Date: Tue, 3 Oct 1995 00:28:06 -0400
From: Virginia Clark vpclark[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MOOSE.UVM.EDU
Subject: Re: downtown/inner city
At 06:37 PM 10/2/95 -0400, Christopher R. Coolidge wrote:
In Burlington, VT, when we mean "we're going downtown" we say "we're going
downstreet." This came about because most of Burlington's population lives
off North Ave, the main drag to the north, or Shelburne Rd. to the south.
Hence the term downstreet is expedient, as well as true, unless you're a
UVM student, in which case the term would be "downhill," since UVM is up-
hill and east of downtown. However, the expected term hasn't caught on,
presumably because the students aren't around long enough.
The term "downstreet" was in use in many small Vermont towns (which
meant most Vermont towns) as far back as the mid 1940s. Vermont
("in-state") students at UVM report that it is still in use today. I think
that their usage may have spread to the out-of-state students at UVM, and
suggest that as its origin in Burlington, as opposed to the very logical
process described by Mr. Coolidge. But where did it originally come from?
Virginia P. Clark
Professor of English
University of Vermont
Burlington, VT 05405