Date: Thu, 1 Dec 1994 00:04:22 EST


Subject: Re: 'the' in place names (Kaye)

In relation to Vicki's comments below: First, El Bronx is better than Los

Bronx, etymology aside--after all, The Bronx IS (not ARE) up and the Battery

down. Second, I grew up in Washington Heights (163rd St.) in the late 40's

and early 50's and never heard "the Heights" for it. Brooklyn Heights, si;

Washington Heights, no.

As for those freeways, while I'm still in the autobiographical mode, I

concur with the suggestion that both the (optional) move from names to numbers

and the (apparently obligatory) move to the 'the 405' (in place of '405' for

what I remember as the San Diego Freeway) are fairly recent developments.

I do remember, though, 'the 605' for what was evidently named, but not

generally referred to as, the San Gabriel Freeway. I agree that the article

in these (and in 'the Mission [District]') represents a remnant from the full

moniker, e.g. 'the 405 freeway', on the pattern of 'the San Diego Freeway'.

Odd that one of these truncations seems to have occurred only in southern

California and the other only in San Francisco. I guess a Whorfian would

draw some sort of inference about the attitudes of Angelenos and San

Franciscans toward their freeways and neighborhoods respectively. --Larry

----------------------------Original message----------------------------

The most famous "the" anomaly in English geography may be

"The Bronx" (which can be explained historically, but is

still anomalous); the local Spanish press duly translates

this, and refers to "El Bronx" (though if one were to follow

the historical explanation, it should probably be "Los Bronx").

New York City also has two neighborhoods with "Heights" in their

name, Washington Heights and Brooklyn Heights, either of which

may be referred to as "the Heights," but that's a more

straightforward shortening, I think.

Vicki Rosenzweig

Associate Editor, Computing Reviews

vr%acmcr.uucp[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]