Illustration by Chris Philpot.


KATHLEEN DAVENPORT and her husband-to-be got tied in knots when they tried to procure a marriage license in northern Florida. After handing over their driver’s licenses—hers from Florida and his from New Mexico—the clerk asked for the latter’s passport. “I don’t have it,” he said. Undaunted, the employee complimented the fiancé’s English and asked how long he had lived in Mexico. “I’m from New Mexico,” he emphasized. “I’ll have to check on this,” the clerk said, taking the IDs to a superior. When she returned, a curt “this will be fine” was uttered without  eye contact. The couple later heard that the courthouse installed a U.S. map to avoid confusion in the future.


After the passing of Pulitzer Prize–winning Kiowa author and New Mexico resident N. Scott Momaday, an Associated Press report circulated in publications around the globe. According to the AP, Momaday received his bachelor’s degree from the “University of Mexico.” Fellow Lobo alum MARCY TROY, of Virginia, found the flub odd. The report “got all his childhood experiences in New Mexico right,” she notes, until they “sent him to another country to matriculate.”


When JONATHAN HERZ began to text  a friend to say  he was  visiting family in New Mexico, his smartphone’s predictive text quickly populated the state’s name in the suggestions. “The only problem was the suggested emoji,” he says, “the Mexican flag.” So, really, how smart is artificial intelligence, anyway?

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