Hegemonic geography


in Travel

You probably aren’t American, but can you name all fifty states in ten minutes? I got 48. It would have been 49 if I could remember how to spell ‘Massachusetts.’ With that freebie, why not see how good you are at it.

PS. Which one did I forget entirely? One hint: while there are a few sets of North-South states, there is only one ‘West’ state.

PPS. One more hint: start with the ones you have visited. Then, do the coasts. Then, think of the states major cities are in. Then, think about recent news events, prominent primary elections, and whatever else can possibly assist you in the last couple of minutes.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan March 2, 2007 at 10:37 pm

I got this link from this Metafilter post.

Joining may have been the best $5 I ever spent.

Milan March 2, 2007 at 11:05 pm

Agreed. It is more impressive, but your average obscure element is much less well known than your average obscure state. At least for a Canadian…

Oana March 2, 2007 at 11:17 pm

Wow nice job! I only got 34.

Milan March 2, 2007 at 11:21 pm


It comes from reading The Economist in the following sequence:

United States
Science and Technology
Less interesting stuff

Anonymous March 2, 2007 at 11:24 pm
R.K. March 2, 2007 at 10:34 pm

Got about ten. Got sick of the game.

Damn yankees.

R.K. March 2, 2007 at 10:45 pm

I would be more impressed with someone who could list all of these. After all, they defy borders.

Mike Kushnir March 3, 2007 at 11:44 am

i think i did this once…

i got 49; i managed to remember the obscure states like delaware and nebraska, but forgot georgia of all of them.

Milan March 3, 2007 at 12:55 pm


Georgia should always be on one’s mind.

Claire March 3, 2007 at 1:19 pm

I forgot:Delaware, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Vermont,

Milan March 3, 2007 at 2:08 pm

I remember Delaware because of the lax corporate laws, Minnesota because The Mighty Ducks involved it, Missouri because Grandpa Simpson refuses to recognize it as a state, Ohio because the American nuclear missile subs are named after it, and Vermont because of Ben and Jerry’s.

Alex March 3, 2007 at 2:51 pm

I managed 40. I once could name all 50 capitals of all 50 states.

Anon @ Wadh March 3, 2007 at 3:45 pm

I only got 35, but I kept forgetting which ones had already been listed.

Anonymous March 3, 2007 at 4:51 pm

Somebody needs to link the Animaniacs Countries of the World Song

It is not entirely accurate or up to date, but it is quite fun.

Alena Prazak March 3, 2007 at 8:56 pm

Oleh and I were able to name 49. We forgot Iowa until after 10 minutes when Oleh read your entire entry and remembered the entire primary

Nora March 13, 2007 at 12:07 am

Don’t you all know there is a song that all American schoolchildren are taught containing the names of all 50 states, and in alphabetical order? Forget 10 minutes, any American 10-year-old can do it in less than one…

Milan March 13, 2007 at 12:14 am


“Fifty Nifty United States” was actually sung quite a number of times on the Snowdonia trip.

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