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Posts tagged: geography

Feel free to double-check this

Back before the turn of the century, a reader shared an observation.

He said the University of Washington and Washington State University are farther apart than any other similar pairing in the nation.

I can't recall how exhaustively I fact-checked that. But if you have some time on your hands, you might take a stab at it.

As I recall, this pertains only to pairings involving a University of (name of the state) and (name of the state) State University. Branch campuses using any other naming convention (such as one might find in, say, California) do not count.

P.S. Actually, I suspect the state of Idaho refutes this assertion. But I'll have to look it up. Maybe the Gem State holds the record, not Washington.

Trivia challenge (one question)

Though it might be the least Mormon place in the U.S., one state back East was the birthplace of both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. Can you name it without Google?

When you hear a reference to Albania

Are you capable of NOT thinking of Coach in “Cheers”?

It borders on the Adriatic, you know.

1 in 4* believe this is Spokane’s location

* Imaginary survey of those American adults who have heard of Spokane and know that it is in Washington.

Now accepting definitions of “back East”

Yes, I have dealt with this a hundred times.

But I never tire of hearing people refer to Minnesota as “back East.”

Getting in shape for travel season

When visiting other parts of the country, don't forget how to say…

1. “No, where we are, it hardly rains all summer.”

2. “You must be thinking of Tacoma.”

3. “No, really. We had a world's fair.”

4. “All those Dodgers you just named, from those great teams — they all played in Spokane.”

5. “Gon-ZAG-uh.”

6. “No more racists than you have around here, I'd guess.”

7. “No, we don't have a state income tax. We use a high sales tax, various fees and duct tape.”

8. “Well, you should see our daily paper in Spokane. Clear Socialist agenda forced down our throats by a wealthy Republican family.”

9. “Like I said, it's almost 300 miles away.”

10. “I'm not making it up. It's true. In Spokane you can usually go outside at night in the summer without being swarmed by insects.”

11. “So this is the famous humidity I've heard about.”

12. “No, we don't have tornadoes. We have a lot of yard sales, though.”

Acquiring our credentials to be snobs

Almost anyone who has lived in the Southwest and then moved to a different region will be tempted to assume the role of Mexican Food Snob.

If you have resided in the Los Angeles area, you might feel entitled to be a Traffic Snob.

If you spent time in Texas, you might be a High School Football Snob. If you lived in the Southeast, being a Humidity Snob might come naturally to you. If you spent more than half an hour in Seattle, Coffee Snob might be an image you feel comfortable projecting.

If you grew up in parts of the Northeast or the Upper Midwest, you might spend the rest of your life being a Winter Snob. If Colorado was your home for a time, Skiing Snob might be a role you're happy to play.

And so on.

But what about us? About what does living in the Inland Northwest qualify someone to claim expertise and discernment if he or she moves to another part of the country?

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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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