I hate filling out web forms. Ever since I applied to grad school, my browser has memorized ten different combinations of my personal information. Even when I use the autofills, they are rarely correct. One of the most annoying parts of a given web form is selecting the country. I never know where to look for the U.S. Some forms put them at the top of the drop down box (AMERICA, FUCK YEAH!). Others file them at the bottom under U. Some even put them under A for America? (This I’m not sure of, but it wouldn’t surprise me.)
Selecting Louisiana is a little easier. It’s the only state that starts with L, so I open the drop down box, hit L, and Louisiana pops up.
I love the way they take care of this in Japan. Every Internet drop down box for prefectures looks like this:
Have you figured out why? No, they don’t do 五十音順. No, it’s not alphabetical.
It’s even more awesome: the prefectures are listed in geographical order from north to south. It starts with Hokkaido in the north, works its way through Tohoku and Kanto, continues through Kansai, and finishes with Kyushu. It’s a brilliant way to create a textual representation of the island through the prefectural names. It’s almost like one giant pictogram made up of words. I love it. (And dammit all, wouldn’t you know that now that I’ve professed its brilliance, I find an exception that lists the big cities separately on the top. Most of them are like this, trust me.)
I guess this is just as arbitrary as alphabetical order, really, but it is more visually pleasing. So learn your north-to-south position on the island. It’ll make these forms easier to fill out.