Date: Wed, 30 Nov 1994 05:32:30 -0500


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

I'm not sure the use of the definite article and its lack of use with

Los Angeles freeway names is an example of *loss* of the article. This

is my impression of the historical progression on name changes (I lived

in California, first southern, then northern, from 1948 until 1967):

When I grew up in L.A., the freeways (steadily increasing in number) were

always called by their names, never their numbers, e.g., the Hollywood

Freeway, the Ventura Freeway, the Bakersfield Freeway. The highways

connecting cities in California, e.g., U.S. 99, did not have names and

were referred to by number without the definite article, e.g., I would

say, "I'll take 99 home," when I described the route home from school at

Berkeley to my parents' home in L.A. It was only after I left California,

and not that long ago, I noticed that my parents referred to the freeways

in L.A. by number and with the definite article. I have trouble following

their discussions since I don't know the freeways by number but by name.

It would be useful to know when this change took place in order to attempt

to correlate it with events. Is there anyone out there in L.A. who lived

through the change?

Ron Rabin