north and one mile west of Lebanon, Kansas, in Smith County, and the population center of the United States is three miles east of Edgard Springs, Missouri. So I dunno where that leaves us, but not in North Dakota.
posted by Mo Nickels at 1:07 PM on June 26, 2001


If the population center is east of the geographic center, does that mean we're going to tilt over to the east?
posted by msacheson at 2:38 PM on June 26, 2001


msacheson: Your question could possibly by answered by those participating in this thread.
posted by raysmj at 2:42 PM on June 26, 2001


pssst, Mo...North American content also includes Canada. You're talking about the grographic center of the States being in Kansas.
posted by ducktape at 2:52 PM on June 26, 2001


Yeah, no duh, ducktape. I was being specific for a reason. What's North Dakota got to do with Canada? Nothing. Please re-read my very specific words again, then feel dumb.
posted by Mo Nickels at 5:34 PM on June 26, 2001


Since we have a New Mexico, maybe N. Dakota can be renamed New Canada, or how about Small Canada, or how about Dakota I?

Or maybe they can just name it for some other Native American tribe who inhabit the state.
posted by Rastafari at 5:42 PM on June 26, 2001


Well speaking as a lifelong North Dakotan (please feel free to poke and prod), I'm incredibly pissed about the issue. Recently there've been a rash of re-namings based on marketing decisions foisted on the locals by chambers of commerce. For the statename issue, the GNDA (think statewide chamber of commerce) is the principal advocate. Aside from the fact that I have a grudge against these people because they tried to kill my girlfriend and myself, all they really are trying to do is shop the state around for business reasons without really giving a damn about what the state consensus is. (fortunately any state-namechange requires a constitutional amendment to the state constitution, which has to pass by 2/3 of the state population.)

The Grand Forks (where I currently live---got sacked by flooding in 1997) chamber of commerce hired a marketing firm in Duluth, MN last year to come up with a branding campaign and bad logo for Grand Forks and East Grand Forks (MN). The idea? "The Grand Cities". Yea I know: Puke. Which is what most of the residents in the metro area have done. The two cities have always been commonly referred to as either Greater Grand Forks (which also includes Grand Forks AFB) or simply The Forks. People liked, people got used to it, people want to keep it. But the chamber? No way... Grand Cities is being shoved down our throats.

The powers that be in the State of North Dakota have come to realize that, frankly, this place sucks. Really. It truly does suck for anyone under the age of 35, and that's a huge problem given the state's population demographic. If high school graduates stay in-state for college, they usually leave the state upon graduation. There's a standing joke that the only people from my generation (I'm 21) that will stick around are those same people who wear Polaris (snowmobile company) jackets. The outward migration of people in their 20 to mid-30s is so awful that it's putting the very existence of the state at risk: Another two generations and this state will be complete desolate or the remaining residents will be able to count to 12 using their toes.

How to recitfy this? Marketing, marketing, marketing. About the only way they've found to bring people into the state is by playing-up a romanticized Old West theme, giving us tourist hell holes like Medora (which do treat their mostly college-aged staff as slave labor). Fundementally, changing the name of the state exposes what a lot of us have been saying all along: The State of North Dakota is willing to bend over and take it for a little bit of business money over what could hardly be called a trivial change.

Now what really gets me is that we find it completely plausible in this state to change names of things---even the state itself---for economic reason, but can't seem to ditch a racist mascot at the state's top liberal arts university (I've gotten death threats for my activism on this issue) . This Mefi post actually caught me by suprise because I've been working on a letter to the local press, commenting that many of the same arguments used against getting rid of the mascot ("it's always been this way / it's tradition / it's an honor / it's too well known / it's fine the way it is / it'll cost too much to change") are almost completely absent when the dollar signs are on the side of change.

funny how that goes.
posted by nathan_teske at 6:35 PM on June 26, 2001


Or maybe they can just name it for some other Native American tribe who inhabit the state.

State isn't named for a tribe---Dakota means "friend" in the Lakota dialect of the Siouian language.
posted by nathan_teske at 6:39 PM on June 26, 2001


Metafilter: Please re-read my very specific words again, then feel dumb.
posted by thirteen at 6:54 PM on June 26, 2001


I can sympathize, Nathan. When I was growing up, Seattle was known as "The Jet City", a nickname it had had for decades because of its close association with Boeing. Then, in the late-eighties -- when the whole environmental / Green Peace / Earth Day hoohaw was reaching its zenith -- it was suddenly decided that "Jet City" was too industrial, that we needed a "green" nickname on par with "The Evergreen State". So we suddenly became "The Emerald City". And, needless to say, most of us hated it -- cheesy, quaint, derivative, and not very appropriate for a city that sees overcast skies five days out of every five.

But when your city gets called any term of endearment for ten years or so, it starts to grow on you. Then, a few years ago, Seattle got this huge inferiority complex, and decided that it needed to be a "World Class City", with a World Class baseball stadium and the Goodwill Games and all that hullabaloo. And "Emerald City" was deemed unsuitable for a World Class City, for all the reasons we initially hated it. So presto-howdie, we became the Jet City again.

And now Boeing has flown the coop. Brother.

So who, you may ask, "suddenly decided that Jet City was too industrial" and later deemed "Emerald City .. unsuitable for a World Class City"? * shrug * I dunno. The city council? The Mayor? The general populous? Beats me. All I know is that trying to switch your name ("nick" or otherwise) to try and project an certain image (or shake an image, in the case on ND) is a dodgy proposition at best.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 9:31 AM on June 27, 2001


"Seattle: The Changeable-Name City" sounds OK.
posted by rodii at 9:50 AM on June 27, 2001


"But the geographic center blah blah blah"

So what? The population center of me is located right around my navel. What does any of this have to do with North Dakota? Stay with the thread, man, there are people from Fargo trying to follow it.
posted by joaquim at 10:51 AM on June 27, 2001


Yeah, man, I would, like, totally smoke up all 2 and a half tons of that doob, man...um....

um......

wow, dude. where am I?
posted by jpoulos at 7:28 PM on June 27, 2001


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