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North of Canada etc.

If you have no idea how you got here, back up to here.

If you do, the answer is that more than half of the fifty U.S. states, a total of 27 to be exact, are located wholly or in part north of the southernmost part of Canada, including such surprises as Iowa, Indiana, and Nevada, not to mention Rome, Italy.  Below is the list, and a map is here, which you should go to.

Alaska* Maine* New Hampshire* South Dakota*
California Massachusetts New York Utah
Connecticut Michigan* North Dakota* Vermont*
Idaho* Minnesota* Ohio Washington*
Illinois Montana* Oregon* Wisconsin*
Indiana Nebraska Pennsylvania Wyoming
Iowa Nevada Rhode Island


*According to the ever-changing Wikipedia ARTICLE about Middle Island, the 13 states marked with an asterisk are entirely north of the southernmost part of Canada.  I know my list is correct.

(If you use Google Earth to check out any of my claims, note that when you zoom in far enough from the initial point above the United States, without changing anything else, you used to end UP in an apartment complex called Meadowbrook in Lawrence, Kansas, where I lived during the summer of 1977.  Now I'm famous.)

Go to the map page to see the 27 states and the 13 states and what I claim is a thorough, expert proof why each is correct.  Also, learn a little about how we humans measure the Earth and stuff.

No, really, do.

 

 

  

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Update of December 2001:  What do Al and Elizabeth have in common in reverse?

I declare that there are more names for the nickname Al than for any other nickname, and I declare that the name with the most nicknames is Elizabeth.

Here are some names for the nickname Al.  The count right now is 96.

       
ALAIN ALESANDRA ALFONSO ALLIE
ALAINA ALESANDRO ALFRED ALLISON
ALAN ALESHA ALFREDO ALLY
ALANA ALESSANDRA ALGAR ALLYSON
ALANIS ALESSANDRO ALGER ALMA
ALANNA ALESSIA ALGERNON ALOIS
ALANNAH ALESSIO ALI ALONDRA
ALANNIS ALETA ALIA ALONSO
ALARIC ALETHA ALIAH ALOYSIUS
ALBAN ALETHEA ALICE ALPHONSE
ALBERT ALEX ALICIA ALPHONSUS
ALBERTA ALEXA ALIDA ALPHONZO
ALBERTO ALEXANDER ALINE ALPHRED
ALDO ALEXANDRA ALISA ALTA
ALDRICK ALEXANDRE ALISHA ALTHEA
ALEASE ALEXANDREA ALISON ALTON
ALCEE ALEXANDRIA ALISTAIR ALVIN
ALEC ALEXIA ALIYAH ALWYN
ALEIT ALEXIS ALLAN ALYA
ALEJANDRO ALEXIUS ALLANA ALYSON
ALEJO ALEXUS ALLANAH ALYSSA
ALEKSANDER ALFERD ALLANNAH -
ALEKSANDR ALFONS ALLEGRA  
ALEKSANDRA ALFONSE ALLEGRIA  
ALEKSEI ALFONSINA ALLEN  
       

Can you add any more full names for the nickname Al?

Update of January 2002: Thanks go to someone whose identity I have lost track of for contributing Alcee Hastings, Alfonse Giardello, Alger Hiss and Algernon Blackwood.

Update of November 2002: Thanks go to me for accidentally finding an Alphred.  Oddly, his wife was named Elizabeth.

Update of January 2003: Thanks go to Paul Tuhus for reminding us all of Alferd G. Packer.

 

Now as to Elizabeth, she has the most nicknames.  The current count is 78.

   
ALZBETA3 BETSEY3 EBETH10 ILEESA3 LILIBET1 LYSETTE3
  BETSY3 EL ILYSA3 LILIBETH  
BESS BETTA2 ELEE8 ISABEL7 LILLY SISI9
BESSIE BETTE3 ELI ISABELLA3 LISA SISSI9
BESSY3 BETTIE12 ELIS3 ISABELLE3 LISE3  
BET BETTINA3 ELISA   LISETTE3 TIB
BETH BETTY3 ELISE LIBBIE LISSY TIBBY6
BETHIA3 BIT ELISSA LIBBY LIZ TIBS6
BETHIE BITSY3 ELIZA LIDDIE LIZA TESS3
BETHY BIZ4 ELLA3 LIDDY LIZARD7  
BETS5 BIZZY ELLE LIDDYBET LIZBETH ZAB5
    ELLIE LIEBE13 LIZBET ZABS5
    ELLY LILABETH LIZETTE3 ZIBBY
    ELSIE LILABET3 LIZZIE3  
    ELSPETH3 LILABETH LIZZIE-TISH11  
    ETTA5   LIZZY  
    ETTIE5      
           
           

Can you add any more nicknames for Elizabeth?

1Update of June 2002: Thanks go to Bill Burns for contributing Lilibet, which, as it turns out, was the childhood nickname of England's Queen Elizabeth.  Speaking of which, have you ever seen photos of her as a young lady?  She was hot.  (Needless to say, I'm referring here to Queen Elizabeth, not Bill Burns.)

