The /r/CoolGuides subreddit is one of my favorites to look through because no matter how cool the guide is, there's bound to be something wrong with it in one fashion or another.

A recent post on the subreddit featured a map of the United States color-coding each state to its demonym, or the word used to describe the people that live there as a collective.

Michigan was one of the few states that was striped in a manner to indicate that both Michigander and Michiganian are equally acceptable terms.

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Now, I haven't lived in Michigan long, just under two years. I have never heard or read the word Michiganian before. It sounds wrong to say. Like those other striped states on the map (I've never heard Alabaman or Floridan in my life either, and I lived in that area for a quarter century), it feels like something is off in the guide.

To be fair, Michigan is one of those states where it's hard to tag a suffix onto it in a sensible, and comfortable, manner. But when I saw the guide, I raced to the comments knowing Michiganders would take over the conversation, and they didn't disappoint.

However, one of the comments shocked me a bit as the Redditor clarified that both terms are legally correct in the Wolverine State.

Michigander is the more common term, and a poll in 2011 confirmed that most residents of the Great Lakes State agree it's the proper term to use. And in 2017, the term Michigander became the official term within the state to refer to our friends and neighbors across the Mitten State (we really have a thing for nicknames around here).

However, the federal government muddies everything up. According to the U.S. Government Publishing Office Style Manual, the correct term for the federal government is the original term, Michiganian.

So the answer is, legally, you are both. But hey, you're also either a Yooper or a Troll. And if you want to be called a Michigoose, I certainly won't stop you.

If you say Michiganer, Michiganite, Michiganese, or Michigine, though, we all might have a slight issue with that.

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