Growing up, my parents would refer to Interstate 95 (you know, the main highway on the east coast) as THE 95.  Seemed right.  I grew up mimicking that term.

It wasn’t until about a year ago that someone stared at me and blurted out “What the hell did you just call 95?” that I realized that there’s a great debate…

Do you refer to Interstate 95 simply as “95” or “the 95”?

If you said just “95”, you’re wrong.  It’s the 95.  If you’re going to take a highway, do you say “I’m going to take highway” or do you say “I’m going to take THE highway?”.  Right- THE highway.  When you refer to the Merritt Parkway, is it THE Merritt or just Merritt?  Again, THE Merritt.

One of the most commonly debated issues for Connecticut drivers is which highway they should take.  It’s a gamble as to whether the 95 or the Merritt will have less traffic.  (I always go with the Merritt, but I’ve been screwed on that decision before- Ultimately, it’s just a coin toss)

So, if you were to discuss Interstate 95’s traffic patterns one would say:

“I’m going to try to avoid the congestion through Norwalk on THE 95 by taking THE Merritt.”  ***Ding, Ding, Ding!  That is correct!***

Let’s take a look at a few of the most famous highways in the country:

THE Overseas Highway in Florida…

THE Lincoln Highway in Indiana…

THE Blue Ridge Parkway that stretches from Virginia to North Carolina…

THE Extraterrestrial Highway (near Area 51)

THE Historic Columbia River Highway in Oregon

And most importantly as a comparison THE 5 in L.A.!  (Note: THE 5, is also known as Interstate 5 just like Interstate 95- but they still use the “the”.)

Why would the 95 be any different?  So, go ahead, digest this information- Realize the error in your ways and begin referring to Interstate 95 correctly… The 95.  Tell your kids and friends too.


Image: (c) iStock/Thinkstock


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