Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 52698
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2017/09/21 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
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2009/3/10-17 [Transportation/Car, Transportation/Car/RoadHogs] UID:52698 Activity:very high
3/10    Are there many JD, MBA, MDs who read MOTD? Currently below, there is
        one person claiming to be a lawyer and another mentions an MBA...
        Also, is it proper to preface MOTD with a preposition (e.g. the motd)?
        \_ I don't know if there are many JDs who read the MOTD, but I do. I
           think there is one MBA from INSEAD who reads the MOTD.  I don't
           know about MDs, but if my brother gets into med school next year
           there might be one.
        Also, is it proper to preface MOTD with a preposition (e.g. the motd)?
        \_ "the" is an article, not a preposition, and yes, the MOTD deserves
           an article.  -tom
           \_ Thanks (for the grammar correction and MOTD rules). It's like
              The 405...
              \_ no, it's not like "the 405", which is an awful LA
                 construction (literally and linguistically).  MOTD
                 stands for Message Of The Day, so it's incorrect to say
                 "Are there people who read MOTD," which expands to
                 "Are there people who read message of the day?"  -tom
                 \_ You say "gins and tonic", don't you?
                 \_ "the" is also used in Canada and England. e.g. The M1.
   http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2008_07/014178.php
                    \_ Well, "The M1 Motorway" is the name of it.  The name of
                       280 is not "The 280 Freeway", it's Interstate 280.
                       There's also no other 280 around to confuse it with.
                       You don't put "the" on other road names so why do it
                       for freeways?  e.g. 1st street "the 1st street".  We
                       do say stuff like  Highway 1 or Route 1 though, or I-80.
                       Those actually make sense, unlike "the".
                       \_ The 10 freeway is the Santa Monica Freeway. The
                          405 is the San Diego Freeway. It's retarded to
                          call the 405 "Interstate 405" and immediately
                          brands you a putz.
                          \_ not as retarded as calling it "the 405".
                             \_ Since The 405 is an LA freeway, that's the
                                appropriate designation. It's The 405,
                                80, 280, etc, and I-5 (because that's in both
                                noCal and soCal). If you said "take 405 to 101"
                                in LA, you'd sound like a FOB who says things
                                like "have you read message of the day?"
                                \_ It is certainly the case that we use
                                   dialect to identify clan membership.  David
                                   Foster Wallace had an interesting article
                                   (partly) on that point:
                  http://instruct.westvalley.edu/lafave/DFW_present_tense.html
                                   But it's also the case that "the 405" is
                                   stupid.  -tom
                                   \_ Sorry, but it's not. If you say "Take
                                      405 freeway to 10 freeway" then that's
                                      stupid. You need the article just
                                      like if you say "Take the San Diego
                                      Freeway to the Santa Monica Freeway".
                                      Maybe it's not what your used to, but
                                      it's completely correct and makes
                                      complete sense. You can always tell
                                      someone new to California (not just
                                      LA) when they ask "How do I get on
                                      the Interstate from here?" (guffaw)
                                      \_ I say stuff like "take 80 to 980"
                                         all the time.  Just like I say
                                         "Go down 18th and turn on
                                         Mission."  You would never say
                                         "Go down the 18th" now would you?
                                         \_ No, I wouldn't. However,
                                            "take 80 freeway to 980
                                            freeway" sounds stupid does it
                                            not?
                                      \_ It's not called "the 10 freeway."
                                         It's called 10, or Route 10,
                                         or Interstate Highway 10.  -tom
                                         \_ Only on Planet Tom is it not
                                            called "the 10 freeway". It is
                                            called that because it descends
                                            from "the Santa Monica Freeway".
                                            It is sometimes called I-10
                                            and when it is "the" is not used.
                                            However, when "the" is used it
                                            is used because it makes sense
                                            to use it as in "the 10 freeway".
                                            It is never referred to as 10,
                                            Highway 10, or Route 10 and
                                            none of those are official
                                            designations. Official designation
                                            is Interstate 10 and I addressed
                                            that case.
