Postscript: "prom"--a bit of data . . .

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun May 7 02:57:13 UTC 2006

At 3:36 PM -0400 5/6/06, Bethany K. Dumas wrote:
>On Sat, 6 May 2006, Laurence Horn wrote:
>>So in Georgia in 1991, one could (*the) 95 to *(the) prom, and in
>>2007 in southern California one can take *(the) 5 to (*the) prom.
>>Law of conservation of articles.
>I need a translation!
Sorry.  We had a long thread a while back on how references to
freeways in southern California had shifted at some point so that
instead of taking I-5 or I-105 or whatever, folks in LA and environs
take "the I-5" (or "the 5"), with the definite article.  My
suggestion here is that the loss of "the" in "attend prom" and such
is compensation for this shift, on the assumption that the total
number of (constructions with) definite articles is to remain

I'd apologize for being obscure, but others on the list would point
out that such an apology would ring hollow...


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