Did you know that the United States Government says there is a right way and wrong way to refer to someone who lives in South Dakota?

It’s one of the many things included in the Government Publishing Office’s Style Manual which touts itself as ‘an official guide to the form and style of Federal Government publishing’.

The guide is 461 pages in all and right there on page 95 under section 5.23 is the list of the official designations for natives of each state.

People from the Mount Rushmore State are officially ‘South Dakotans’. That ‘an’ suffix is quite common in the style guide:

  • Alabamian
  • Alaskan
  • Arizonan
  • Arkansan
  • Californian
  • Coloradan
  • Delawarean
  • Floridian
  • Georgian
  • Idahoan
  • Illinoisan
  • Iowan
  • Kansan
  • Kentuckian
  • Louisianian
  • Massachusettsan
  • Michiganian
  • Minnesotan
  • Mississippian
  • Missourian
  • Montanan
  • Nebraskan
  • Nevadan
  • New Jerseyan
  • New Mexican
  • North Carolinian
  • North Dakotan
  • Ohioan
  • Oklahoman
  • Oregonian
  • Pennsylvanian
  • South Carolinian
  • Tennessean
  • Texan
  • Utahn
  • Virginian
  • Washingtonian
  • West Virginian

Like South Dakotan, most of these make perfect sense although this list has caused a minor outrage in Michigan where residents apparently prefer them moniker ‘Michigander’.

After the ‘an’ crowd, the ‘ers and the ‘ites’ are the next most common:

  • Connecticuter
  • Mainer
  • Marylander
  • New Hampshirite
  • New Yorker
  • Rhode Islander
  • Vermonter
  • Wisconsinite
  • Wyomingite

That leaves just two states unaccounted for – Hawaii and Indiana.

Residents of the 50th state are not Hawaiians (that’s a race of people) they are ‘Hawaii residents’, while folks in Indiana are officially ‘Hoosiers’.

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