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What Google’s autocomplete says about your state

By Todd Epp

Northern Plains News

South Dakota and Iowa want nothing.

At least as far as Google Search’s autocomplete is concerned.

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The online tech site Mashable recently conducted an experiment, typing in a state name and seeing what Google would suggest to complete the phrase. For the Northern Plains, the results are sometimes silly, sometimes enlightening.

Type in “Nebraska.” Expect “Cornhusker” to appear next? Nope. It’s “Keystone Pipeline,” which makes sense because it’s been big news.

Try “Minnesota.” Expect “Vikings” or “another losing season”? The result is “to work,” which could either mean unemployed people looking for jobs or the hearty folks wanting even more to do.

Pity poor North Dakota. It has an identity crisis. Type it in and instead of “flat” or “cold” Google suggests “to change its name.”

Montana is angry. Plug in the Big Sky Country’s name and Google suggests — perhaps not too subtly — “to secede.” Google doesn’t clarify if that is a statement or a wish by the rest of the United States.

Then there is Wyoming. Colorado’s recently legalized pot smoking must be wafting north. “Cowboy” or “really long drive on I-80” don’t come up. “An aircraft carrier” does.

Then finally South Dakota and Iowa. Google suggests nothing. Could it mean, “nothing to see here, move along” or “the possibilities are endless”?

Only Google autocomplete knows for sure.