Wednesday, January 24, 2007

What is the meaning of "The"?

I vaguely remember that antediluvian time when preservationists in an unholy alliance with the Real Estate Industry revived the use of the word Faubourg to romantically describe the various extensions of the City. The Faubourg Marigny was the first I can remember coming into popular use to describe the area down river of the French Quarter.

I recall the area also commonly being called Marigny. Sometime relatively recently people have been referring to the area as "The" Marigny. I have even heard that form used by news readers and in the press. I don't ever recall hearing or reading it until recently, after the flood. I wonder if it is a postdiluvian affectation or if I just never noticed it. I have also heard the "the" prepended to other neighborhoods like Treme and Bywater. That makes it seem more like an affectation. I wonder where it came from. This has been bugging me for a while. I've been tempted to post a comment on other bloggs when it was used. I have considered asking some of my blogger buddies why they use that construction but it never seemed quire appropriate in the context of a weighty discussion.

On related matter I often wonder if blog(g)er and blog(g)s have one "g" or two.


Sophmom said...

LOL. We have a neighborhood like that here. For as long as I can remember it was called Virginia-Highlands after the central intersection of Virginia and N. Highland Avenues. In the late 80s or maybe even the 90s, it suddenly became The Highlands. Ewww. I still don't like it.

I don't know about the Gs. Google has branded "Blogger" with two. When I tag "blogging" I use two also, although I'm not sure why.

mominem said...

"The" Highlands sound so pretentious.

Besides there are several neighborhoods who have used Highlands in their name. I have a friend who lives new the intersection of Virginia and Highlands (less than 2 blocks we have walked to dinner from her house) and another who lives in a neighborhood down the road near Ponce de Leon called Ponce-Highlands. I think there may be others since Highlands is such a long street.

That however is nothing like the ever expanding region of Buckhead which as far as I can tell gets bigger every year.

dangerblond said...

My friend lives in Bywater and she says it's just "Bywater," but Marigny is called "The Marigny." I assumed it was because it's a contraction of The Faubourg Marigny, with "faubourg" left out. Bywater was never called The Faubourg Bywater. We always say The French Quarter, too, not just French Quarter. We say The CBD, but not The Mid City. We say The Garden District, but not The Uptown.

mominem said...

Interesting DB,

I checked some web sites. The only one of the top few with used "the Marigny" at all was the Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association, and it's not generally capitalized and frequently called "the Marigny area" probably because their neighborhood is a larger area than the original Faubourg Marigny. Most other references simply call it Marigny or Faubourg Marigny. Wikipedia says Marigny is the alternate to Faubourg Marigny.

The use of the article "The" is appropriate when referring to The French Quarter, to differentiate it from the American Quarter (also referred to as The American Sector). The same is true of The Central Business District (CBD), as opposed to the Warehouse District or same other district. In those instances you are identifying one specific thing among several. The same is also true of Faubourgs, there were several.

I think I'll add this to my list of thing I'm on a crusade about, along with restoring the Daiquiri to a respectable position as a cocktail.

rcs said...

On related matter I often wonder if blog(g)er and blog(g)s have one "g" or two.

Simple enough.

'Blog' is short for web log, hence one 'g.'

As for 'blogger:'

"Words of one syllable that end in a single consonant preceded by a single vowel double the final consonant before a suffix beginning with a vowel." (from The American Heritage® Book of English Usage)

Hence the second 'g.'

Sophmom said...

You're right, Mominem. In fact, I believe that Buckhead expands daily. *sigh*

Ray said...

Would "The Lenox Square Mall" sound less mall-ey, and make central attraction of such an uppity area sound less ... well, nothing to get particularly uppity about?