[Ads-l] The City

Margaret Winters mewinters at WAYNE.EDU
Wed Mar 6 13:30:44 UTC 2019

Subway stations in Brooklyn (at least some of them) still have signs over the stairway up or down to the Manhatten-bound train as "To City".  I always assumed these stations (like the one in Boro Park that was my local stop) pre-dated Brooklyn's becoming part of the larger New York City in1898.  Brooklyn still calls itself  "America's 4th Largest City".  It's not surprising that even in our adult life-time Manhattan is considered The City by Brooklynites.

I wonder about Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island inhabitants - do they also consider Manhattan The City?


Former Provost
Professor Emerita - French and Linguistics
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI  48202

mewinters at wayne.edu

From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Geoffrey Nunberg <nunbergg at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Tuesday, March 5, 2019 7:00 PM
Subject: Re: "The Big Easy"

Actually, genuine* San Franciscans don’t get into a tizzy over “Frisco,” though nobody uses it — it’s old-fashioned, but hey, Jack London used it and you have to have a warm spot for Alan Ladd and Joanne Dru (!) in the 1955 Hell on Frisco Bay. It only became a Thing when Herb Caen put the kibosh on it in a 1995 SF Chronicle column (https://goo.gl/ANQVc4 <https://goo.gl/ANQVc4>). What drives people here crazy is “San Fran,” which is still in obnoxious use. Bold Italic did a good a piece on SF nicknames at https://goo.gl/Dfhn4k <https://goo.gl/Dfhn4k>, calling “San Fran” “the uncool one."

>From a report of a 2018 survey of 200 Bay Area residents in Curbed (https://goo.gl/3eBnaq <https://goo.gl/3eBnaq>):

When asked the “term you use most often,” 41.5 percent said “San Francisco.” 27.5 percent most often call it “The City,” and 12 percent prefer “SF.” Inexplicably, 9 percent say “San Fran,” while “Frisco” hangs around at 4.5 percent.
As it happens, though, only 15 pct of respondents actually live in SF, so take that for what (little) it’s worth. Actually, after 35 or so years here I just call it the City now, though I have to be careful when returning to Manhattan, where the City is just, you know, the City. (My students at Brooklyn College used to call Manhattan the City.)

*I make it about 4 left on my block.

Geoff Nunberg

Geoffrey Nunberg
Adjunct Full Professor
School of Information
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley CA 94720
ph. 510-643-3894
http://people.ischool.berkeley.edu/~nunberg/ <http://people.ischool.berkeley.edu/~nunberg/>
nunberg at ischool.berkeley.edu <mailto:nunberg at ischool.berkeley.edu>

> Date:    Mon, 4 Mar 2019 09:47:21 -0500
> From:    Ben Yagoda <byagoda at UDEL.EDU <mailto:byagoda at udel.edu>>
> Subject: "The Big Easy"
> Forgive me if Barry or someone else has already mentioned this, but my impression is that current-day New Orleaneans chafe at “the Big Easy,” the way San Franciscans don’t like “Frisco.” Again, my impression is that they prefer “the Crescent City” as a nickname, which “problematizes” this finding of Barry’s: “In an interview with Larry McKinley in The Times-Picayune on January 25, 1976, talking about his days at the radio station WYLD:
> “We were told ‘Don’t say Crescent City.'”
> Ben

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