A few days ago a friend from a long, long time ago recently reinstalled AIM and contacted me out of the blue. While we were chatting I started to mention something about a road trip I’d taken in another life. I was going to say that I had once gotten lost in Washington D.C. on my way to Philly via I-95. What I found interesting was that — after years of living in Los Angeles — I almost referred to the East coast’s massive superhighway as “the” 95. My brain caught my fingers before I’d typed it that way, but it started niggling at me. In LA we honor all of the highways with the definite article. It’s not just 405. It’s the 405. You’d never tell someone, “Take 101.” You tell someone, “Take the 101.” Nobody — afaik — on the East coast refers to “the 95”. The only highway in Florida that gets a the is The Turnpike. In LA every highway gets a the.
And how about this? In Florida if you’re telling someone how to get from Jacksonville to Tallahassee you would say, “Take I-10 West until you smell the Seminoles.” But in California if you’re explaining how to get from Century City to Santa Monica you would say, “Take the 10 west until it ends.” Same road.
Anyone else ever notice that?