The Other I

March 6, 2013

The high ground

Filed under: Cultural Differences,The English — theotheri @ 9:10 pm
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Britain doesn’t have Main Streets.  People in Britain know what a main street is – the street with the main shops in a town or city.  But they invariably call it “High Street.”  I don’t remember ever seeing a street actually named “Main Street.”

Although it’s where the banks and businesses are generally located, High Streets are not named after the High and Mighty.  The names were generated almost two thousand years ago by the road system built by the Romans.  They chose the highest possible location for the road in order to avoid periodic flooding.  So the main road running through towns here are literally the highest streets.

It’s quite interesting to try to guess on entering a town for the first time which is the High Street.  I don’t get it wrong very often.

It’s not because I’m so smart.

It was the Romans who were the smart ones.

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