                                            \_ I drove 10 all the way across
                                               the country, and nowhere other
                                               than LA does anyone call it
                                               "the 10," and no one anywher
                                               calls it "the 10 freeway." -tom
                                            \_ I drove 10 all the way
                                               across the country, and
                                               nowhere other than LA
                                               does anyone call it
                                               "the 10," and no one
                                               anywhere calls it "the
                                               10 freeway." -tom
                                               \_ 1. People in LA do call it
                                                     "the 10 freeway".
                                                  2. The reason no one
                                                     anywhere else uses
                                                     "the" is because they
                                                     do not use names for
                                                     it like "Santa Monica
                                                     Freeway" and
                                                     "San Bernardino Freeway"!
                                                     Don't you get it? Hell,
                                                     in most of the rest
                                                     of the country they
                                                     don't even call such
                                                     highways "freeways",
                                                     but we do and it's
                                                     completely correct to
                                                     do so. Next you will
                                                     be saying that it's
                                                     not soda, but pop
                                                     because you heard
                                                     people in Missouri
                                                     call it that.
                                                     \_ 1. It's completely
                                                        stupid to call it
                                                        "the 10 freeway" and
                                                        I've never heard anyone
                                                        say that.
                                                        \_ It is not stupid and
                                                           you don't hear it
                                                           because you live in
                                                           a bubble in
                                                           Berkeley. What
                                                           is stupid about
                                                           it?
                                                           \_ As explained
                                                              above, it makes
                                                              no logical
                                                              sense.  -tom
                                                        2. You're completely
                                                        wrong that other
                                                        places in the country
                                                        don't have local names
                                                        for I-10.  Look at the
                                                        wikipedia page.
                                                        \_ I didn't say they
                                                           didn't. However,
                                                           I bet they use
                                                           "the" if they use
                                                           them followed by
                                                           the word "freeway".
                                                        3. People everywhere
                                                        other than LA manage
                                                        to have local names
                                                        for highways, and
                                                        don't use "the" in
                                                        front of the number.
                                                         -tom
                                                                          _/
                  Several commenters here says that "the" is used in Canada.
                  http://www.languagehat.com/archives/003203.php
                  http://www.languagehat.com/archives/003203.php -abe
                                                         \_ People elsewhere
                                                            manage to call
                                                            "soda" "pop", too.
                                                            Is that also
                                                            stupid?
                                                            \_ That's a
                                                               different
                                                               dialect--it's
                                                               not gramatically
                                                               illogical, like
                                                               "the 405" is.
                                                                -tom
                                                               \_ "the 405"
                                                                  is short
                                                                  for "the
                                                                  405 freeway"
                                                                  which is
                                                                  grammatically
                                                                  correct.
                                                         \-arent you from
                                                           NJ, home of
                                                           "the (new jersey)
                                                           turnpike" and "the
                                                           pip", near
                                                           "the long island
                                                           expressway" (sic)
                                                           "the LIE"
                                                           [and the maj degan,
                                                            the cross bronx]
                                                           the cross bronx etc]
                                                           i personally like
                                                           the "the". what i
                                                           hate is "internet"
                                                           without the "the"
                                                           and "maths" instead
                                                           of "math". --psb
                                                           of "math". for fwys
                                                           i use kind of an
                                                           ideosyncratic system.
                                                           for bay area fwys
                                                           i'd say "the 101"
                                                           but normally leave
                                                           off "the" on others.
                                                           ideosyncratic
                                                           system. for bay
                                                           area fwys i'd say
                                                           "the 101" but
                                                           normally leave off
                                                           "the" on others.
                                                           \_ "The Turnpike"
                                                              is the name of
                                                              the road.  It's
                                                              also I-95, and
                                                              no one calls it
                                                              "the 95."  -tom
                                                              \_ Because it is
                                                                 not "the 95
                                                                 freeway/
                                                                 highway/
                                                                 expressway".
                                                                 Do you say
                                                                 "get on
                                                                 freeway" or
                                                                 "get on the
                                                                 freeway"?
                                                                 BTW, "maths"
                                                                 annoys me, too.
                                                                 annoys me,
                                                                 too.
        \_ I was watching Season 5 of 24 last night and the Russians kept using
           "the" in front of freeways (e.g. the 118). But they were in LA and
           the writers probably live in LA.
