I have been called out for referring to highway 101 as the 101. One of our radio listeners on kgoe calls every time I put the in front of 101 or 5. Many of us from Southern California add the to highway names because that's the way they are referenced during traffic reports on L.A. radio. From what I understand it is not necessary to put the in front of the highway number it's just something some of us do. It is also not necessary to add the when saying that someone went to hospital. In England they never ad the there. We, on the other hand, always ad the to hospital as in "I'm going to the hospital".
It seems like a silly thing for one of our listeners to get so wrapped up in, but if this person has such a problem with it, it is likely others are annoyed when they hear the 5 or the 36. My first inclination was to tell the listener to "go play on freeway", but it is not nice to ridicule your customers, so I wrote this blog instead.
How do you refer to our highways, hospitals etc.?