2480: No, The Other One

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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No, The Other One
Key West, Virginia is not to be confused with Key, West Virginia.
Title text: Key West, Virginia is not to be confused with Key, West Virginia.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by SPRINGFIELD. Please mention here why this explanation isn't complete. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

This is a map of the United States, showing cities or towns with the same name as other more famous places. For example, the map has a dot for a place called Los Angeles in Texas, not to be confused with Los Angeles, California.

Few place names are unique, and there may be many places with the same name. Multiple American towns have been named after the same British town, famous person, or geographic feature.

However, names can become associated with specific places on a national level, where the best-known example is usually the biggest or otherwise the most significant. The name of this comic indicates the contextualization required to specify one of the less-famous exemplars of a given name. Someone might say they are from "Los Angeles" and would have to say "no, the other one" since the listener would assume they are from Los Angeles, California.

The title text references Key, West Virginia and Key West, Virginia, two places that, when spoken aloud, are only distinguishable by the pause (comma) location. Neither are to be confused with Key West, Florida, which is a well-known national location.

Place name in comic Well-known place Notes
Albany, GA Albany, NY Albany is the capital of New York state.
Albany, MN
Albany, WY
Alexandria, LA Alexandria, VA Alexandria, VA is known for being George Washington's hometown. It is not named after Alexandria, Egypt.
Anchorage, KY Anchorage, AK Anchorage is Alaska's most populous city.
Atlanta, DE Atlanta, GA Atlanta is the capital of Georgia, a center of the civil rights movement in the 1950's and 60's, and a major air transportation hub.
Atlanta, MI
Atlanta, ID
Atlanta, NE
Atlanta, TX
Atlanta, WI
Atlantic City, WY Atlantic City, NJ Atlantic City, NJ is a famous coastal resort town in New Jersey known for its casinos, boardwalk and beaches.
Austin, MN Austin, TX Austin is the capital of the state of Texas, and the 11th populous city in the US.
Baton Rouge, SC Baton Rouge, LA Baton Rouge is the capital of the state of Louisiana.
Beaumont, CA Beaumont, TX Beaumont is best known for the oil discovery that sparked the Texas oil boom of the early 1900s.
Beverly Hills, IL Beverly Hills, CA Beverly Hills is a city in Los Angeles County, CA and is home to many celebrities, luxury hotels, and the Rodeo Drive shopping district.
Beverly Hills, TX
Bloomington, MN Bloomington, IN Bloomington is the location of Indiana University.
Boston, MO Boston, MA Boston is the capital of Massachusetts and the scene of several key events of the American Revolution.
Bowling Green, FL Bowling Green, KY Bowling Green, KY is the largest city of this name, and the 3rd most populous city in Kentucky. Home of the auto plant that makes the Chevy Corvette.
Bowling Green, OH
Bridgeport, WV Bridgeport, CT Bridgeport is the most populous city in Connecticut and fifth most populous in New England.
Buffalo, TX Buffalo, NY Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City itself.
Buffalo, WY
Cambridge, OH Cambridge, MA Cambridge, England Cambridge, Massachusetts is a city in the Boston metropolitan area known as the home of Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology among others. Cambridge, Massachusetts is in turn named after Cambridge, England.
Cedar Rapids, NE Cedar Rapids, IA
Charlestown, NY Charlestown, MA Charlestown is an area of Boston and home to Bunker Hill, the site of a key American Revolutionary War battle. Originally a separate town, it was the first capital of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
[There was no dot for the Charlestown label in the original comic, and an update later removed the Charlestown label entirely.]
Cleveland, UT Cleveland, OH Cleveland, Ohio, named after its founder, General Moses Cleaveland, is one of the 3 largest cities in the US.
Columbus, GA Columbus, OH Columbus is the most populous city in Ohio, as well as its state capital. It is named after Christopher Columbus and many other locations throughout the United States bear that name.
Dallas, GA Dallas, TX
Dallas, NC
Dallas, OR
Dallas, SD
Dayton, NV Dayton, OH Dayton was a prominent city in the industrial growth of the Midwest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries but is best known as the home of the Wright Brothers, where they constructed the first airplane.
Des Moines, NM Des Moines, IA
Des Moines, WA
Detroit, AL Detroit, MI Detroit is best known as the center of the U.S. automobile industry.
Detroit, KS
Disney, OK
Fayetteville, TN Fayetteville, NC
Gettysburg, OH Gettysburg, PA
Gettysburg, SD
Grand Rapids, MN Grand Rapids, MI The second most populous city in the state of Michigan.
Houston, AK Houston, TX Houston is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth-most populous city in the United States.
Houston, AL
Houston, FL
Houston, IN
Houston, MO
Houston, OH
Indianapolis, IA Indianapolis, IN
