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How do you refer to freeways and highways?

  • I live or used to live in Southern CA, and would say "The 101"

    Votes: 10 31.3%
  • I live or used to live in Southern CA, and would say "101" or "Highway 101"

    Votes: 4 12.5%
  • I do not live in Southern CA, and would say "The 101"

    Votes: 1 3.1%
  • I do not live in Southern CA, and would say "101" or "Highway 101"

    Votes: 17 53.1%

  • Total voters
    32
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Discussion Starter #1
What do you call a freeway?

I'd like to do a quick informal poll here to confirm an observation. That observation regards how people name freeways. I've noticed that, without exception, every Southern California resident I talk to preceeds the freeway name with 'the'. For example, "The 5". Other people drop the 'the', or preceed it with a descriptor. For example, I grew up in Oregon, and we refered to Interstate 5 as "I-5". Other highways are merely the highway number "101", or sometimes "Highway 1". Head to So Cal, though, and it'll be "the 101", "the 1". Or at least, so my theory goes.

It has so far proven to be an incredible flag that a person I'm talking is from SoCal. The only cases of 'the' I've encountered in Northern CA are with people who used to live in SoCal.
 

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I was always an "I-25," "I-75," "Highway 666" person until I moved to SoCal, after which point keeping track of the I's vs Freeways vs Loops vs Routes got to be too much, so everything is now just "the". SoCal seems to be uniquie with its large number of freeways in such a small area. I drive on 5 major freeways (sometimes 6 to avoid traffic) on the way to LAX from my house. That's about 4 more than anywhere else I've lived.

Much easier to remember using the "the" method.
 

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Brian's right.. there are too many "classes" to have to remember.

What's 56 anyway? Highway, freeway, State Route? CA-56 on maps.

Then there are roads like Balboa Ave. Everyone calls it Balboa, the signs say Balboa.. exit signs, street signs, addresses... but what does the nav software call it? "SR-274" Grab anyone from San Diego and tell them to turn onto "SR-274" and you will get the same blank stare.

I'm from SoCal, so I take the 805 to the 5 to the 405 into LA, unless I take "the toll road". My car gets forty rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it.
 

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This is how us ex-SoCal folks recognize one another in other parts of the country! It's kinda like our secret handshake.

People think I'm a little silly using "the" before any freeway (oops, out here they're "highways"). Although, I've been fooled sometimes, as many Canadians use "the." It's usually the "eh" that gives 'em away.
 

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Highway 101 goes all the way through Oregon and Washington, and is an old highway (in terms of the West Coast). I have lived in Oregon, Washington, and California and nearly everyone calls it "101".

Typically, each locality has names for their highways, which usually are preceded by the word "the". Examples of this are "The Banfield", "The Nimitz", and "The Pacific Coast Highway".

I noticed that it is mostly the people in "SoCal" that put the word "the" in front of highway numbers.
 

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Where is my car? I can't believe i just posted a reply to this topic. I must be losing my mind in anticipation of delivery.
 

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This is too weird. I've just realized when I'm talking about 101 I say "one oh one" and I-5 is "eye five", but when I'm talking about the 405 I say "the four oh five" :eek: I live in northern CA, but I'm not from around here originally. I guess I watched to many LA TV shows growing up. :rolleyes:

Although if somebody talks about the Nimitz, I know its around here somewhere but I don't have a clue which number it is.
 

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Have lived in norcal all my life and simply say one-oh-one or highway one-oh-one... Never put 'the' in front of any place name (save maybe the amazon basin, the badlands, the hague, etc).
 

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Way off base...

The proper way to refer to a Motorway is as "The M4" for example. It's also acceptable to apply the article to an A road. For example, "The A4" is just fine; better yet, just refer to it as "The Great West Road"...:)
 

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Re: Way off base...

roadrunner said:
The proper way to refer to a Motorway is as "The M4" for example. It's also acceptable to apply the article to an A road. For example, "The A4" is just fine; better yet, just refer to it as "The Great West Road"...:)
The Queen would be proud ... All hale her magesty.
 

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Ground Loop said:
Brian's right.. there are too many "classes" to have to remember.

What's 56 anyway? Highway, freeway, State Route? CA-56 on maps.

Then there are roads like Balboa Ave. Everyone calls it Balboa, the signs say Balboa.. exit signs, street signs, addresses... but what does the nav software call it? "SR-274" Grab anyone from San Diego and tell them to turn onto "SR-274" and you will get the same blank stare.

I'm from SoCal, so I take the 805 to the 5 to the 405 into LA, unless I take "the toll road". My car gets forty rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it.
*The* 56 is a state road :)

I always called them *the*s :)
 

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Interstate
I-64

I-65

I-71

also,

265 or "the watterson expressway"

264 or "the gene snyder freeway"

we have a little of each

we have state roads and turnpikes too but those are usually in little places/bergs.
 

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I grew up in Chicago where many of the major highways are named: "Kennedy", "Eisenhower", "Dan Ryan", etc. The other roads were just referred to by there number like we do down in St. Louis: 70, 170, 270, 370, 64/40, etc.
 

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That's pretty funny! I lived in the Inland Empire for four years. I think I refer to most roads either using the prefix (I, US, Route) or the raw number. But for certain roads in SoCal I use "the". The 10, and The 5. What's funny is, I call it "I-5" anywhere north or south of LA! 210 and 405 are marginal; I'll occasionally use "the".

A lot of freeways down there have names that can be used instead of the number, like "The Imperial Highway" or "The Pomona Freeway," or "The Orange Freeway". That might explain why people are accustomed to using the same construction with a number instead: "The 210 Freeway", which gets shortened to "The 210".
 
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