Government yields to ‘Hoosiers’ (RIP, ‘Indianians’)

“The Government Publishing Office [is] officially changing the designation from ‘Indianian’ to ‘Hoosier’ in all federal documents….

“Indiana’s U.S. senators pushed for the change, saying in a letter to the office’s style board chairman that those living in the state ‘have always called ourselves Hoosiers.’ The senators argued that while ‘Indianian’ might follow the style for describing state residents — such as Floridian or Californian — ‘Indiana residents do not use this word. In fact, we find it a little jarring to be referred to in this way’….

The government style book keeps variations on the state names for all other U.S. residents. No ‘Tar Heels’ for North Carolina or ‘Sooners’ for Oklahoma. ‘Hawaii residents’ is the only other break from standard form.”

— From “Federal government: Indiana residents officially ‘Hoosiers’” by Tom Davies of the Associated Press (Jan. 12)

Of course, Indiana lacks North Carolina’s ferocious intrastate competition among colleges, which would make the  Government Publishing Office instantly regret designating all residents as Tar Heels.

What’s the frequency, Ngram Viewer?

The Google Books Ngram Viewer may not be remembered as one of the 21st Century’s most useful (or statistically sophisticated) inventions, but the patterns revealed in its phrase-frequency charts can be addictively entertaining. For example:

— Tar Heel vs. Tarheel

— beef barbecue vs. pork barbecue

— North Carolina football vs. North Carolina basketball

— University of North Carolina vs. Duke University

— Research Triangle vs. Bermuda Triangle and isosceles triangle