Jackson, AL Jackson, MS Jackson is the capital of Mississippi, but there are many other states with Jacksons. This one is likely particularly notable due to its proximity to Jackson, MS.
Jamestown, CA Jamestown, VA Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in the Americas.
Jamestown, ND
Jersey Shore, PA Jersey Shore region, NJ The Jersey Shore is a coastal region of New Jersey. It is also the namesake of a reality TV show.
Key West, VA Key West, FL Key West is an island off the tip of Florida that is popular with tourists and contains the southernmost point of the continental states.
Knoxville, IA Knoxville, TN
Las Vegas, NM Las Vegas, NV
Lincoln, CA Lincoln, NE Lincoln is the capital of Nebraska.
Lincoln, IL
Lincoln, MT
Lincoln, RI
Lisbon, ME Lisbon, Portugal Lisbon is the capital of Portugal, in Europe.
Lisbon, NH
Long Beach, NJ Long Beach, CA Long Beach, California is the 7th most populous city in California. The location in New Jersey is typically referred to by its full name, Long Beach Township, or the more generalized location of Long Beach Island.
Los Angeles, TX Los Angeles, CA
Louisville, CO Louisville, KY Louisville is the largest city in Kentucky.
Manhattan, KS Manhattan, NY Manhattan is one of the five boroughs of New York City, corresponds to the New York County.
Manhattan, MT
Memphis, NE Memphis, TN Memphis is a city in Egypt.
Mesa, CA Mesa, AZ Mesa is a suburb of Phoenix, and the largest suburban city by population in the United States.
Mesa, CO
Miami, AZ Miami, FL Miami is the seventh largest city in the United States and a major tourism hub.
Miami, TX
Mountain View, HI Mountain View, CA Mountain View is the "birthplace" of Silicon Valley, and is the location of many high technology companies, such as Google.
Nashville, AR Nashville, TN Nashville is the capital of Tennessee and a major center for the country music industry.
New England, ND New England, Northeast
New Haven, KY New Haven, CT New Haven is the second largest city in Connecticut, and is known for its distinctive pizza. It also home to Yale University
New York, TX New York, NY
Newark, DE Newark, NJ Newark, NJ is the largest city in the state of New Jersey, and part of the greater New York metropolitan area. It hosts one of the New York metro area's three major airports.
North Pole, NY North Pole, AK North Pole is a small city in Alaska known as a tourist attraction and the recipient of letters addressed to Santa Claus.
North Pole Northernmost point on Earth's surface.
Oakland, OR Oakland, CA Oakland, CA is currently the home to three professional sports teams including the Oakland Athletics and is the former home of several more, including the Oakland Raiders, now in Las Vegas.
Orlando, OK Orlando, FL
Ottawa, KS Ottawa, ON Ottawa is the capital of Canada.
Pasadena, MD Pasadena, CA Pasadena, California is the home of California Institute of Technology and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, TX
Peoria, AZ Peoria, IL Peoria is known for being considered an "Average American Town", in the phrase "Will it play in Peoria?" It is actually smaller than Peoria, AZ.
Philadelphia, MS Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia, NY
Phoenix, MD Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, OR
Plano, IL Plano, TX Plano is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, and the home of many corporate headquarters.
Plymouth, CA Plymouth, MA Plymouth was the site of the colony founded in 1620 by the Mayflower Pilgrims. Named after the city in the Southwest of England which was the final port of departure.
Plymouth, IN
Portland, ME Portland, OR Portland, Oregon is the largest city in the state of Oregon and was named after Portland, ME
Princeton, ID Princeton, NJ Princeton, NJ is famous for being the home of the eponymous Princeton University and the Institute for Advanced Study
Princeton, MA
Richmond, VT Richmond, VA Richmond is the capital of Virginia. It was named after the suburb of London, UK due to an observed similarity of the river. London's Richmond was named for the palace built there by Henry VII, itself named after the market town and castle in the north of England that was a childhood home. That was in turn named for the Normandy area from which the noble family came who were gifted this land for their part of the Norman Conquest of England in the 11th century. There are more than fifty settlements called Richmond across the world, directly or indirectly taking their names from one or other of the English 'originals'.
Roswell, GA Roswell, NM Roswell, New Mexico is the site of one of the most famous “alien coverups” in American history, and is well known for its alien-themed tourism.
Saint Louis, MI St. Louis, MO
Saint Louis, OK
Salem, CT Salem, OR Capital of Oregon.
Salem, MA Location of the Salem witch trials.
San Diego, TX San Diego, CA
Santa Fe, TX Santa Fe, NM
Savannah, MO Savannah, GA
South Bend, TX South Bend, IN South Bend, Indiana is the location of the University of Notre Dame.
Texas, NY State of Texas Located in Mexico Township, NY. North of the village of Mexico. No plans for a wall [citation needed].
Vienna, ME Vienna, Austria Vienna is the capital and largest city of Austria.
Washington, NC Washington, DC Washington DC is the capital of the United States.
State of Washington
White House, TN White House, DC White House is the home of the US President in Washington, DC.

