Words & Deeds

Yo, ABC News: We’re Idaho, not Iowa. The confusion lives on ...

This Idaho-Iowa T-shirt was designed by Treasure Valley photographer Jan Boles, who created it in the 1970s after some relatives confused Iowa and Idaho. Find it at FawnandFoal.com for $26. Fawn and Foal is a Boise-based business specializing in textile design and screenprinting.
This Idaho-Iowa T-shirt was designed by Treasure Valley photographer Jan Boles, who created it in the 1970s after some relatives confused Iowa and Idaho. Find it at FawnandFoal.com for $26. Fawn and Foal is a Boise-based business specializing in textile design and screenprinting. FawnandFoal.com

This always seems complicated if you live in the eastern United States, but it’s worth repeating for the billionth time.

Idaho is not Iowa.

There are T-shirts depicting this tricky phenomenon. There is a book by Idaho Statesman columnist Tim Woodward explaining it.

A Twin Falls radio station, 98.3 The Snake, even posted a music video about it.

Yet our fellow Americans make the same error. Over and over. Year after year.

The latest example? Courtesy of ABC News, which referred to a story in our own “Iowa” Statesman about Mo, the 14-year-old Boise dog found after going missing for nine months in the Idaho mountains.

Despite the ladies’ T-shirt proclaiming, “Not everything in Iowa is flat,” there are no mountains in Iowa. But, yes, there are actual Iowa Statesmen — they’re “one of the region’s leading men’s choirs,” brags Iowa State University. There’s also a political website called The Iowa Statesman.

Still, how can folks keep making the Idaho/Iowa blunder? Is it simply because Idaho and Iowa are short words that start with “i”? And share a couple of other vowels?

Frighteningly, there also are Americans who apparently get Ohio confused with Idaho and Iowa. I give up.

To me, this latest Idaho/Iowa mix-up is forgivable — if it gets fixed. If only ABC News would notice the comment about the mistake after the article. Check the ABC News writer’s Twitter account. She claims to be from San Diego. Considering that the entire population of California wants to move to Idaho, I’m sure she’s familiar with our wonderful state. This obviously was a brain glitch. Nothing more. I won’t blame her for poring over every future word I write and mocking my errors.

But at some point, the world has to get the Idaho/Iowa differentiation right.

As I-D-A-H-O Statesman readers know, I was raised in Nebraska. Next door to Iowa. Upon college graduation, I promptly moved more than 1,000 miles west to Boise. That should tell you all you need to know about the differences between Idaho and Iowa.

Or maybe I’m just an Iowa hater because the Hawkeyes have torched the Cornhuskers in football a couple of times lately.

Can you imagine how much national confusion there would be if the University of Idaho and the University of Iowa played a football game?

You’d be in trouble, Vandals. Iowa brings the beef.

Maybe Boise State should schedule a game against Iowa.

Just in case, Hawkeye fans: It’s pronounced Boy-see. And for you Bronco fans: It’s pronounced Duh-Moyn.

Oops, wait — that’s Iowa State. Or is that in Ames?

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