Tuesday, May 23, 2006

To Heck with Newspeak

In a recent post or comment, I mentioned that Southerners call all soft drinks "Coke," including Dr. Pepper. Much to the relief of the Coca-Cola Company, that's the kind of regionalism that is dying out as more Northerners move south.

In yesterday's post, I called MO-94 "Highway 94." This is consistent with how Missourians usually refer to their highways: Highway 30, Highway 100, Highway 47, etc. Before the yuppie colonization of St. Charles County, however, it was not unusual to hear MO-94 called "94 Highway." I have no idea why.

Likewise, MODOT has been trying very hard to get people in the St. Louis area to refer to Highway 40 as Interstate 64. Most people that I know still say "Highway 40," if for no other reason than to be obstinate. The highway actually has a name, sort of. It's officially "The Daniel Boone Expressway" in St. Louis County and "The Red Feather Expressway" in St. Louis City. Really old folks call the portion in the City the "Express Highway," the name it apparently had when it was planned and built.

Another colloquialism that seems to have disappeared is to refer to all of Missouri outside of St. Louis as "Out State," as in "Nixon carried out state heavily." In it's day, St. Louis was "The City" and all the rest of the state was "Out State."

The last one that can think of, that I have not heard for years, is to call a six-pack of beer a "handy-six," as in "Pick up a handy-six on your way home."

So, let's take the Express Highway to get out of The City, and when we get Out State we'll take 94 Highway and pick up a handy-six. By the way, This Busch's For You!


Carnealian said...

I think the local talk is pretty interesting. I know in California the highways are "the" 101 or "the" 94. Where here in PA we just say 81, 83, 22, etc.

I can't think of anything really strange people say around here except yuns and ain't. Those are annoying enough that I try to block it out when people say it because frankly it makes them sound stupid, but that's just my opinion.
it's a state where Blue Ball, Intercourse, Climax, Bird-in-Hand, Virginville, Paradise, Mars, and Slippery Rock are all located -- plus: Djeetyet? (Did you eat yet?) plus dippy eggs -- and chipped ham -- and turkeys get "filling"

Jeff said...

I was only made aware of highway 64's importance last summer when we drove to the Outer Banks in NC- thus traveling the full route of 64. I always assumed it was the mighty highway farty and no other. Shoot. There are 18 numbers that can be used to reference that highway. We had to pick one!

The eastern terminus of I-64 is not the road's easternmost point. After crossing Hampton Roads through the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and entering Norfolk, the road makes a wide loop toward Virginia Beach and through that city's northwest side. The road then curves toward its final destination on the west side of Chesapeake. From the point where the road enters Chesapeake, I-64 "East" actually runs westward, ending at a location known as Bower's Hill near the edge of the Great Dismal Swamp where it joins Interstate 664. Today, I-64 is no longer signed as "East" or "West" between Bower's Hill and I-264 to limit possible confusion, rather it is signed as the INNER or OUTER loops of the Hampton Roads Beltway.

Meagan said...


In my little southern oregon area, we refer to "The Highway" or "The Freeway". No need for all those multiple numbers.

love meagan
I saw you on the TV last night, before an earthquake ate you. I figured it must be you, it was your town.

Meagan said...

huh? I have no clue what you're talking about. I guess I should click on that link...
one of the locals was Medford Oregon

Amy in SC soon to be StL said...

Ah, you left out calling I-70 by the arch 'the depressed section'.
you're right -- and just what you what running right next to your most famous tourist attractions is something called "the depressed section"

Bruce said...

Jim, you know way too much about my state(VA)... ;)

Here in Falwellville(aka Lynchburg), we have a "bypass" that literally splits the city in half. It's US 29, but everyone calls it "The Expressway", and when you're giving directions, you tell people to look out for landmarks, instead of street names or route numbers. Also, most of the main drags are called by their route numbers, instead of street names.
The odd thing, I think, that llinois and Missouir do is to put only the names of distant cities on the big green Interstate signs -- Tulsa, Memphis, Kansas City, Chicago -- instead of the names of the local cities (some with populations above 50K) where most of the traffic is headed

The Phoenix said...

St. Louis also pronounces stuff really weird. It's the complete hacking and bastardization of French I've ever seen!

Des Peres being pronounced "Duh-Pear"
Florissant becoming "FLOOR-uh-sant"
Gravois becomming "GRA-voy"
Chouteau is now "SHOW-tow"
In St. Charles, Jungermann is pronounced "Junger-man" instead of "Younger-man."
considering immigration trends, it will soon be be pronounced "Hounger-man"

Meagan said...

Ahhhhh, nope. Not me. Still here. Bloggin' away. No worries.
but it was on TV