Larry's Law of California Weirdnesses

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Sun May 7 18:58:03 UTC 2006

Yes, at this time of year thousands of white (though tanned)
kids must be going to prom in the OC . . . .


>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-
>Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>Subject:      Re: Postscript: "prom"--a bit of data . . .

>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 constant.

The American Dialect Society -

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