         \_ "Are there people who read the Wired?" vs. "Are there people who
            read Wired?" <-depends on whether you deem MOTD to be a designation
            or the title of /etc/motd.public. Either way, you shouldn't be
            reading Wired, that rag.
        \_ PhDs are a dime a dozen on the motd.
           \_ You think a dozen people are reading the motd?
              \_ Yeah, about 20 or so.
        \_ Thank you for wasting 10 minutes of my life reading about
           '405' and 'the 405' on the motd.  get lives, all of your. !the tom
           \_ Not as annoying as Star Wars guy, but not as exciting as
              Bitter Divorced Guy.
2017/09/21 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
9/21    

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www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2008_07/014178.php
I know you've all been transfixed by this weekend's discussion of Southern California's habit of prepending "the" to freeway numbers, haven't you? So here it is: one final post with the long-awaited semi-official explanation for this phenomenon. It's official because it appears in an academic journal, but only semi because I remain a little skeptical anyway. It's below the fold on the off chance that you couldn't care less about all this. Before the freeways were built, locals generally preferred the old, time-honored street or road names instead of numbers in conversation. So for 'US 99' they said San Fernando Road because the highway followed that particular named street, as far as the distant end of "town." Within "town" (basically LA County) names were used for these routes. The interstate routes around Los Angeles were called the Ventura Freeway, the Hollywood Freeway, the Santa Ana Freeway, the Golden State Freeway, the San Bernardino Freeway, the Pasadena Freeway, the Glendale Freeway, the San Diego Freeway, the Santa Monica Freeway, the Harbor Freeway, the Riverside Freeway, and the Long Beach Freeway. The strange-sounding usage of the plus number, as in the 118, was the natural result of an amazing proliferation of new, minor interstate cutovers, extensions, and bypasses that began about 1975.... was even more pronounced when new major Los Angeles interstates sprang up without having any precursors and without being extensions of earlier, nonnumerical freeways. The first one I remember in this category was the 605 Freeway. I-605 is officially called the San Gabriel River Freeway, but nobody ever calls it that. Geyer goes on to say that other areas, including Northern California, also have names for their highways, "but they evidently weren't emblazoned Bay-wide in the minds and argot of northern drivers and direction-givers." But southern Californians represent the archetype of the car society; they have needed that article since the dawn of the freeway. Many regions have freeways with the names: the Henry Fords and Dan Ryans come to mind. Surely no other part of the country -- certainly not San Francisco/Oakland -- had such a long history and large quantity of nonnumerical the freeways. When the numbers arrived, the 134 Freeway and the 605 and their many newer siblings just joined people's long, 50-year, tried-and-true list of the designations for highways. Maybe this is the right explanation, but I'm still a little skeptical. Partly this is because Geyer's "archetype of the car society" conclusion is the kind of pop sociology that I'm automatically suspicious of. Beyond that, though, I've got one serious objection along with a suggestion for further research. Basically, Geyer is saying that other big cities had named highways too, but they just didn't have quite as many as LA, so the never caught on. But if all your highways have names, and that's the original source of the, then why would it matter how many you had? You either get accustomed to referring to them by name or you don't, and if you do, you'd be just as likely as LA to evolve to using the with a numerical designator too. Like LA, it had plenty of highways before and during the construction of the interstate system, and they all had names: the Long Island Expressway, the Van Wyck, the Belt Parkway, etc. But unlike LA, when numerical designators are used, New Yorkers don't prepend a the. However, for anyone with a ProQuest subscription and too much time on their hands, I have a research project that might move the conversation forward a bit. I spoke to my mother this evening, and she initially remembered always referring