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vacuum_everyday t1_j3xayve wrote

Serious question: why do Californians add “the” in front of everything, but especially freeways?Up north we just call it I-15. As in “I-15 is jammed with hours long delays.” Other freeways are just their number.

But “THE 15” setup is a dead giveaway they’re from California.


Blargcar t1_j3xjvbx wrote

Because Los Angeles and southern California had freeways before a lot of the country. Instead of numbers at first they had names like: The San Diego freeway, the Pasadena freeway, the long beach freeway. The San Diego freeway became the 405, Pasadena became 110 and long beach became 710, along with Ventura freeway (101).

So people were used to saying THE then the name. Then when they became numbers they were used to saying THE then the number. It makes sense when you think of it and know the history.


handyandy727 t1_j3xbs8f wrote

My wife is from California and still can't explain that. Maybe it's because state highways are so big too? Like Highway 90 is basically an interstate in size. I dunno.

ETA: We live in KY, and we just say "65" or "71". We omit the "I-" but don't use THE unless it's a parkway or expressway.


God_Damnit_Nappa t1_j3ysvuj wrote

If you're going somewhere you'd say something like "I'm on the freeway." I assume it's a similar reason. Like "I'm on the 405." It sounds weird to leave out "the." I don't personally buy the "well the freeways were named before they had numbers" explanation but I suppose that's a better reason that "just because."