Transcript

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Discussion

We might want a table for this comic, with three columns: one for the name of the town, one for which state the copycat is in, and one for the original. We could also add a column for "why the original is well known," but that might be a bit much. 108.162.245.124 20:38, 23 June 2021 (UTC)

I agree, this feels like a very table-able comic. Especially to get all the cities and not make readers try to see "hey, did I miss one?" 172.70.117.158 20:49, 23 June 2021 (UTC)
I think the term copy-cat should not be used here, since Lincoln, IL, for instance is older and carries the name longer than Lincoln, NE.--162.158.88.74 21:05, 23 June 2021 (UTC)
Although the people in Lincoln, UK (also Boston, Washington, Richmond, Plymouth, Newhaven...) might have prior claims - Richmond is an even more interesting case, in fact. And of course I also recognise Lisbon and others. 141.101.98.244 21:26, 23 June 2021 (UTC)
May I suggest merging the first two columns and just listing [City, State] under "Place name in comic"? MajorBurns (talk) 21:38, 23 June 2021 (UTC)

In the map there are (at least) three Lincoln, two Jamestown, five Houston... Vdm (talk) 20:52, 23 June 2021 (UTC)

There is a Jamestown in NY and PA also. I would expect to find a Jamestown in at least half of the states. Rtanenbaum (talk) 22:06, 23 June 2021 (UTC)

There seems to be an extra dot in the northeast corner of Colorado - It looks like it might correspond with the Atlanta label, but there is no Atlanta in Colorado. Based on the position of the dot I'm guessing it may correspond to Akron or Yuma.--MajorBurns (talk) 21:56, 23 June 2021 (UTC)

Google Maps says there's an Atlanta, Colorado, but it is in the south-east corner of the state, not where the dot is. It looks like it is in the middle of nowhere outside of Springfield. Blaisepascal (talk) 00:42, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

Jersey Shore PA - I just drove from New Jersey across the state of Pennsylvania, and saw the sign for Jersey Shore in the mountains in the middle of PA. What the? Turns out there was a town founded by two brothers from New Jersey called Waynesburg. When a neighboring town wanted to insult them by calling them "Jersey Shore" they went ahead and officially made Jersey Shore the name of the town. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jersey_Shore,_Pennsylvania. I wonder how many people turn off the highway in the middle of PA wanting to go to the Jersey Shore hundreds of miles away. Rtanenbaum (talk) 22:06, 23 June 2021 (UTC)

Why no Hollywood, Florida? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood,_Florida

Same reason there's no Richmond, Dublin, or Pittsburg (admittedly, a different spelling), California, just to name some of the closest ones to me. The map would be solid black if it labeled every "other one." Borglord (talk) 01:57, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

..No Springfields? Really? There's gotta be 30+ of them! Danish (talk) 02:00, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

The comic doesn't seem to include the duplicates that are fairly well known, like Hollywood, FL. And the prevalence of Springfield is well known due to "The Simpsons". I think Groening chose that name because it wouldn't be associated with any particular state. Barmar (talk) 04:06, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

