Date: Wed, 2 Nov 1994 02:00:00 LCL


Subject: Re: new york city and upstate

RE: From: NAME: David Bergdahl

Among my list of preferred terms is "New York" or "New York, N.Y." for New

YorkCity. The latter has always seemed to me a barbarism, used by people who

misread New York City Police Dept as [[[New York City]Police]Dept].

i completely disagree! as an upstate new yorker, i hate it when "new

york" is used to mean "ny,ny" (but the latter is almost never used,

and sounds hickish when used). us upstaters already resent the

downstaters for a number of reasons (e.g., perceptions that all our

taxes and water and hydroelectric power go there), so using "new

york" in a way that doesn't include us only adds to the resentment.

it's not that big a resentment, but it does make it harder for me

to have any kind of regional identity. people assume that when i say

i'm from NY i'm from the city (of course, i usually say "upstate NY"

or "NY state" to avoid that--but why should i have to say NY state

in order that the people from the city don't have to say NY city?

"NY state" sounds like a football team.)

which leads to the topic of "upstate" and "downstate". to us up

rochester-way, anything from the catskills south is "downstate" but

to the NYCers, westchester co. (commuting distance) is "upstate". (i

frequently have to explain to people that no, being from upstate ny

doesn't mean you get to benefit from the culture of the city. it's

a7-8 hour drive for me.) the relativity of these terms is

interesting, but not as interesting as in illinois, where someone

from dekalb or rockford (NW of chicago) can be from "downstate".

i'm spending way too much time responding to the ADS list! stop

talking about things that interest me, while i'm still remembering

to eat and sleep!



M. Lynne Murphy e-mail: 104lyn[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Lecturer, Dept. of Linguistics phone: 27(11)716-2340

University of the Witwatersrand fax: 27(11)716-8030

Johannesburg 2050 South Africa

"Language without meaning is meaningless." --Roman Jakobson