OT: (across the) (unknowable) "block"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed May 4 16:29:27 UTC 2011

At 5/4/2011 11:08 AM, Mark Mandel wrote:

>For example, in the Boston area (as I recall it),
>corners generally have signs identifying the cross street -- that is, the
>smaller street -- but not the artery, apparently on the assumption that you
>obviously know what street you're ON and are just looking to find the one to
>turn off to. If you're coming along a neighborhood street, conversely,
>you're supposed to be able to recognize the artery when you reach it.

Having moved to the Boston area from New York City some many years
ago, I deeply sympathize with Mark.  It's still true, and I still get
lost at times.

>And then, in Boston and Philadelphia and probably every city, there are the
>corners with no signs at all, leading to cell phone calls like "HELP! I'm at
>You-obviously-don't-belong-here and None-of-your-business!!"

There was this man who overindulged at a bar one evening.  Staggering
out, he realized he should not drive himself home.  So he called his
wife from a nearby telephone booth (remember them?).  "Dear, I've had
too much to drink.  Please come and pick me up."  "Where are
you?"  He replied "Just a minute", peered outside, and returned to
his call.  "I'm at the corner of Walk and Don't Walk."


>Mark Mandel, geographically challenged

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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