2Update of July 2002: Thanks also go to Coral Amende's BOOK Famous Name Finder for the addition of Betta.

3Update of November 2002: It was the very helpful Annie who told me about every single one of the nicknames above with a footnote number of 3.  A controversy still remains, to wit, is Ziz or Zizzy a nickname for Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice?  Please .  Also, I'm not sure Isabella is a nickname for Elizabeth.  Update of May 2005: According to Hannah, who says she's read P&P about 14 times, "at no point is Elizabeth Bennett [sic] called 'Ziz' or 'Zizzy.'"

4Update of January 2003: Thank you, Paul Tuhus, for contributing Biz.  He says, "Friends of mine have a daughter named Elizabeth, whose nickname since birth has been Biz."

5Update of May 2003: Thanks go to Chris for contributing Bets, Etta, Ettie, Zab and Zabs.  He or she says, "I haven't read much Jane Austen but I do know a woman who goes by Zizzy (or maybe Zizzi or Zizi?) whose given name is Elizabeth.  And, of course, it barely bears mention that you have omitted the all-too-common 'Zab' and 'Zabs.'  (Maybe those are just Canadianisms?)"

6Update of March 2006: "You have Tib, but I'm called Tibby or Tibs."

7Update of April 5, 2006: A correspondent added Isabel and wrote later to say, ". . . I'm shocked that Lizard is not on your list.  I was frequently called Lizard by the little boys in my neighborhood when I was a kid!"  Oddly, I received her mail at just the right moment after two minutes past one o'clock. and the time stamp on that mail reads as follows:

01:02:03 04/05/06.

8Update of April 29, 2006: Today a caller from Indianapolis to the "Car Talk" radio show said her name is Elee ("EEL-ee"), which she also helpfully spelled.  She said her given name is Elizabeth, which happens to be the Magloizzis' mother's name, and it turns out that during one period in her 40's Mrs. Magliozzi denied her name was Elizabeth and insisted it was Alissa.

9Update of May 2, 2006: The Empress Elisabeth von Wittelsbach of Austria (see HERE for a Wikipedia article) is referred to as both Sisi and Sissi.  Note that, strictly speaking, she was not an Elizabeth with a z, but thanks go to LH for bringing these nicknames to my attention.

10Update of December 24, 2007: According to an e-mail received today, the writer "had a girlfriend who called herself Ebeth."

11Update of August 21, 2009: A crossword puzzle constructor, the world-renowned ELIZABETH C. GORSKI, tells me she was referred to as Lizzie-Tish by her uncles.

12Update of September 23, 2010: A reader named Richard (and see footnote 1 immediately below) points out that I left out Bettie, and he notes the interesting person name Bettie Page referred to HERE and HERE.

13Update of October 27, 2011: Liebe was the nickname of Elizabeth Winship, according to HERE.  Winship, the popular "Ask Beth" advice columnist for The Boston Globe for 35 years, died four days ago.  Thanks to Sandy M for this catch.

Do you agree Al and Elizabeth win?

  
Now as to men's names with the most nicknames, the pickin's are slimmer.  I think Richard wins with 13.  If you know of a man's name with 13 or more nicknames, or if you can legitimately add a 14th to this list, please .

Richard

DICK RICARDO1 RIC
DICKIE RICH RICK
DICKY RICHIE RICKIE
DIK2 RICHY RICKY
  RITCHIE1
     

1Update of September 23, 2010: A reader named Richard (see footnote 12 above) adds the name Ritchie.

He also successfully makes the case for Ricardo.  Despite the fact it's a Spanish name, it's also a legitimate nickname for Richard.  I know because he, the reader Richard, a born-and-raised American, tells me that he is sometimes called Ricardo.

2Update of September 24, 2010: See HERE for a reference to the cartoonist Richard Arthur Allan Browne.

  
Among the second-place finishers are Robert and William with six each.  Both of these common mens' names are abbreviable.  Robert becomes Rob't., and William becomes Wm.

And abbreviating William makes sense to me.  You shorten the name by four characters, or 57%, plus which if you're writing it you don't have to dot two "i's" you otherwise would have to.

But Rob't. for Robert is the same number of characters, a savings of 0%, plus which you still have a "t" to cross.  In what way is Rob't. better than Robert?


A few other men's names can be abbreviated.  There's George (Geo.), Thomas (Thos.), Charles (Chas.) and Theodore (Theo.).  If you know of any others, please .  (Also, can you think of even one woman's name that is commonly abbreviated?)

Rob't. E. Lee was the most famous Southern general of the U.S. Civil War.  Another famous U.S. general (whose first name is Go, if that helps you identify him) and his cohort also had odd ways of signing their names.  Here are some of the 39 names signed at the bottom of the original U.S. Constitution.
  

As signed Explanation
Go WASHINGTON George Washington

He signed "Go" with no period, and he capitalized his entire last name, as shown.  Further, he added "Presdt and deputy from Virginia."  What was going on back then that made it desirable to capitalize one's last name but not one's first, and to abbreviate President to Presdt?

