Not a huge haul for March but a good one: Indiana, Arkansas, Kansas, and North Carolina. I was thinking that North Carolina was seriously overdue, but a quick look at the 2020 map says that it didn’t appear till April last year, and that then as now South Carolina showed up first.
Another surprise from the 2020 map was that Arkansas was my 10th sighting overall: it was here in January. This year I’ve seen it twice, both times in front of the Methodist parsonage on the way into Oak Bluffs, so I’m wondering if it might be around for a while (assuming that it’s still the Methodist parsonage? gotta check that out).
Last year Kansas appeared in May, Indiana in June. Never did see Kansas in 2019, by the way.
Spotting Kansas and Arkansas on the same trip to OB had me pondering their pronunciation on the way home. “Arkansas” is not pronounced “R-kansas” and “Kansas” is not pronounced “Kansaw.” Naturally the internet has an answer for everything: It seems both states take their names from the plural form of the tribe who lived there, the Quapaw, called by the Algonkian-speaking natives of the Ohio Valley the Arkansas. Arkansas’s name came down through the French, which does not pronounce the s at the end of words, and Kansas’s came down through the English, which does.
Not surprisingly, both spelling and pronunciation of “Arkansas” varied considerably. After Arkansas became a state, one of its U.S. senators pronounced it “ArkanSAW” and the other “ArKANSAS.” So in 1881 the state’s General Assembly passed a resolution that the name should be spelled Arkansas but pronounced Arkansaw. And that’s that. You can read the official version here.