Tuesday, July 24, 2001

Don't Say The "N" Word In South Dakota

You can’t say the "N" word in Bismarck anymore. The "N" word is "North."

There’s a movement to change North Dakota’s name to simply "Dakota." Supporters say that having "North" modifying what kind of Dakota they are makes their state sound like a frigid, snowy, flat, treeless prairie. Nonsense!

North Dakota is exactly the opposite. It’s a tropical paradise, with rolling hills, beautiful beaches, and plenty of palm trees. Who doesn’t remember the fun of seeing all those spring breakers descend on Fargo for "MTV’s DakotaPalooza"?

The Greater North Dakota Association (a Chamber of Commerce group, previously responsible for the license plate slogan "North Dakota: Land Of 1,000 People") is behind the proposal. They insist that the name change would be a serious economic development initiative. Mostly, I’m guessing, for anyone in the business of making all the new signs and stationery that would be needed across the state. Either that, or start handing out really big bottles of White-Out.

Obviously, Dakotans have an inferiority complex. They look at all the tourism dollars that Florida and California rake in and think, "If only we had a one-word name, people would flock to our doorsteps! Those damn uni-namers!"

They’ve got it backwards. Instead of wimping out and dropping half their name, North Dakotans should band together and proclaim their boldness. Start a campaign that makes residents of the other 49 states look like weaklings. Dare them to vacation among the bravest frontier residents of the USA!!

"North Dakota: We Keep Canada In Its Place!"
"North Dakota: A Lot Further North Than Those Carolina Pantywaists!"
"North Dakota: Bet You Can’t Find A Celebrity Here!"
"North Dakota: Come Enjoy Our July 4th Frozen Lake Fireworks!"
"North Dakota: Only Real Men Can Make It Through Our Winter!"
"North Dakota: Our Women Will Kick Your Ass!"

What would happen to South Dakota if their neighbors dropped the "North"? Well, it’s not unprecedented to have one state side by side with another similarly named state which has a compass direction in its name. That is, if you want to be compared to West Virginia.

Look for South Dakota to rename itself Not So North Dakota.