to, say, US 101 as the 101. Now, outside of LA, US 101 has no name, so there's no way to refer to it except as US 101 or highway 101 or the 101. This means that newspaper articles in the 30s and 40s must have referred to it by one of these designations. Have Angelenos always referred to it as the 101, or did that practice start only at a specific point in time? If the latter, that might be a clue that Geyer is right about the becoming entrenched only in the 70s. Further suggestions on this vital topic are welcome, but for now that's all we've got. according to Stentor Danielson, the is common in Arizona too, which suggests this habit might be a southwestern thing, not just an LA thing. As far as I know, Arizona never had a huge migration of Southern Californians, nor do they receive our radio and TV stations. But if this usage popped up anyway, maybe there's more to this than just a purely LA habit? UPDATE 2: Why didn't New York pick up the "prepended the" habit too? Comments (82) Comments In the Bay Area, the only freeways that are commonly referred to by name are US-101 as The Bayshore and I-880 (formerly CA-17) as The Nimitz. I-280 is occasionally referred to as The Junipero Serra. Those are, as far as I know, the oldest freeways in the area. The others have names, but I doubt many people know them. The Embarcadero Freeway (originally I-480, later part of I-280) was usually called by name, but it was torn down after the Loma Prieta Earthquake. I've discovered I have the amusing habit of code switching unconsciously between Northern and Southern Californian freeway naming conventions (an SF native, I have split my time between SF and LA for the last 10 years). PERMALINK OriGuy: the other Bay Area highway that's referred to by name is 17. More seriously, there are several other numbered state highways that are called by name (though they don't exactly count as freeways): Skyline, El Camino, etc. PERMALINK This may be a confusion on my part, having spent my first years out of graduate school in Pasadena, but now that I am here in the Bay Area (San Francisco, then San Jose), I prepend "the" to area freeways, and call them "The 101" and "The 880". The exception is when I refer to a specific direction: "101 North" or "880 South". In fact, I assumed that everyone does this, until I read your blog posts. I'll have to do some careful listening to my co-workers come Monday. PERMALINK People on this side of the bay say "280" but "101" and "the 101" seem like they are pretty even. I think maybe they learn it because the have "the 101" in LA too, and so many people here group up there. When you take "the Van Wyck" or "the Kennedy" it's just not as confusing. PERMALINK It's time you southern degenerates bow to the cultural superiority of your northern betters and stop adding the superfluous "the" to highway designations. A prime benefit of this would be the cessation of your posting these threads. PERMALINK As a native to the South Bay, if I hear someone refer to it as 'the 101', they've instantly identified themselves as a SoCal transplant. But after spending a few years down their at college, I know it's much nicer up here so I don't hold their weird linguistic tics against them. PERMALINK US 101 does have a name outside of LA, but it is rarely used: El Camino Real, "The Royal Road" or "The King's Highway"--the King being God, because the road connected the Franciscan mission chain. There are mission bells on stanchions up and down 101 between LA and San Jose, possibly elsewhere, to commemorate "El Camino Real". There are still pieces of the road named El Camino in San Diego County, and the portion of El Camino that runs from Santa Clara to Brisbane used to be US 101 until Bayshore Road was turned into a freeway and received the designation. I've actually paid a lot of attention to the "thes" because I've always wondered different numbers get different treatments. All of the 80 freeways (80, 280, etc) I usually call by number -- I happen to live between 580 and 880, and I'd never add "the" -- but I always always say "the 101". When I lived in Arizona I would have said "the 10" or "I-10" but at least for me that seems to be sound-based. Ten is a short syllable and it gets aurally lost without a prefix to give a context cue. When I lived in Chicago I would have never added a "the" for the numbered highways although I did often use the names and always with the "the". The stupidest highway sign I've ever seen was one that said "to Ike Xpy". To navigate usin...
