The blog No Upside recently decided to put together an interactive map of the United States using Google's auto-complete search results. For all 50 states in the Union, No Upside asked Google, "Why is [State] so ... ?" to harvest the top four options suggested options. You shouldn't be surprised to know that Florida is the only state in the nation about which pretty much everyone is asking Google, "Why is it so weird?"
Google's auto-complete algorithm is based on similar searches by other users (though, if you're signed into your own Google account it may also take your personal search history and other info into account). So it actually is a good way to figure out how others view a state.
The top four results on the map for Florida:
- Why is Florida so weird?
- Why is Florida so humid?
- Why is Florida so trashy?
- Why is Florida so hot?
Of course, there are lot of things worse than being weird, hot and trashy (just ask your favorite well-paid reality star). Many of our southern neighbors, including Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina get results for "Racist." Several other states show results for "stupid," "obese," and "fat." Ouch.
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Only Florida gets asked about its weirdness however. And, in case you're wondering, the first search result for "Why is Florida so weird?" happens to be a blog post from our sister paper in Seattle that features a few quotes from yours truly.
No Upside also points out that only a few states get auto-complete results when people ask questions using demonyms. In our case that means "Why are Floridians so..."
OK, so maybe we are a little bit more than weird and trashy. Apparently, we're also stupid crackers. :(