Post-college, a whole new world opened up to me. That’s right, the world of “The.”* In the Midwest, “the” is an article most often used prior to common nouns. In other regions of our fine nation, I’ve found, it is used differently. For instance, my best friend moved to southern California a couple days after my wedding. The second time I visited her, I found her saying things like “The 10.” See, this is how they refer to major highways and interstates in California. Where I live, we have 35W and 494 and I-94. In California-speak, these would be “The 35W,” “The 494” and “The 94.” In my opinion, “The 10” needs to undergo “the knife” and lose a little weight off the front. Or even a facelift such as “Interstate 10” or “I-10” would be helpful.
In the south (we’re talking Texas, Alabama, probably Georgia), “the” is added onto the front of locations. We don’t go to CVS, we go to “The CVS.” Because “The CVS” is “The Only CVS on The Planet.”
So here’s a question: do the signs in SoCal** say “The 10”? Do the CVS’s in ‘Bama have a sign that says “The CVS”? Fill me in, people!
And now that I’ve made fun of your colloquialisms, feel free to poke fun at ours. Yah. You betcha.
* If you hate misused quotation marks, please stop reading at this point…
** I hate abbreviations like this. Hate. Them.