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Attention Highway Geeks! : Writers' Block Party • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Attention Highway Geeks!

What's going on in your writing world? Connect with the writing community here and talk about whatever's on your mind.
jmar2
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Posts: 3626
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 2:22 pm
Location: Marco Island, Florida

Attention Highway Geeks!

Postby jmar2 » Tue Feb 14, 2006 5:58 am


jmar2
Major General
 
Posts: 3626
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 2:22 pm
Location: Marco Island, Florida

Attention Highway Geeks!

Postby jmar2 » Tue Feb 14, 2006 5:58 am

Being somewhat anal, I like to get my facts correct when I can. Then I don't lay awake at night obsessing about world ending events such as 'shoulda', 'woulda' and 'coulda'.

I cannot find in Strunk and White any reference to the correct style for writing a United States Route number. So I will take a consensus: is it US15, US 15 or US-15. And no copping out by suggesting I write it "Highway 15".

The big bucks are on US 15

Thanks,

John

Catherine
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RE: Attention Highway Geeks!

Postby Catherine » Tue Feb 14, 2006 7:25 am

John I referred to the old famous Route 66.
It's written U.S. Highway 66.
So, if you drop the "Highway" it would read U.S. 66 .
That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. Good luck.

jmar2
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Posts: 3626
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 2:22 pm
Location: Marco Island, Florida

RE: Attention Highway Geeks!

Postby jmar2 » Tue Feb 14, 2006 7:49 am

Yeah, and there's quite the difference when you read your work aloud. As I'm reading the narrative and "She jumped into her Porsche and headed south to Harrisburg on US 15...", it really sounds stiffer than "...south to Harrisburg on Route 15..."

My problem is the connotation. In my locale, if you leave the U.S. off then '15' is thought of as a state highway and not a U.S. highway. In many places, that may not matter. But I'm just an old fuddy-duddy and seem to be stuck on the thought. Maybe I'm just using it as an excuse to avoid ending the story. Once they get into Harrisburg ...

Thanks,

John

Catherine
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RE: Attention Highway Geeks!

Postby Catherine » Tue Feb 14, 2006 7:57 am

Oh I see.
(We have the same situation where I live, regarding state Highways.)
If you insist on being a fuddy-duddy, then I have no choice but to tell you
to quit stalling, and in the words of a wise southern gentleman, just "Git 'er done!"

Jamesaritchie
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RE: Attention Highway Geeks!

Postby Jamesaritchie » Tue Feb 14, 2006 8:27 am

Are there still any U.S. highways remaining? Certainly not many. Most were broken up and given to the states when the interstate system came along, or the new interstate took the route of the old US highway and either covered it over, or ran alongside it, at which point the U.S. highway fell out of use and were often sold.

I have a friend who has a two mile driveway that was once section of a a U.S. Highway. Many, many road that some still call U.S roads aren't really U.S. roads at all, and haven't been for many years, often decades.

But I'll bet that even in your locale, drivers know one road from another. I mean, just how many road 15s are there? Most states get just one of each.

This aside, the correct way to do anyting is to look it up. In narrative, you use whatever is on the road sign. In dialoge, you write it teh way people would say it in casual conversation.

People sometimes say something like "You take eye-seventy to eye-sixty-nine, then go south," but real people seldom get bogged down with calling things U.S. anything in conversation.

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Georganna
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Location: San Diego, CA

RE: Attention Highway Geeks!

Postby Georganna » Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:50 pm

Wouldn't it depend on your audience for how you name a highway?  For example, in California, most people refer to the main arteries as "freeways".  I give away my eastern roots by saying, for example, that I live about a mile east of I-15 (yes, there is a highway 15 right up the middle of California!).  However, locals all refer to this road as "the fifteen".  Along the main east-west artery, which is technically Interstate 8, runs route 80, which locals refer to as either "old eight" or "old 80".  If you're writing for a wider audience, I'd suggest checking with the AP Stylebook for nonfiction and the MLA or Chicago for fiction.  Strunk & White just covers the basics, not the nit-pickin' details.

Cheerfully submitted for contradiction and controversy.


jmar2
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Posts: 3626
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 2:22 pm
Location: Marco Island, Florida

RE: Attention Highway Geeks!

Postby jmar2 » Tue Feb 14, 2006 1:10 pm

Thanks Georganna. That's exactly my situation in my novel. Locals refer to the highway as the "Harrisburg Pike". Technically it's U.S. Route 15. Within the scenes of the novel it's North Front Street and South Front Street. Outside of Wormleysburg it's a joint highway, U.S. 11 & U.S. 15.

If I were driving it up from Virginia where I live, I'd call it the Lee Highway as that's the local name for U.S. 11.

Maybe I'll just call it 'the road south'. :)

Jamesaritchie
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RE: Attention Highway Geeks!

Postby Jamesaritchie » Tue Feb 14, 2006 5:38 pm


JABarnes
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Posts: 418
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RE: Attention Highway Geeks!

Postby JABarnes » Tue Feb 14, 2006 5:45 pm


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