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On the highway, on the byway, Mister Robotron!

Posted by Anonymous Thursday, October 25, 2007

(I hope this blog title is fairly self explanatory, but if you’re confused then watch this.)

*Disclaimer: This post doesn't say much more than my original observations, but it allows me to post that SNL skit (above) and to use the term "definite article" (as if I didn't have to look it up on dictionary.com).

California phenomenon: Everyone in California refers to the highways with the definite article "The" in front of the highway number. What's more? When anyone from any other state visits California, they too automatically do the same! Yet, the moment we return to our home state, the "The" is dropped, and we go back to our normal generic highway names.

Challenge: Next time you give someone directions, put "The" in front of all the highways or major streets. Let me know how it goes.


mishl said...

I can't believe I haven't commented on this yet. I live with a housefull of Californians who just won't give up the 'the' before a highway. I usually don't take out my linguistic swords on my friends, but man oh man this one drives me nuts. We have had some serious chats about it. But I could be wrong. Isn't that what linguists are for-- to say, "it's not wrong, it's just different"?