[UFO Chicago] Re: More about OSS Chicago (Rob Latham)

Richard Royston rjroyston at ameritech.net
Fri Oct 10 11:11:43 EDT 2003

Rob Latham <rob at terizla.org> wrote:

> Unless you are a mountain-biking science geek!
> . Palos Hills: the only contoured area w/in 70 miles of downtown
> .....

This topic is a wonderful lead into all sorts of sociological
discussions and speculations. My own theory is as follows:

PR hucksters refer to those places near Chicago that most people can be
assumed not to know where or what they are (e.g. Vernon Hills) as
"Chicagoland". Geeks and other ordinary people, not wishing to be
mistaken for PR huscksters, more often use the term "Chicago".

The sensible answer to the apparently simple question "Where are you
from" is, in fact, extremely context-sensitive. If I am abroad and in
the company of people who know nothing of the States I usually say "I am
from America". For slightly more aware people I say "I am from the
States". For people who are even more aware, e.g. go to symphony
concerts, or are interested in Oriental Studies, etc, I say "I'm from
Chicago" unless I suspect that that will lead to a discussion of Al
Capone and machine guns. Sometimes I say I'm from Illinois.

If someone in a remote corner of Chicago (e.g. Hyde Park) asks me where
I'm from, I tell them "Irving Park", or "Old Irving Park". If someone
nearby asks me that, I say that I'm from Irving Park and Cicero.

If I were from Vernon Hills and anxious to attract an audience from more
that 2 or 3 miles away I think I would say "Chicago". As this thread has
demonstrated, many of the cosmopolitan inhabitants of this fair city
have very little idea where any place outside Chicago is!

Richard Royston

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