Johanna Rubba jrubba at calpoly.edu
Sun Aug 29 20:50:17 UTC 2004

Southern Californians are known for their use of "the" in front of
freeway numbers: the 5, the 405, the 101, etc. I think this is mostly a
Southern Cal. usage; heard less often in the northern half of the state.

I imagine it comes from shortening "the 405 freeway". The areas that do
not use the article leave out the word "freeway" and just say "take 405
south ... "

Maybe someone else has attested facts on this variation.

Johanna Rubba   Associate Professor, Linguistics
English Department, California Polytechnic State University
One Grand Avenue  • San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
Tel. (805)-756-2184  •  Fax: (805)-756-6374 • Dept. Phone.  756-2596
• E-mail: jrubba at calpoly.edu • 	Home page:

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