I can't think of the number of times I have felt compelled to write out Washington STATE, rather than leaving it as: "Washington." For one thing, it is continually mistaken for Washington D. C., which, granted, is an important place. But, it's not a whole state, now is it? How can anyone miss something that's 360 miles wide and 240 miles long?
The most ludicrous example came about when my husband, John, was trying to solve a problem with a well-known parcel delivery service. Now, geography is this company's very vocation--their middle name, so to speak. You would think that sorting out a delivery problem with a company that is motivated by potential future business would be relatively easy. In many cases, I'm sure it is. However, one time when John was transferred to a supervisor somewhere across the nation at the origin of the problem, the conversation went something like this:
John: "I'm having a problem getting my package delivered. It's been returned twice now."
Supervisor: "And what is your address?"
John: "Such and such; such and such; Washington; zip."
John: "Yes, Washington."
Supervisor: "D.C., right?"
John: "No, Washington State, on the west coast."
Supervisor: "Washington is on the east coast."
John: "I mean Washington STATE, on the west coast."
Supervisor: "There's no Washington out there."
John: "Oh, yes there is."
Supervisor: "I've never heard of a Washington STATE."
John: "Picture a map of the west coast. What's above California?"
John: "Okay, and what's above Oregon?"
John: "I suggest you get out a map and take another look!"
I am not making this up. We finally got our package delivered, and hopefully, the delivery company is now giving geography quizzes to its employees. Parents, don't ever let your children assume that studying geography is no longer important.
Before ending this, I just want to give out a few state facts about lovely Washington.
--the 42nd state of the union (1889)
--nicknamed The "Evergreen State"
--the only state named after a president
--home to about six and a half million people
--elector of the nation's first Asian-American state governor, Gary Locke
--host to many 21st century mega-businesses, like Boeing, Microsoft, Nintendo, Amazon.com, Weyerhauser, and others
--home to the 9th largest Native American population in the nation (2005 Census).
--producer of most of the nation's raspberries, hops, spearmint oil, apples, and more
--bisected by the lovely (and volcano-filled) Cascade Mountains, from the northern border with British Columbia to the southern border with Oregon
--known for its many scenic icons, including: Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, Mount St. Helens, the Puget Sound, the Palouse, the Columbia River, the rugged coastline, and much more...
"Yes, Virginia, there really is a" Washington STATE!