Attention screenwriters: it's THE Chesapeake Bay

I heard this mistake on last night’s Bones. It’s not the first time I’ve noticed it on TV. I suppose one could explain it away by saying that the characters aren’t from the area and don’t know (although they appear to work in the vicinity of D.C.), but who are we kidding here?

Anyway, as a good local boy I feel compelled to state for the record that the estuary running through Maryland and Virginia can be called “the Bay”, “the Chesapeake”, or “the Chesapeake Bay” but not “Chesapeake Bay”. It always takes an article, like rivers do.

Interesting. But I have to point out that non-locals don’t use the article. Most Bays don’t take an article, so elsewhere people won’t use it with your bay – it’s Hudson Bay, not The Hudson Bay. And Massachusetts Bay and San Francisco Bay. It doesn’t help that I’ve always heard that bridge called “Chesapeake Bay Bridge” and never “THE Chesapeake Bay Bridge”.
It’s a notable error, of course, if use of the “The” is practically mandatory among locals, and your character is supposed to be a local. But it’d be out of place to have a New Yorker emphasize the “the”. Or even a Washingtonian, I think.

Around here, it’s just called “the Bay Bridge”.

I get what you’re saying. Actually, I have also heard marine scientists working for the Smithsonian leave out the article, which makes sense–they have to talk about bays all over the world; why should they bother to learn the local nomenclature for each and every one?

THE Ohio State University

If you come to Southern California, remember: it’s THE 405, not 405. :cool:

More often than not, I see the mistake made the other way 'round. The writers (who certainly live in southern California, probably for a while, if not from there originally) have characters NOT from SoCal refer to an interstate as “The 87/The 95.”

And also, how do you specify a direction? For instance, if I were giving directions from here to get to Montreal, I’d say “take 89 north.” Would you say “Take the 89 north?” or would you say “go north on the 89?”

Either way, our way sounds better. :wink:

Note from a screenwriter: I’d be willing to bet you that it is written correctly in the script but that the actors dropped the article when spewing out lines. I’ve heard/seen actors get verb tenses wrong (for example: “She lives at…” when talking about a dead gal) when they were right in the script they were handed.

There’s a reason writers often say that actors and directors are the ones who screw up great scripts… :wink:

Wouldn’t the bridge almost always be referred to with the definite article? Maybe it was said as “We were driving across The Chesapeake Bay Bridge” but it gets heard as “We were driving across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge”.

(Who thinks he might have driven across The Chesapeake Bay Bridge on his way from Norfolk, Virginia to New York. Would that be right?)

Yeah, it’s a pretty good chance you did. There’s only 2 bridges outta Norfolk really that you’re likely to take, and unless you REALLY knew your way around town on how to avoid traffic, you probably took that one.
(It’s also if i recall correctly the location in the film Mission Impossible III for the crazy bridge/helicopter strafing run and extraction of the villain).
That was kinda cool to go to the movies, and randomly see one of your local landmarks being “blown up” over the course of the action movie. Though i’m not sure if it WAS the chesapeake bay bridge, but it looked pretty damn close to it.

One time a couple friends and I got really drunk and decided it would be a good idea to go to Maryland and dip my head in the Chesapeake Bay in February. It wasn’t. The Chesapeake Bay smells like ass!

Yeah, well, guess what the guy before you dipped in it?

Hmm, I didn’t think about that. Shit!

Oh, and my post should read "dipped our heads*. I wasn’t the only idiot that thought this was a good idea at 6AM on a February morning.

I caught part of the most recent ‘Die Hard’ movie a while back, and Bruce Willis’ character said something like this in reference to the Baltimore Beltway, also known as Interstate 695. He said, “They’re on The 695, heading west” or something similar. It sounds very jarring to a native Marylander, as we just say the Beltway or 695. No one calls it The 695.

During the run of the X-Files, I think they butchered just about every highway in the Mid-Atlantic region. “The 95,” indeed…

Shouldn’t it be *The *The bay Bridge?

Sorry, no. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge (a.k.a. the Wm. Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bridge, but no one calls it that) connects the area near Annapolis with Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel connects the Tideswater area of Virginia near Norfolk with the Eastern Shore of Virginia (which is the southern tip of the peninsula that is mostly the Eastern Shore of Maryland).

Two different spans, more than 100 miles apart, with nearly the same name.

And here I figured that the Chesapeake bay bridge TUNNEL ought to connect to the Chesapeake Bay BRIDGE. :smack: Ignorance fought. Thanks!



I guess Blues Image got it wrong then… :slight_smile: