The duck stops here: Minnesota alone and defiant over kids game misnomer


On some issues there is only right and wrong, no shades of gray.

And when the states that comprise the U.S. of A. disagree, it's possible that one state could be right while 49 others are wrong.

To prove this thesis we need only consider Duck Duck Gray Duck.

Now, thanks to a couple of Minnesotans, more people are considering that children's game ... and realizing that they've been erroneously calling it Duck Duck Goose.

Christopher Pollard's tongue-in-beek map depicting Minnesota as the only gray state in the union first hit the Web last year but gained a new popularity this month when it was featured in a BuzzFeed post entitled "You've Been Playing 'Duck, Duck, Goose' Wrong Your Whole Life."

In speaking with the Star Tribune, Pollard lets a little Minnesota modesty temper his glee at being the only state to get the game right: "This is just another example of how we are slightly superior,” Pollard says. And later: “...there probably is room for both games to coexist. But ours is better.”

Not familiar with the game? Find an explanation here.

The Goose/Gray Duck distinction involves more than the name, though. In the Gray Duck version, whoever is tapping the seated players calls them a yellow duck, green duck, blue duck, etc., until the gray duck label launches a chase in the same way that "Goose!" does in less enlightened states.

And that's the kind of attitude Minnesotans have been spreading through cyberspace on this issue.

In her BuzzFeed piece Katie Heaney does not hold back, calling her post an explanation of why Duck Duck Goose is so inferior.

The popularity of that item revived Christopher Pollard's map, but it's not the only one of its kind on the Web. Just a couple of months ago, NewsCastic offered "5 Reasons Why Duck Duck Gray Duck Is Infinitely Superior To Duck Duck Goose." (Reason #3: It's fun to include adjectives)

Taking a more scientific bent, the Speculative Grammarian presents the findings of a couple of St. Cloud 5th graders named Sven Slater and Ollie Bickford. Sven and Ollie did a little mapping of their own. Although their methodology was a little flighty, their results seemed to take wing:

Sven and Ollie, too, reached a now familiar conclusion: "We are not sure why anyone would say 'duck, duck, goose,' because 'grey duck' is so much better."

So while Minnesotans may have a reputation for being understated, soft-spoken, or mild-mannered, don't let that fool you. Sending them into a self-righteous tizzy of we-are-better is only a matter of pushing the right button. And it's a gray one.

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