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THE Interstate?

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THE Interstate?

Postby sluggo » Wed Apr 12, 2006 3:53 pm

Here's a curiosity: In my travels I notice some places use the definite article when referring to the name of an Interstate or other highway/freeway while others go straight to it: in California, you get on "the five" or "the 101". They do this also in Louisiana, you take "the I-10". Around SE PA/NJ where I was a sprout, you just get on "I-95" or "280" or "Route 1", no "the" involved. What do other posters do (that is, if you can afford the gas anymore)?
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Postby gailr » Wed Apr 12, 2006 11:12 pm

In my experience, it's just "I-25" when referring to a specific interstate by name, "the interstate" when referring to one without its identifying alphanumerics, and "adrenalin drive" when it's under construction, while you and half a million of your closest neighbors are all trying to go home. :wink:

-gailr
Last edited by gailr on Wed Jun 21, 2006 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby AdoAnnie » Sun Apr 23, 2006 10:04 pm

What really gets to me is using the local names of Interstates rather than their numeric designation when reporting traffic news. In Houston there is the Gulf Freeway, the Southwest Freeway, the Katy Freeway, the Loop, the Beltway, etc., which only have meaning if you live and work in Houston. An out of town driver in Houston listening to a traffic advisery might be truely uninformed of a traffic problem because he didn't know that a wreck closing all the southbound lanes on the Southwest Freeway was actually his destination heading south out of town in I-59.
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Postby Perry » Mon Apr 24, 2006 2:43 pm

Another good reason to move to Asheville (IMHO).
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Postby sluggo » Mon Apr 24, 2006 8:29 pm

AdoAnnie wrote:What really gets to me is using the local names of Interstates rather than their numeric designation when reporting traffic news. In Houston there is the Gulf Freeway, the Southwest Freeway, the Katy Freeway, the Loop, the Beltway, etc., which only have meaning if you live and work in Houston. An out of town driver in Houston listening to a traffic advisery might be truely uninformed of a traffic problem because he didn't know that a wreck closing all the southbound lanes on the Southwest Freeway was actually his destination heading south out of town in I-59.


This was played to another extreme in the Katrina reporting -we refugees, glued to late-night reports from WWL, kept hearing how the "twin spans" were blown away. None of us knew what they were talking about until the story filtered through the national media (it was a bridge stretch of I-10 (actually the roadway floated away)). And then there's the daily reports of the 'Crescent City Connection' (who?). So these can be mysteries even to the natives.

And there is or was a guy on Philadelphia traffic radio who rolls out Roosevelt Boulevard as something like "bou-le-the-vard".
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Postby sluggo » Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:59 am

Perry wrote:Another good reason to move to Asheville (IMHO).


I'm not sure how I did it but somehow I moved there without even considering this point...! Maybe we're all confused by the multiple route numbers.

There is, though, the interesting river name "French Broad" -named I assume after some French Broad?
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Postby Perry » Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:55 am

Well it seems that the river predates anything French by eons. See this interesting blurb http://www.main.nc.us/buncombe/frenchbroad.html

Anyway, this seems to be the origin of the name. http://seris.info/RiverLink/storyintro.shtml

And just for the record, Sluggo, I moved here first, and then discovered how lucky we are in terms of traffic and signage.
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roots and routes

Postby sluggo » Wed Apr 26, 2006 2:25 pm

This here turnpike talk tempts me to resume bemoaning the ongoing attack on the word "route". It definitely seems to me that we used to know how to say it but thanks I think in large part to NFL TV analysts, "rowt" (eww) seems to be spreading like cancer.

I try to explain to the football fans: when Andy Reid figures out how he's going to drive to the stadium, he plans his route; when he gets there and the Seahawks beat him 48 to nothing, that's a rout. But it seems a losing battle...

PS Perry thanks for the background. Nobody in Asheville seems amused when I make the French Broad crack. Guess they've heard it too many times.
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Postby Perry » Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:06 am

Once my brother was in the Newark airport, waiting for a return flight to Asheville. He was checking the departure board when he saw that his flight was delayed. In the remarks column the reason given was, "mechanic on broad". He went up to a customer services attendant and with his best poker face said, "I don't know which is worse, the indescretion of revealing this intimate information, or the the demeaning reference to the women in question." The customer services attendant went beet red and promised to have the remark corrected.
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Postby AdoAnnie » Fri Apr 28, 2006 1:18 pm

Perry wrote: "mechanic on broad"


Reminds me of one of my hubby's favorite Engrish notices, the note card on the inside of his hotel door in Thailand, "Guests are invited to take advantage of the maid service." And I always counter with the very English notice at the entrance to a Service Merchandise store, "These premises are alarmed." I always wanted to ask the store manager if a Valium would help.
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Postby cremepuff » Tue May 02, 2006 5:03 pm

In the Chicago area they're given names after famous people, so in many cases they're referred to as the Kennedy, the Dan Ryan, the Bishop Ford, the Eisenhower, the Stevenson, the Tri-State, etc. Also, the Bishop Ford Freeway is the only "freeway" I know of in the area. Almost everything else is referred to as an expressway, so everyone in my neighborhood uses the term "expressway" to refer to all highways of that nature, even in other states. The word "interstate" is not in our vocabulary too often. :)

As for when we do use the numbers, we just say the number or add an I- to the beginning of it (I-57, 80, etc.) We don't add "the" to it.
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The Parkway

Postby Mama » Thu May 11, 2006 9:17 am

In Pittsburgh, the highway is always called the Parkway, giving rise to the question, "Why do we drive on the parkway, and park on the driveway?"
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Postby SLS216 » Thu May 18, 2006 3:03 am

Growing up in the Chicago suburbs, anything near the city was refered to by the 'name' like it was mentioned by another poster and then more out in the suburbs (at least by us) Northern (north-eastern) suburbs, everything was the Highway except 294 which was the toll-way.

Now I live JUST over the border in WI and of course everything is on 'the I' and I've confused quite a few people when trying to get or give directions and i tell them the 'highway' becuase our 'county roads' are considered highways and I usually am referring to the interstate. It's amazing how 20 miles can make such a difference in language.
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Postby tcward » Thu May 18, 2006 12:56 pm

My mom used to always warn us kids not to play in "the highway" in front of our house... and we would always, in our kid way, correct her that it wasn't a highway, it was a road (we lived in a mostly rural county, where the largest town in the county had 1000 residents). Even at that young age (elementary school years), we had been culturally programmed to think of "highways" as larger, busier roads.

Years later, maybe when I was in high school, I realized that this was just what she called it, and that when I said "highway", I meant something different than when she said "highway".

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Postby skinem » Sun May 28, 2006 11:33 pm

Is calling it "the interstate" vs. "the freeway" an east/west thing?
I know I always heard it called the freeway in Washington state as a kid--never heard it called the interstate until I came back east for college...
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