Geo. Clymer George Clymer

This is now the more normal abbreviation of George.

Gouv Morris Gouverneur Morris

Mr. Morris signed it Gouv Morris, as though his first name, with or without the period, were so common everyone back then knew how to spell it.  I myself had to look it up just now.

Wil: Livingston William Livingston

A colon instead of a period.

Hu Williamson Hubert? Humphrey? Huckleberry?

It turns out it's Hugh.  Who knew?  And why not Wmson?  Or even Wilson?

Jona: Dayton Jonathan Dayton
B Franklin Benjamin Franklin

No period.

Geo: Read Another colon instead of a period.
Jaco: Broom Jacob Broom

This is another one where abbreviating saves not one character.  How much more time and ink would it have taken to write "b" instead of a colon?

Gunning Bedford jun Gunning Bedford, Jr.
Wm. Saml Johnson William Samuel Johnson

Why one period and not the other?

Richd Dobbs Spaight. Richard Dobbs Spaight

Note the lack of an apostrophe and a period where one should be plus the period at the end where one shouldnt be

Danl Carroll Daniel Carroll

No period, no apostrophe.

Dan of St Tho. Jenifer Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer

The weirdest name of all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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Update of December 2001: For some reason this summer I paid five dollars at a flea market in Eudora, Kansas, for a 1936 edition of Emily Post's famous Etiquette.  She had some very definite opinions, and I thought you'd like to read one from page 695 that I just now got to.

On no account allow any haberdasher to persuade you to carry an ebony cane, nor any cane with an ivory, silver, or gold top in the form of a knob.  From the standpoint of good taste or smartness, nothing worse or more vulgar can be imagined than the combined taboos of ebony with an ivory or metal knob!

And to think I don't care all that much whether my shoes match.

(And on that exact same topic, Ms. Post's phrase "nothing worse or vulgar can be imagined" reminds me of a similarly hyperbolic phrase by Trent Lott at the top of this page.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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Update of December 18, 2001: Long-time readers of this Web site have complained they wish I hadn't removed the section, from way back in 1996, titled, "Two Simple, Foolproof Methods to Make a Million Dollars in the Stock Market."  I would reproduce it here but because of a hard drive crash and an earlier utter failure to back up same, I no longer have that section.

But I can remember how the two simple, foolproof methods started, so let me reproduce just those, and maybe that'll jog your memory.

Method #1. First, get a million dollars . . .
  
Method #2. The first step is to spin really fast like Superman and go back in time . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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Update of December 22, 2001: Here's the tag line from a radio spot promoting the healthful, pastoral environment of a bed-and-breakfast hotel in the milk-cow and cheese belt of Wisconsin.

          "Come smell our dairy air."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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Update of April 29, 2002:  In this edition of The Kansas City Star, the Law referred to is Boston's Cardinal Bernard Law of the Roman Catholic Church.  The story is about the Church's reaction to the most recent spate of allegations (and many confessions thereto) of sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests.
  
defrock01.gif (9,248 bytes) 200 X 137

This is the third paragraph of that story, containing a crucial and widely reported quote.

Cardinals across the country are reporting back after a two-day gathering in Rome, where they agreed they would recommend a process to defrock any priest who has become "notorious and is guilty of the serial, predatory sexual abuse of minors."

It seems to me the Church has set the bar kind of high.

According to my analysis, you will not get defrocked as long as you meet any of the following criteria:

  • You're notorious for and guilty of the serial, predatory sexual abuse of people as long as they aren't minors.  (Over 18 and they're fair game.)
      
  • You're notorious for and guilty of the serial, predatory abuse of minors as long as it isn't sexual abuse.  (Don't get an erection.)
      
  • You're notorious for and guilty of the serial sexual abuse of minors as long as it isn't predatory.  (Under what circumstances could the serial sexual abuse of a minor by a Roman Catholic priest not be predatory?)
      
  • You're notorious for and guilty of the predatory sexual abuse of minors as long as it isn't serial.  (You get one freebie.  Also, if I were especially picayune, I might even comment on the fact it's minors, plural, not minor.  Does that mean you keep your frock as long as your serial, predatory sexual abuse is restricted to just one minor?)
      
  • You're guilty of the serial, predatory sexual abuse of minors as long as you aren't notorious for it.  (If you don't become widely known for your bad behavior then, by definition, you aren't notorious.  This is an especially interesting one, because all you have to do to keep your frock is KEEP SECRET your serial, predatory sexual abuse of minors.)

And I want to know exactly what is meant by two additional terms in that quote.  One is the term guilty.  Guilty in a civil lawsuit?  A jury verdict in a criminal trial?  A church inquiry?  If it's a church inquiry, one has a right to wonder, based on the list above, just how tough it is to pass.

The other is the term sexual abuse.  Exactly how does the Roman Catholic Church define it?  I really want to know.

 

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More here later . . .

 

 

 

 

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