After talking to Mark Evanier this afternoon, he posted a link to the audio on his site, and added:
I’ll tell you how stupid I can be at times. When you do these by-phone interviews, they call you and as you wait to go on, you’re usually listening to the station. Waiting for Paul to introduce me, I’m hearing a traffic report that the 270 Southbound is jammed due to heavy holiday traffic and an overturned vehicle…and I think, “Ooh…better stay off the 270 Southbound.” Of course, two seconds later, I realize that I’m not likely to be travelling the 270 Southbound in the next hour or so since it’s in St. Louis and I’m in Los Angeles. I don’t know why I keep falling for this…only that I do.
I laughed as I read that, not just because it was funny, but because Mark referred to “the 270.” Only in California are highway numbers preceded by “the” — “the 5” or “the 101” or “the 405” — while here, it’s simply “270” or “55” or “44.”
Similarly, I’ve had to train our new sports guy, Kevin Wheeler, who just moved here from Chicago, to stop saying “freeways.” We don’t have any of those in St. Louis — they’re all “highways,” as in “highway 40.” Of course, I spent my childhood in a state with “expressways” and “parkways.”
Any other road-naming quirks around the country?