Thursday, March 3, 2011

Speaking C-ville

"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." - Thomas Jefferson

Like most friends, my friend C-ville has a language all her own. As I was thinking about ways to continue to share my friend with you, as well as get everyone excited about coming to Charlottesville, I thought I'd share some of this lingo with you. So, borrowing an idea from Style Weekly's "You're Very Richmond If...", "You Know You Are in Charlottesville When You Hear...":

"I was on the Corner until two last night." This doesn't mean the person was standing where two streets meet for hours. The Corner is an area of bars and restaurants next to the University of Virginia. Undergraduate students, graduate students, law school students, and faculty and staff often head to this area for lunch, dinner, or drinks. It includes a variety of options from the famous Bodo's Bagel, to Amigo's (a Mexican restaurant), St. Maarten's (a popular bar) and Arch's (a frozen yogurt hangout).

"I got stuck on 29 after the concert." 29 refers to Route 29, the major highway through the Charlottesville-Albermarle area. When you come in for the regional conference, you will spend some time driving Route 29. Traffic can get heavy on the road at points, especially after UVA sporting events, concerts at the John Paul Jones arena, and during rush hour. (Driving recommendation: If you know what lane you'll need to be in to get somewhere on 29, get into that lane as soon as you get on the highway and stay there. For example, if you have to make a left into the Doubletree hotel, when you turn onto 29, turn into the left lane and stay there. Changing lanes on 29 can be challenging!)

"So, I was on grounds talking with a third year..." UVA doesn't refer to its campus as a campus; instead it uses the term "grounds" to mean what campus means for most colleges. In addition, since Thomas Jefferson didn't believe that someone could be a senior in knowledge, undergraduates are not referred to as freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. They are, instead, identified by how many years they have attended the university. So, a junior would be a third year. This also means that, while UVA may have fifth year students, they don't have any "super seniors"

"My friend, the double Hoo, told me it was on Pantops somewhere." People who graduate from UVA often refer to themselves as Hoos. If someone received more than one degree from UVA, he or she will call him/herself a "double Hoo". Pantops is an area of Charlottesville. Often, when people talk about parts of C-ville, they will mention Pantops, UVA (or "grounds") and the Corner, or the Downtown Mall.

"But Barracks is in the county, right?" In the Commonwealth of Virginia (with the exception of Ashland, VA) our cities are not a part of our counties. Although we'll talk about the greater Charlottesville area like it is all Charlottesville, the city of Charlottesville is surrounded by Albermarle County, which is a separate entity. Our hotel is in the county. As is Barracks - which is short of Barracks Road, a wonderful shopping center with stores like Chioces and Old Navy and restaurants like Hot Cakes and Ruby Tuesdays.

To end this journal, I should probably explain why I led off with a Thomas Jefferson quote. Charlottesville is very much Jefferson Country, and nowhere is this more true than at his university. Thomas Jefferson is quoted very often on grounds and at nearly every occasion. A quote about exercise from Jefferson is even in one of UVA's gyms. Students use quotes from Jefferson to advertise their events or support their point of view. I thought having Jefferson weigh in on the usefulness of sharing some of the style of C-ville would be a good thing.

Looking forward to seeing you in C-ville next month. And, I'll be around the conference if you have any problems translating C-ville language to English. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment