Changing things
one Mandy Green
at a time

An open letter to Vermont's
Secretary of State—and her response!

December 20, 2008

Deborah L. Markowitz, Secretary of State
Vermont Secretary of State's Office
26 Terrace Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05609

Dear Secretary Markowitz,

I respectfully request that you declare Vermont to be the Mandy Green State, if only for a nanosecond, and I’m asking this not only because my name is Mandy Green.

No doubt you’re aware that the name "Vermont" has no business stemming from the French "Verd Mont," as history claims, since the proper translation of “Green Mountain” is closer to “Mont Verd.”

What’s done is done, but as a matter of symmetry, clearly “Verd Mont” should be translated “Mountain Green,” as in Vermont, the Mountain Green State.

I’d settle for that—your declaring Vermont to be the Mountain Green State for a nanosecond. I really am aiming for Vermont, the Mandy Green State, but I don’t want to seem unreasonable.

This request stems from devotion to the word “mondegreen,” coined in 1954 but added to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary only this past July 7. A mondegreen is a mishearing of something said or sung. A famous example is “all of the other reindeer” being heard as “Olive the Other Reindeer.” A dismaying example is this corruption of a lyric in the Beach Boys’ “Kokomo”:

To Martinique, that Monserrat mystique

misheard as
Vermont’s unique, Vermont’s a rotten state


Mondegreens are common, but the term itself is no household word. I’m out to change that. I’m spreading the word on blogs and other web sites, inviting everyone (especially anyone who shares my name) to visit Mandy Green, you see, is a mondegreen of “mondegreen.” This effort is also a fundraiser for our local library, which receives proceeds from a novel, "Gazoon High Twizzle,” that centers on a mondegreen. Read more at
the site (hint, hint).

I’d hoped to locate a blogger to spread the word from a community called Mandy Green or Mondegreen, but I can find no such place. Then I got to thinking about Vermont, the Mountain Green State. Another mondegreen for “mondegreen” right there.

So could you possibly help me out? Naturally, your official declaration would be a huge boost for my quest. C’mon, please? Give a gal a nanosecond?

Thanks so much for considering this odd request. I’d love a response. Any response.   :)

Mandy Green

The much-appreciated response!

Part 1
December 24, 2008

We will see what we can do  . . .

Part 2
January 9, 2008

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