Saturday, November 13, 2004

Not Big County
California's least populous county (1,208 residents) led the state in voter turnout earlier this month, with 86 percent of its eligible voters doing their civic duty. (You'll note I didn't say "going to the polls" -- Alpine County is so sparsely peopled, voting is done by mail.) But what I found interesting was that once again, newspapers could not resist calling it tiny Alpine County. Even before this latest story popped up, Google returned 94 instances of Alpine tinization.

By the way, Alpine County was blue, one of the few inland counties in California to go Kerry's way.

UPDATE: Sacramento Bee story avoids use of "tiny"! Calls it "little Alpine County."


dan said...

I love "tiny Alpine County." Not sure if you know, or remember, that Steve Cook's family owned a cabin in Woodford's, one of the tiny county's tiny communities. He'd vacation there for a couple weeks every August. When he'd get back, I always made a point to ask, "So, how was everything in tiny Alpine County?" Our little joke.

dan said...

And as an addendum to the foregoing, a Nexis search reveals a surprisingly small number of hits for "tiny Alpine County" -- just 53 since 1983. The Los Angeles Times even used it in headlines back then.

dan said...

Further data from the Infospigot Research Bureau: I noticed the Nexis search actually returns 62 instances of "tiny Alpine County" since 1983 (and just four instances, all recent, of "little Alpine County"). I also noticed that Nexis includes nothing from The San Francisco Examiner (The Monarch of the Dailies; An American Paper for the American People) -- maybe the archives are restricted because of the sale of the paper or something. Anyway, SFGate's archive search includes Examiner stories back to Jan. 1, 1995; of the 13 total instances of "tiny Alpine County" that SFGate shows, nine appeared in the Monarch.

Pete said...

They don't call you Infospigot for nothing.

Gotta figure there were at least a few "tiny Alpine County" references in the Ex! Hell, I remember us joking about it back then.

Question: Is there any other county or municipality that so consistently has a specific adjective applied to it?

dan said...

Off the top of my dome: "Los Angeles" and "sprawling."
"Fallujah" and "lawless."

Pete said...


From north of the border:
frigid Winnipeg
cosmopoliton Vancouver