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Why is Pittsburgh so...

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .

sunnyday 
Why is Pittsburgh so....
 
Type that into a Google search and autocomplete anticipates the nature of your query with these words:
 
cloudy (see above and to the right)
great
boring?
 
I was curious to find out after reading a story on this topic in Atlantic Cities in which Pittsburgh was not included... but neither was St. Louis, so at least there’s that, Bucco fans. And by the way, Pittsburgh is as sunny as it is cloudy. You could look it up. sunny1
 
Cincinnati, bless its heart, was cited in the article so let's see what they think: Drum roll... "Why is Cincinnati so"
 
racist 
boring
humid?
 
Titled “Why is Boston so Racist?” the article by Emily Badger and Mark Byrnes alluded to Renee DiResta’s Google auto-complete map of state stereotypes, which, they wrote “ was circling around the Internet last summer.”
 
“As she discovered," they wrote, "Google’s search engine does a pretty impressive job of channeling public sentiment in its effort to anticipate our thoughts (and keystrokes). Try typing in “Why is Mississippi so...” for instance, and the collective wisdom of the Internet will automatically tell you that most people seem to think that the state is awfully “... poor.”
 
Oooo, here are those clouds they were referring to.
sunny4
 
I had some fun with this little exercise for entirely too much time, typing in all sorts of places and being a little disappointed by people’s queries. Like, for instance, "Why is Austria so mountainous?
 
Perhaps the mountains were there before  Austria became Austria?
 
After typing in a bunch of cities, states and countries, I remembered the state in which I live. Not my favorite state by at least 12 or 15, but if I want to live in the ‘burgh I’m stuck with Pennsylvania.
 
My first query of this state -- oops, excuse me: commonwealth -- would be “Why is Pennsylvania so backward?” but autocomplete gave me these responses: “boring,” “racist” and “famous.”
 
Don't they mean infamous?
 
 
 

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