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The sorts of people who feel that special blend of wincing despair and sneering superiority when they see EXPRESS LANE -- 10 ITEMS OR LESS or hear dialogue used as a verb or realize that the founders of the Super 8 motel chain must surely have been ignorant of the meaning of suppurate. There are lots of epithets for people like this -- Grammar Nazis, Usage Nerds, Syntax Snobs, the Language Police. A SNOOT can be defined as somebody who knows what dysphemism means and doesn't mind letting you know it. I submit that we SNOOTs are just about the last remaining kind of truly elitist nerd. There are, granted, plenty of nerd-species in today's America, and some of these are elitist within their own nerdy purview (eg, the skinny, carbuncular, semi-autistic Computer Nerd moves instantly up on the totem pole of status when your screen freezes and now you need his help, and the bland condescension with which he performs the two occult keystrokes that unfreeze your screen is both elitist and situationally valid). But the SNOOT's purview is interhuman social life itself. You don't, after all (despite withering cultural pressure), have to use a computer, but you can't escape language: Language is everything and everywhere; And we SNOOTS know when and how to hyphenate phrasal adjectives and to keep participles from dangling, and we know that we know, and we know how very few other Americans know this stuff or even care, and we judge them accordingly. The Evil is all around us: boners and clunkers and solecistic howlers and bursts of voguish linguistic methane that make any SNOOT's cheek twitch and forehead darken. A fellow SNOOT I know likes to say that listening to most people's English feels like watching somebody use a Stradivarius to pound nails. THESIS STATEMENT FOR WHOLE ARTICLE Issues of tradition vs. egalitarianism in US English are at root political issues and can be effectively addressed only in what this article hereby terms a "Democratic Spirit." A Democratic Spirit is one that combines rigor and humility, ie, passionate conviction plus sedulous respect for the convictions of others. As any American knows, this is a very difficult spirit to cultivate and maintain, particularly when it comes to issues you feel strongly about. Equally tough is a DS's criterion of 100 percent intellectual integrity -- you have to be willing to look honestly at yourself and your motives for believing what you believe, and to do it more or less continually. A true Democratic Spirit is up there with religious faith and emotional maturity and all those other top-of-the-Maslow-Pyramid-type qualities people spend their whole lives working on. A Democratic S...
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thousandth post), in a discussion of the general phenomenon of place names with and without "the," I mentioned the fact that Southern Californians use the definite article when referring to freeways ("the 405"), and there was some discussion of that in the thread. His story starts at about the time that LA's original five freeways were being built in the 30s and 40s: In about 1941, just before the completion of the first of the famous freeways, intercity traffic came into Los Angeles on the north-south axis on US 99, US 101, or California Route 1... Before the freeways were built, locals generally preferred the old, time-honored street or road names instead of numbers in conversation. So for 'US 99' they said San Fernando Road because the highway followed that particular named street, as far as the distant end of "town." When the federal interstate system grew up, the southern California area got its share of funding and road numbers.... However, for the first 20 years of the interstate system, no one used the numerical designations.... The interstate routes around Los Angeles were called the Ventura Freeway, the Hollywood Freeway, the Santa Ana Freeway, the Golden State Freeway, the San Bernardino Freeway, the Pasadena Freeway, the Glendale Freeway, the San Diego Freeway, the Santa Monica Freeway, the Harbor Freeway, the Riverside Freeway, and the Long Beach Freeway. The strange-sounding usage of the plus number, as in the 118, was the natural result of an amazing proliferation of new, minor interstate cutovers, extensions, and bypasses that began about 1975.... was even more pronounced when new major Los Angeles interstates sprang up without having any precursors and without being extensions of earlier, nonnumerical freeways. The first one I remember in this category was the 605 Freeway. Basically, Geyer is saying that other big cities had named highways too, but they just didn't have quite as many as LA, so the never caught on. But if all your highways have names, and that's the original source of the, then why would it matter how many you had? You either get accustomed to referring to them by name or you don't, and if you do, you'd be just as likely as LA to evolve to using the with a numerical designator too. Posted by languagehat at August 1, 2008 05:29 PM Comments I will be very interested to hear what others think on this. I've never been anywhere near SoCal, but I still find saying "take the 405" easier than "take 405". Then again, I'm a Kiwi, and we identify outlanders by their failure to use the articles when using the English names for our two major islands, so I'm probably not qualified to judge. john at August 1, 2008 06:17 PM Up here in Canada (I live in Toronto), we use 'the as well. A couple of highways are still called by name (the QEW (Queen Elizabeth's Way), the DVP (Don Valley Parkway), etc etc). The 400 series super highways that popped up in the last few decades are always called 'the ' (even though all of them of have official full names). Finally, we have some pre-400 series highways that are just called 'Highway 7' or 'Highway 10'. Josh at August 1, 2008 06:51 PM Which means that any special pleading that applies to LA had better apply to Tronno as well, or the theory goes down among the dead men. John Cowan at August 1, 2008 07:38 PM I am from Orange County California and I discovered this difference when I went to school in San Luis Obispo which is half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Half the people were referring to "the 101" as just "101" and I discovered it was due to where they grew up. My explanation was similar to Mr Geyer's: I had lived my whole life either next to "the Ventura" freeway or "the San Diego" freeway. It sounds very odd to me when people leave out the definite article. Mike Magee at August 1, 2008 07:51 PM I grew up in Southern California and my relatives are mostly Texan - we all use "the" before major numerical highways. It've heard suggestion that this may be a Southwestern phenomenon? If it helps the investigation at all, when I say "the 101" in my head, I'm thinking "the 101 freeway." When I hear people drop the "the" it feels to like they're dropping reference to the implied object - the freeway - which makes the number sound like an abstract set of units. I hate to be provincial, but do people really say "take 5" as driving directions? Here in the Bay Area the standard usage is to omit the article, as can be confirmed by listening to local TV traffic reports. And Geyer's explanation seems shaky, because US 101 (or just "101") is also "the Bayshore Freeway," often called that, and the oldest East Bay freeway was "the Nimitz," but the article didn't carry over to the numerical designation. My hypothesis is that both usages were equally likely back in the formative years, and sheer chance determined that one would prevail in Southern California and the other in Northern. rootlesscosmo at August 1, 2008 09:29 PM Agreeing with that parenthetical comment about New York. Even the big green directional signs there omit numbers in favor of the names of bridges and roads. If you're trying to get the hell out, the only hint you'll get of a destination rather than a thoroughfare is "New England," thataway. dale at August 1, 2008 11:24 PM My wife, who grew up in California, uses the "the" in front of numeric highway names, and it has rubbed off on me, though I grew up here in Illinois and had not used that usage before. It now sounds like an article is missing if it's left off. Chuck at August 2, 2008 12:51 AM I think the traffic radio announcers determined usage, since commuters are always listening to these same few people to try to find which route sucks least. The radio personalities' usage could be random, or determined by station policy, or by using the definite article to sound more folksy and Southern. caffeind at August 2, 2008 05:13 AM Since I always took the subway, my memory of Robert Moses' NY road system is from the radio. There was "the Northbound Major Deegan" and "the Southbound Major Deegan", like two Jekyll & Hyde characters. The Northbound Major Deegan was the really bad one, he was always in some kind of trouble, but maybe I was just listening in the afternoon. Arthur Crown at August 2, 2008 05:15 AM "We were in a hurry so we took 5" Even though I know this is just a regional shibboleth, suggesting you took a short break because you were in a hurry kind of makes me want to argue for the correctness of adding an article. Jason Brown at August 2, 2008 07:18 AM The evidence from outside the USA (and I can add Ireland to the "the" users) suggests "the" is the default, and it is the deviant regional US phenomenon of "the"-lessness which requires explanation. mollymooly at August 2, 2008 07:28 AM I live in Columbus, OH and am a relative newcomer to the area. Even though no one calls one route the freeway, even though it's clearly marked a freeway, everyone calls it 315, it's state route number. However, there is a road here called Polaris Parkway, named for the mall that it serves, and you can get away with calling that "the parkway." Of course, Columbus is not that incredibly large of a city, so there is really only one parkway worth mentioning. south" are as follows: 95 - 1, 82 (so 1 "the", 82 no "the") 81 - 0, 30 77 - 0, 20 75 - 1, 15 65 - 0, 16 57 - 6, 6 35 - 2, 32 25 - 0, 8 15 - 3, 68 5 - 9, 81 (California north-south interstate) And the same analysis on two north-south California highways: 395 - 3, 21 (California inland highway) 101 - 71, 121 (California coastal highway) (The results include some extraneous entries, but not many. Enterprising researchers are invited to do further analysis on California's east-west state roads to distinguish NoCal from SoCal usage. Martin at August 2, 2008 08:55 AM Just for the record, I know you're interested, Norway doesn't use the article. But on the other hand, they practically don't have any roads (and the ones they do have they're putting underground). Crown, Arthur at August 2, 2008 11:03 AM Growing up in suburban Chicago it was 'Route 14' and 'Route 12' (pronounced 'rout', not 'root'), never just '14' or '12'; to get in...