Date: Mon, 2 Oct 1995 09:38:15 -0600
From: Bruce Gelder bgelder[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CAMEL.SIM.ES.COM
Subject: Re: inner city
When did "downtown" become "inner-city"?
As a child, I used to go downtown to the heart of Los Angeles. Now
it the inner-city.
I'm not convinced that they're the same semantically, although there's
usually plenty of overlap in the realizations of the words, especially
when they are used to describe areas of megalopolises such as the
sprawling LA areas.
To me, "downtown" simply suggests a centrally located business district.
"Inner city" connotes several negative things about the area, such as
poverty, high crime, and so forth. Since downtown areas are where inner
city area tend to form, I'd be willing to bet that that's why the words
overlap in function.