It’s Pronounced Macki-NAW… I Don’t Care If It Has A “C.”

I read this rant on another blog:

“Today, as I was walking into the office in the cold and snow, I heard someone behind me laugh and say ‘Another beautiful Michigan morning’.

People in Michigan seem to delight in claiming that they have the coldest, crappiest, most unpredictable weather. I have never in my life known an area more perversely proud of its climate, and everyone is absolutely certain that this is unique to Michigan.

There are tons of Michigan weather jokes, for instance:
Q: How many seasons does Michigan have?
A: Two – winter and construction

But I grew up in upstate NY, which, as far as I can tell, has exactly the same climate as SE Michigan except we got more lake-effect snow.

And I lived for a time in The Netherlands, where I swear there are 15 different meteorological terms for “mostly cloudy with rain”. If the Dutch talk about weather, I think their complaints are well-deserved.

Why the heck do people from Michigan think they’re so unique, and can anyone tell me if this is a Michigan phenomenon or if every damn state thinks their climate is special????”

Relax Progmom, I’m here to answer your questions.

In fact it’s become my mission, because if  people like Progmom and Woody Hayes dislike Michigan then there are probably a few others annoyed by us as well. I feel it’s my duty as a Michigander to dispel ignorance about our mental state, thus enlightening the world.

Here is the Michigan Mentality:
Michiganders are perversely proud of  everything about Michigan and we think everything about our state is damn special (Kwame Kilpatrick excepted).

Progmom says:

“People in Michigan seem to delight in claiming that they have the coldest, crappiest, most unpredictable weather. “
No, no, no. We know other places have colder, crappier, more unpredictable weather. We claim to have cold, crappy, hot, sunny, dry, humid, unpredictable weather all in the same day. That’s an important difference.

“I have never in my life known an area more perversely proud of its climate.”
Again, no, no, no. We are perversely proud of everything about Michigan, not just the climate. If I was to shrink Michiganders, I’d say that it could be a case of overcompensation. We feel we deserve more recognition than we get. For example, we don’t have the fame of California, but Real Steel was one of many movies made in Michigan. In fact, I think Hugh Jackman has become our adopted son. It’s amazing how many people here “met” him while Real Steel filmed. “Meeting” him includes: thinking you saw him in the vehicle next to you, knowing the waiter that served his bubble tea, being in the crowd watching a scene being filmed, etc.

Hugh Jackman Real Steel

Hugh Jackman in Detroit.

Hawaii may have the most famous islands, but we have Mackinac Island. Enough said.

San Francisco’s bridge may be well known, but we have the Mackinac Bridge. It’s bigger.

“Everyone is absolutely certain that this is unique to Michigan.”
There are those things that are totally unique to Michigan and we’re proud of them all, no matter how lame they are (Euchre). For example, our name for soda is POP. If you ask for a soda, we’ll look at you like you’re speaking a foreign language (you are) and bring you our version of soda– it has ice cream in it.

We’re very proud (whether we admit it or not) that we can use our hand as a map. There are those Michiganders that scorn the hand-map, but even they use it at one time or another. The proper way to use the Michigan hand-map is right hand, palm up, thumb slightly outstretched. If someone uses the back of their hand as a map of Michigan, they are not native Michiganders. And a word to Wisconsin— Really your hand-map is kind of pathetic. Just stop.

1891 map

Wisconsin and Michigan. Notice the actual shapes of the states.

Michigan map

Michigan hand-map. Straight-forward

Michigan upper peninsula, Wisconsin hand-map

Wisconsin hand-map. It’s not even close.










Also, we love the fact that Mackinac is pronounced Mackinaw. We love it even more when someone mispronounces it; that makes us feel intelligent.


“...can anyone tell me if this is a Michigan phenomenon or if every damn state thinks their climate is special????”
Again it’s not about climate. Everything about us is special including our very passionate rivalries, which instead of driving us apart bring us closer together in a weird Michigonian sort of way. Some of these rivalries include: Michigan State vs. University of Michgan, Yoopers vs. Trolls, Eminem vs. Kid Rock and Brandon Inge– Should he stay or should he go?

Alas, Progmom, I don’t think these explanations will suffice. It needs to be in your blood. I’ve lived in many other places, but my heart was always in Michigan.

“Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice”
“If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.”

This is a revised post from 4/12.


6 comments on “It’s Pronounced Macki-NAW… I Don’t Care If It Has A “C.”

  1. Proud to be a Michigander!


  2. In New England, we refer to carbonated beverages as “soda”. A carbonated concoction that is equipped with ice cream are known as a “float”. From what I understand, soda seems to be an eastern term.

    The weather in New England is very thoughful and changes from moment to moment. That’s why we adopted this saying: If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.

    When you utilize your Michigan hand-map, which hand holds the compass??!!


    • That’s the great thing about the hand-map. You don’t need a compass. Also, I believe there is a difference between an ice cream float and an ice cream soda. Unfortunately, I don’t know exactly what it is.


  3. wow. I know a lot more about your state than I did before. Mind you, I’m not quite sure where it is located in the States, but that’s sheer laziness on my part. Where is that map !?


    • Don’t worry. I have your back on this one. Michigan is the state that looks like it’s waving. It kind of looks like a crown on the good, old US of A if you squint a little.


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