"the" (3)

Salinas17 at aol.com Salinas17 at aol.com
Mon Aug 30 20:06:43 UTC 2004

In a message dated 8/30/04 3:23:41 PM, jrubba at calpoly.edu writes:
<< I don't see "the 405" as placement of an article before a proper name. I
do believe it is a short form of "the 405 freeway." If you've listened to
enough LA radio traffic reports, you hear alternation between the shorter and
longer usage. >>

"the 405 freeway" is for most purposes already is a proper name.  Like the
Hudson (always meaning river not the explorer or the Bay.)  There are no other
members of the category.  It already has separate status from other freeways.
The license to shorten it doesn't change that.  Chesterton said something
about how it was never polite to say "the Queen of England" because it had to be
assumed everyone knew what queen you were talking about when you said "the

<<I do not hear the usages Steve Long reports, e.g. "the Santa Claus" or "the

You don't watch enough television.  Letterman uses the form a lot.  How about
"The Shaq?"  I heard it during the playoffs.  Did you watch the playoffs?

Steve Long

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