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Between the sidewalk and the curb

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Topic: 9) Between the sidewalk and the curb (1 of 11), Read 107 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Wednesday, December 02, 1998 11:09 AM

Ed Beller, of San Francisco, California, writes: "This question is similar to the earlier one about the space between a hole and the earth dug out of it. What do we call the area between the sidewalk and the curb, usually seen along suburban streets and planted with grass and shade trees? I had some visitors from Australia who said it is a 'nature strip,' but another Australian told me that is just the same thing as a 'median strip,' which is in the middle of the road."


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Topic: 9) Between the sidewalk and the curb (2 of 11), Read 101 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Mark Slagle (smark@x15.com)
Date: Wednesday, December 02, 1998 04:55 PM

On 12/2/98 11:09:03 AM, Barbara Wallraff wrote:
>Ed Beller, of San Francisco,
>California, writes: "This
>question is similar to the
>earlier one about the space
>between a hole and the earth
>dug out of it. What do we call
>the area between the sidewalk
>and the curb, usually seen
>along suburban streets and
>planted with grass and shade
>trees? I had some visitors
>from Australia who said it is
>a 'nature strip,' but another
>Australian told me that is
>just the same thing as a
>'median strip,' which is in
>the middle of the road."

This was an active topic in the Usenet
group alt.usage.english a few years
back. I don't recall any of the ones
that folks came up with, and there were
several from different regions and
countries, but none of them seemed
pre-emminently suitable. Perhaps someone
could check with the group and see if
anyone remembers better than I, or has
an archive.

=Mark



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Topic: 9) Between the sidewalk and the curb (3 of 11), Read 50 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Jason Taniguchi (jasont@ccp.ca)
Date: Monday, December 07, 1998 06:36 PM

From the Toronto Serial Diners Collective:

The "besidewalk"; or the "grassway"; or the "arboway"; or the "arbogroove".

The latter sounds like something you'd see on an old 60's album cover: "101 Strings, presented in ARBOGROOVE!" That naturally makes it our choice of preference.


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Topic: 9) Between the sidewalk and the curb (4 of 11), Read 89 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Dan Dillon (ddillon1@shrike.depaul.edu)
Date: Thursday, December 03, 1998 10:11 AM

It's called a parkway.

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Topic: 9) Between the sidewalk and the curb (5 of 11), Read 82 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Thursday, December 03, 1998 05:47 PM

Well done! Indeed it is, according to my Random House Unabridged, though the dictionary specifies that this is a regional usage, most common in New York State and western New England. Do you suppose that's because we have more sidewalks and accompanying "parkways" up here? (I, for one, am proud to be a Yankee.)

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Topic: 9) Between the sidewalk and the curb (6 of 11), Read 79 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Henrik Strandskov (strandskov@aol.com)
Date: Thursday, December 03, 1998 10:51 PM

In the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, we know that the strip between the sidewalk and the curb is called a boulevard. This does not prevent us from using, or understanding others' use of, the same word to mean a kind of street. For that matter, we have streets that are formally named "boulevards". I don't think many Twin Citians would consider the following sentence unduly odd: "I was walking my dog on the boulevard along Stinson Boulevard." When my wife, a Maine Yankee, first came here 25 years ago, she thought the usage quaint, but now she uses it as naturally as we natives do.

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Topic: 9) Between the sidewalk and the curb (7 of 11), Read 66 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Peter Casey (pcasey@chicago.us.mensa.org)
Date: Monday, December 07, 1998 12:49 AM

In Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois communities I have lived in, the term for the area between the street and sidewalk is "easement". This follows from the fact it is the undeveloped part of a roadway easement, the part that has neither a road, nor a sidewalk on it. Good place to bury gas lines, water pipes, and such things.

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Topic: 9) Between the sidewalk and the curb (8 of 11), Read 63 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Doug Allen (allend@xtra.co.nz)
Date: Monday, December 07, 1998 04:11 AM

In New Zealand we call the grassy strip 'twixt road and footpath the Berm. Checks out in Chambers Dictionary too. I prefer the sound of your American parkway though - very pastoral.

Doug Allen.

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Topic: 9) Between the sidewalk and the curb (9 of 11), Read 55 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Monday, December 07, 1998 09:08 AM

"Easement," according to my dictionaries, means simply a right of way. And a "berm" can be either the shoulder of a road or a raised path, such as alongside a canal. Thus it seems to me that both words could possibly be used for the thing Ed has in mind, but their emphases may be other than what he wants. The variety of words for this one is wonderful.

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Topic: 9) Between the sidewalk and the curb (10 of 11), Read 12 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Gillian Wogin (pippin@cyberus.ca)
Date: Tuesday, December 15, 1998 11:54 AM

In England, it's called the grass verge.

Webster's defines verge in the context of English Feudal Law as the area over which an official had special jurisdiction (such as the land surrounding the royal palace, under the jurisdiction of the king's marshall). This would make verge equivalent in the legal sense, I suppose, to easement.

(You have to bear in mind, though, that the sidewalk is called the pavement in England.)

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Topic: 9) Between the sidewalk and the curb (11 of 11), Read 40 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Julian Burnside (burnside@owendixon.com)
Date: Wednesday, December 09, 1998 10:41 PM

In Australia it is a "nature strip".
If it is in the center of the road, it is still called a nature strip (according to the Macquarie Dictionary, although it is generally called a median strip. A median strip may be made of concrete, in which case it will only be called a median strip, not a nature strip.
Julian Burnside

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Topic: No Topic (1 of 3), Read 55 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Jason Dilg (jdilg@hotmail.com)
Date: Friday, December 04, 1998 06:56 PM

I heard, a long time ago, that the strip is called the "mail strip." Has anyone else heard that or did my Dad just make it up?

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Topic: No Topic (2 of 3), Read 42 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Saturday, December 05, 1998 11:09 AM

That one's not in my dictionaries, Jason. But you've got me curious: what does that strip have to do with mail?

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Topic: No Topic (3 of 3), Read 20 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Dorothy Glantz (dml.glantz@swipnet.se)
Date: Saturday, December 12, 1998 03:53 AM

What does 'long time ago' mean, never mind the 'mail strip'.... And what strip? The mall or the Monty? That's it! Unemployed postal workers!!!


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