Just like the old “tu’mey-tow” vs. “tu’maa-tow” debate, Michiganders, or Michiganians (depending on which side you’re on), have long found themselves in a state of disconnect. It seems that the great divide facing residents of the Great Lake State these days centers around the demonym – the name of a resident of a specific locality – that best suits the people of Michigan. Whether you proclaim yourself a Michigander or a Michiganian may say a lot about who you are and where you come from. Is one better than the other? Can the two co-exist?

The name Michigan is derived from the Chippewa Indian word “mishigama” meaning “large water” or “large lake” – hence the state’s favored nickname.

Many demonyms are derived from the inhabitants of a certain local. For instance, Germany for the Germans and France for the Franks. As in the case of the great Michigan debate, the most common technique for creating a demonym is to add a suffix to the end of the location’s name – this is called suffixation. Often modeled after Late Latin, Semitic or Germanic suffixes, these affixes can also come in irregular forms while highlighting a definitive aspect of that locale; some examples include Nutmegger for Connecticut and Bay Stater for Massachusetts.

A recent poll conducted on six-hundred Michigan residents shows that fifty-eight percent of those surveyed prefer to call themselves Michiganders while only twelve percent favor Michiganian as their choice demonym. The remaining thirty percent were fine with both, did not like either of the two, or simply did not care.

Many residents feel Michigander simply rolls off the tongue easier and that Michiganian denotes an air of pomposity unbecoming of a true Michigan dweller. We’d like to know – what’s your state’s demonym?

BWCA tower fight back in court; A cellphone tower that ATT seeks to erect near the wilderness area has raised a significant challenge to a state environmental law.(NEWS)

Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN) April 5, 2012 Byline: JOSEPHINE MARCOTTY; STAFF WRITER For decades, a state law has granted any citizen the right to sue to protect Minnesota’s natural resources from pollution, development and even a distant visual blemish on a scenic vista.

Now, in a case with major implications for development around publicly owned natural areas, the Minnesota Court of Appeals will decide how that law applies to a cellphone tower that has been proposed on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA).

A three-judge panel in St. Paul heard arguments on Wednesday in a lawsuit that has touched on public-safety issues, land development, the rights of local governments and the aesthetics of a blinking red beacon on the edge of the wilderness. website att uverse coupon code

“This is a significant case,” said Sara Peterson, an attorney who practices environmental law and teaches at the University of Minnesota. “It drives to the heart of what we as Minnesotans revere in our natural resources.” The suit was filed in 2010 to challenge a proposed 450-foot cellphone tower — the height of the Foshay Tower — that ATT wanted to build east of Ely and 1 1/2 miles outside of the BWCA. The suit was brought by the Friends of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, a nonprofit that advocates protection of the million acres of lakes and forest, the most visited federal wilderness area in the nation. It sued under the rarely used Minnesota Environmental Rights Act.

Lake County officials had approved the ATT tower because they hoped to improve cellphone service in the area and because a nearby corridor of land along Fernbrook Road is prime for development, according to court documents and testimony.

ATT argued that the tower and its blinking red light would be seen from only 1 percent of the million-acre wilderness and that it was crucial to ensure public safety and provide cellphone service.

“We feel strongly that this is a public-safety issue and that the facility the county approved is needed to best serve and protect the safety of residents and visitors,” ATT said in a statement this week. here att uverse coupon code

But from its position on a 150-foot ridge, the tower would be visible up to eight miles away during daytime and up to 10 miles away at night, according to court filings. It would be clearly seen from 10 lakes in the BWCA’s most popular area, according to attorneys for Friends of the BWCA. Moreover, they argued, ATT didn’t need such a tall tower. A 199-foot tower could not be seen inside the wilderness area and would provide service to an area only 17 percent smaller, much of it inside the BWCA, they said.

‘Aesthetic resources’ Hennepin County District Judge Philip Bush ruled last year that the tower would violate the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act, a law passed in the early 1970s to protect the state’s natural resources against pollution, impairment or destruction.

Compared to similar laws in the dozen or so other states that have them, Minnesota’s law is unusual because it also protects the “scenic and aesthetic resources” of natural resources owned by any government entity.

“The affected natural resource — broad scenic views with no visible signs of man — is not replaceable,” Bush wrote in his decision.

However, he said, ATT could build the smaller tower, which is now under construction.

ATT appealed, expanding the scope of the case to the point that it could affect development and scenic views across the state — from Voyageurs National Park to the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway to Whitewater State Park.

“If you can’t protect our most scenic resource from this, then we are headed in a bad direction,” said Kevin Reuther, an attorney for Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, a nonprofit law firm that filed written arguments supporting the Friends of the BWCA.

Sharp questions The case’s tensions were clear in questions the judges posed on Wednesday.

“Banning towers anywhere within [sight] of the BWCA — is that what this is intended to do?” asked Judge Larry Stauber.

“The facts of every case will be different,” said Thomas Mahlum, the attorney for Friends of the BWCA.

Much of the discussion focused on the coverage difference between a shorter and a taller tower. Judge Michelle Larkin said a diagram showing the difference “was compelling.” Without adequate cellphone coverage, “the residents would be relegated to a second-class existence,” said ATT attorney Hans German, although he agreed under questioning that most of the residents have land lines as well.

“Lake County is very interested in this service,” he said.

The judges have 90 days to make a decision, though any ruling is likely to be appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

“It is a great test of this statute,” Peterson said.

Josephine Marcotty – 612-673-7


  1. Matt -  February 15, 2014 - 12:36 am

    @the guy with the face AND @Kat.
    Good try @”the guy with the face”, but a Fail on your Michigan History. The U.P. has nothing to do with Indiana – KAT, this is the real reason…Michigan and Ohio were in dispute about a little over 450 Sq Miles of land called the “Toledo Strip”. They actually fought a “war” over the land in the early 1800′s (1835 I believe) – actually they formed militants but there is only 1 recorded shot being fired in the “war”. President Andrew Jackson and Congress stepped in and, in 1836, gave the Toledo Strip to Ohio and compensated Michigan with the land of the U.P. Wisconsin didn’t become a State until 1838 and the U.P. was already designated to Michigan so no claim could be made to it by Wisconsin.

  2. David -  February 4, 2014 - 8:57 am

    MICHIGANDER!!! What an awesome, unique, FUN name. I was born and raised a Michigander. I will always be a Michigander. I remember the 1970′s bumper sticker that proudly proclaimed, “I’m a Michigander”. Let’s make it official, and stop the pukey Michiganian nonsense. Thank you, Governor Snyder, for using the correct term!

  3. Torontomycophile -  September 17, 2013 - 4:12 pm

    This Torontonian wonders about the assurances of true inhabitants in Michigan that they’ve been “born and raised” – or “born and bred” as one or another … (demonym of your choice). Can someone explain to this ignoramus, what the difference is, or which is better?

    Now THAT is a troll …

  4. Kim -  August 19, 2013 - 10:22 pm

    Oops! Forgot to add that the UP has tried to become its own state – the state of Superior.

  5. Kim -  August 19, 2013 - 10:20 pm

    Born and raised a Yooper and a Michigander. I have heard Michiganer, but not Michiganian. And Steve, da language of Yoopers is Yooperese eh.

  6. Stephanie N -  March 13, 2013 - 5:28 pm

    I am a New Jersian not New Joisian. The second one is just the misconception that people in New Jersey talk like that because having a thick New Jersey accent I have never said Joisey.

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