What I thought was most cool about this was how large parts of the new state of Kansas, and the territory of Nebraska were marked as desert, or infertile. The pale of settlement at that point is just far northeastern Kansas and southeastern Nebraska. Although there is a rail line marked all the way out to Colorado, offering ranches for sale all along the Platte River.
If you look closely, you can find where I live: find the Grand Canyon, then go north to the next major river (the Virgin), then look for the first large white space above that. Cedar City is towards the southern end of that white area, along one of the creeks flowing west out of the mountains.
I’m a sucker for choropleths: maps shaded by the incidence of some other variable.
A geographer has mapped out the U.S. based on which swear words people use in their tweets.
Here’s the map for the hot, new, swear word: fuckboy (Urban Dictionary says that’s a synonym for … Justin Bieber). I’d never even heard that one before I saw this image:
Fascinating. To the extent that the movers and shakers of swearing are on the coasts, it seems that this word is going to arrive here in the high desert fairly soon.
Truth be told, I grew up in the suburbs of the blue collar northeast, the baby boomer son of a guy who’d been in the army during World War II. So I grew up with a ton of swearing, and I still swear more than most adults of my social strata.
But now I live in Utah, where swearing for many amounts to saying “My heck”, and “Fudge”. That’s not the majority at all, but there’s a significant plurality that do say those things.
So, going back to more traditional Carlin-esque swear words, here’s what they called the F dash dash dash word in A Christmas Story:
Sure enough, that’s popular where I grew up and I still use it.
Here’s the one that’s currently popular with my whole family: douche:
What’s popular in rural southwestern Utah besides douche? Slut. Crap. And faggot (confirming that for a lot of pop culture, Utah seems to cheerfully adopt things a few decades late, even if they were once regarded as offensive).
FWIW: I have some trouble in class from time to time. When I run up against a political viewpoint that’s incorrect from the standpoint of conventional economics, it’s often useful to call it “bullshit” for shock value. The thing is, in ranching country, it doesn’t have much shock value but it’s still regarded as swearing. Think about that for a minute: it’s still regarded as a swear word yet it doesn’t have much shock value. Odd.
There’s many more where these came from: bastard, whore, slut, pussy, hell, crap, gosh, damn, cunt, motherfucker, faggot, asshole, bitch, and shit.
I like the personal story this tells: I grew up in a red place, moved to a pink place, then to a light blue place, and ended up in a dark blue place where I’ve stayed for 15 years now.
P.S. Truth be told … we moved from the pink place to dark blue for a year, but my job wasn’t renewed. So then we moved to the light blue place. And after 8 years there, we moved back to the same dark blue state.
Here’s the American Airlines route map from Life magazine in 1951:
This when airlines routes were still regulated, so the hub and spoke system is still 30 years away. I know they had flown coast to coast with 1 stop service by this time. So you can imagine something like New York City to Oklahoma City to San Francisco from this map. Probably took you about a day. Still pretty much does, door to door.
Then here’s an international route map from 1956:
I don't know anyone who flew across the Atlantic at this point in time. I know they still had to stop, so I imagine that was in the Azores. It shows England to Bermuda on here, but I wonder how often that was possible.
Just after I discovered Judgmental Maps, they posted their newest one; a city I loved and hated for 9 years, New Orleans:
I worked at “school for kids who had no other choice”, and got some extra work at “Yankee College”. When we moved there, we lived west of “Like Chalmette, but cleaner”. Then we moved to “Sorta Lakeview”. We’d drive through “Avoid” quite a bit to get to “Drunk”.
The full size version has yet to be archived, so just click the link to the main page above.
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