You can’t spell “Whatever!” without T-H-E.

Yesterday I lapsed into SoCal dialect by calling good ol’ Junipero Serra “the 280” and was reprimanded for my use of the indefinite article “the.”

Surely this is not a “Frisco”-level faux pas on my part? I dutifully refer to San Francisco as “The City” even though I know Oakland and San Jose are not merely a collection of tall buildings.

Is there anything else I should know about? Any other terminology that might cause what seems to me to be frighteningly easy internal bruising?

Sorry, but I’m a little grouchy, having traversed [the] highly trafficked 280 an hour and a half earlier than usual to attend an 8:30 meeting.

5 Comments so far

  1. mike (unregistered) on February 4th, 2005 @ 11:20 pm

    just use the word “hella” sxtensively for the next few days and you’ll be fine.

  2. cd (unregistered) on February 5th, 2005 @ 2:17 pm

    Bronwyn – as a fellow SoCal transplant, I can empathize. It took me about a year to translate in my head before speaking the “the.”

    Frankly, I think it’s a special kind of NorCal weirdness that in a public-trans-friendly-yet-don’t-take-away-my-car city, they don’t show their freeways the same kind of respect that we do down south, by affording them the definite articles they so richly deserve . . . .

    My personal verbage: I refer to all freeways existing exclusively North of San Jose by they numbers only (380, 280, 85, 80), but freeways which will take me to THE Southland are “the” – the 101, the 5. Technically, I suppose 5 becomes the 5 around Kettlemen City – that In’N’Out is the official halfway marker so far as I can tell . . .

    Don’t let ’em getcha down.

    And don’t ever, EVER say “hella.”

    They won’t let you back into LA.

  3. Bronwyn (unregistered) on February 7th, 2005 @ 6:21 pm

    But I’m free and clear for amusing overuse of the word “dude,” right?

  4. joe (unregistered) on February 9th, 2005 @ 10:03 am

    They dont have any tall buildings in SJ – much less a collection.

  5. suki (unregistered) on September 28th, 2005 @ 12:15 am

    Yup, an observation a friend and I made after living in LA for a bit. In LA, use “the” before highways. In SF, don’t. Odd, isn’t it?

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