`The most frequently occurring community name varies through the years. In a past year, it was "Midway" with 212 occurrences and "Fairview" in second with 202. More recently, "Fairview" counted 288 and "Midway" 256. The name "Springfield" is often thought to be the only community name appearing in each of the 50 States, but at last count it was in only 34 states.` https://www.usgs.gov/faqs/what-most-common-citytown-name-united-states Steve (talk) 02:48, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

The comic has been updated to remove Charlestown and move Salem, CT. The extra dot in Colorado remains, however. The image attachment has been updated, but I think I'm still seeing the cached version. Orion205 (talk) 03:47, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

While we're on the subject, I thought it was more likely referencing Charles Town, WV. There are quite a lot of Charlestown locations and I don't think any of them are particularly famous. Which is probably why it was removed. Shamino (talk) 13:54, 25 June 2021 (UTC)

Since so many of the names are duplicated multiple times, shouldn't the title be "No, An Other One"? Barmar (talk) 04:06, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

I'm surprised he missed Minneapolis, Kansas (about 75 miles west of Manhattan). Though maybe it would've made Kansas too crowded. --Aaron of Mpls (talk)

I'm surprised he missed Duluth, GA too, but we can't have everything we want. ( --Don from Rochester . . . but not from New York ;^) Oh yeah; there's also a Buffalo in MN too. 172.70.34.190 11:00, 24 June 2021 (UTC)
In Indiana, there's also another Nashville, another Columbus, a Kokomo... even a Mexico. If every fairly well-known place name were included, wherever it was duplicated, it would need one of those scrollable mega-maps, just to fit it all. -- Just visiting from Indiana, 12:53 UTC 24 June 2021

I'd like to see a map of all these. Lines linking each of the dots to the location of the more famous town. Possibly with lines in different colours connecting to the oldest and largest other ones, where they're not the same as the most famous one. (I suspect a significant number of the "oldest" lines would point off the right edge of the image) Angel (talk) 08:37, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

There's also a Bowling Green, Missouri. WhiteDragon (talk) 13:12, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

I wish Lansing Illinois (just south of Chicago off I-80) had made the list. When I was traveling there for work, our hotel reservations were frequently messed up, because the central booking office had us in Michigan. 172.70.130.144 13:17, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

Reminds me of the time a "Microsoft tech support" scammer called and claimed to be calling from Lansing despite obviously being in a call center in India. When we asked what state Lansing was in, he claimed to be calling from "Lansing, Miami." 172.69.63.121 13:41, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

I feel like there is an opportunity for adding "Other examples not in comic" such as Brooklyn, Iowa or the absurd number of Mount Pleasants OddOod (talk)

At first, I thought about suggesting this, as well. But, it would be an enormous list (orders of magnitude longer than the ones that _are_ in the comic), and therefore not really tenable. For example, I sometimes describe the place I live as being on the line from Jamaica to Florida, adjacent to Jacksonville and just off Halifax. That's Florida, MA and the rest in southern Vermont. That's four just within 20 miles of where I sit. Also, I grew up in Bristol (RI, not England), but there are about 40 places in the US with that name. And, on a different tack the nearby "city" actually promotes itself in being the _only_ place named Brattleboro. MAP (talk) 22:27, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

I can't believe they missed Dublin and/or Albany in the SF bay area in California!

I actually have a place in Bangor,NY it confuses people all the time Mr.Do

Is the State of Washington not considered more significant than a mere district? 172.69.35.149 18:14, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

I mean, Washington DC is the capital of the entire country, so both are very significant. 172.69.33.97 20:08, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

Ontario, CA - I have gotten packages that originated in Ontario, CA and wondered why they were shipping from Canada, until I realized that they were coming from Ontario, California. Rtanenbaum (talk) 20:57, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

How did Lebanon come to be such a popular name (sixth most common according to the Wikipedia list)? 162.158.92.182 09:04, 25 June 2021 (UTC)

How about entries for what the lesser-known city is known for? I can start: Austin MN is home of Hormel, maker of Spam, and features the Spam Museum. Who is next? 172.70.126.58 10:29, 25 June 2021 (UTC)

Richmond, VT is home of a person (also apparently given the job of "Weigher Of Coal") who helped to establish the name of Spam (as in unwanted advertising)... 141.101.99.79 11:14, 25 June 2021 (UTC)

