Date: Wed, 2 Nov 1994 02:00:00 LCL
From: "M. Lynne Murphy" 104LYN[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MUSE.ARTS.WITS.AC.ZA
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]muse.arts.wits.ac.za
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