The State of States

This menu error gives me the chance to get on my soapbox about the mistakes people make all the time with regard to U.S. State names and abbreviations. The one in this menu, with a capital N but lower case y to represent New York, is awful. Current and past residents of the Empire State — try to contain yourselves.

To begin, the two-letter postal code abbreviations should ONLY be used when mailing something. I think that many people do not know that postal code abbreviations are the state’s two-letter abbreviation (in my case, MI) with no periods. In all other cases, Michigan should be abbreviated “Mich.”  It should never be “Mi” or “M.I.” Nothing gets under my skin more than when I’m reading along and I see “MI” just hanging out there. In the menu example, a capital Y would have solved the problem, but spelling out New York would have been preferable.

Also, there are eight states whose names are NEVER abbreviated. Those would be Alaska and Hawaii, as well as the states whose names contain five or fewer letters:  Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Utah. 

Keeping the AP Stylebook handy helps solve these problems with state names.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The State of States

  1. Amy Armbruster

    Love my AP Stylebook!

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