So, anyway, the Transcript is both empty and marked incomplete. Really, it would at best be a Transcriptised non-tabular list of the named places, grouped to their 'other one' states. I can't see much more that can be done, save for "line-drawn state lines and dots" being mentioned. It's very much an inferior copy of the table itself, but definitely should be there to fulfil the general needs of the Transcript. I'll do it myself if nobody else has (or otherwise resolved) by the time the next comic goes up. 141.101.99.79 11:14, 25 June 2021 (UTC)

Agree that there should be a transcript. It should mention what type of map and that all states have their abbreviation in gray text. Then proceed approximately in reading order giving each states abbreviation and then the cities mentioned in each state. That would be great. Do not have the time the next week, else this was something I often have done with large transcripts. --Kynde (talk) 20:54, 25 June 2021 (UTC)
I prepped a version that satisfies almost all your demands, already, except that it's arranged alphabetical to state ID, because that seemed more logical to dive into than to try a 'reading order' of any kind. I also took a couple of other small liberties with the usual Transcript notation to improve understanding, not having found a prior example that has done this in a 'better' way. I'll pop it in right now and then leave it to the multitudinous Gods Of Wikiediting to correct it, 'correct' it, improve it and 'improve' it as they see fit. Fill yer boots! 141.101.98.124 21:42, 25 June 2021 (UTC)

here is a challenge: find a regex that matches all the cities in this map in the top half of the US, but not the ones in the bottom half. have fun and dont use the auto-regex-golf thing, thats just no fun. :) 172.69.63.7 16:40, 25 June 2021 (UTC)Bumpf

Unless I misunderstand you, it's probably impossible. Houston in Ohio is in the top half of the map (however you define that line) while the Houston in the usual Alaska map-discontinuity is in the bottom half of the map. And I bet that a moment's search will find others amongst the shared names. 141.101.99.104 17:35, 25 June 2021 (UTC)
Bowling Green (OH and FL) splits even on true latitude, at well within each band of top/bottom value ranges. Assuming you don't add the home-state code (which could be the only thing needed to even try to regex, if you do), there's no wedge you can apply. 162.158.158.105 22:10, 25 June 2021 (UTC)
Using Automatic tools is always fun! fun-ctional. 162.158.91.183 12:32, 28 June 2021 (UTC)

Bloomington MN is an odd one — it is both larger by area and by population than Bloomington IN! 141.101.98.206 20:31, 25 June 2021 (UTC)

Bloomington, IL is comparable in population and slightly larger in area than Bloomington, IN; Bloomington, MN has IL beat in both metrics. If counting Bloominton-Normal, IL as one twinned city, it easily beats both 172.70.130.87 01:51, 30 August 2021 (UTC)

Even if there's no plans for a wall around Mexico, NY, maybe that's who Trump expected would pay for his wall. Barmar (talk) 13:19, 26 June 2021 (UTC)

I'm really annoyed that he included Portland. Doesn't everybody know about Portland, ME?

NYC here - I had no idea about Portland, ME 172.70.117.92 01:44, 3 July 2021 (UTC)

Here's how he might have come up with this list. (1) Find all duplicates in a list of U.S. city names. (2) Select the top 100 (searched on the web, occurring on the web, etc.) names (or enough to fill the comic nicely). An alternate (2) is select the top 100 (or some number) largest cities of those. Moscow,ID

I likewise wondered about the omission of Hollywood, FL (as well as Miami, OH) but it’s true that it can’t list every single one. It would be interesting to list some of the other pronunciation differences, as is currently done for Newark. (E.g., Albany, GA is pronounced al-BEN-ee) Miamiclay (talk) 18:15, 2 July 2021 (UTC)

I think you mean Oxford, Ohio; home to Miami *University*. [1] 162.158.166.117 07:28, 15 July 2021 (UTC)
There's also Cleveland, Mississippi; Princeton, Indiana; and Jackson, New Jersey. JsfasdF252 (talk) 00:18, 6 August 2021 (UTC)

In the New England area, there are quite a few towns with duplicate names, probably brought over with the colonists. Seems all the New England states have a Milford, a Bedford, a Plymouth, A Belmont, a Winchester...

How do you miss London, OH?