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George Carlin

Why do we park in the driveway and drive on the parkway?


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2012-03-29 16:08:19
2012-03-29 16:08:19
Why you Drive on a ParkwayThis idea dates back before the time of the interstate system to the time of the great depression. In 1931, there was a WPA (Works Project Administration) project called Skyline Drive in the National Park Service's Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. This was a 105 mile road through the national park which provided a panoramic view of the park. Completed in 1939, it was thought that all long stretches of roads would run though parks to the point where long roads were deemed "parkways". Driveway and ParkwayFrom what I understand, 'way' means 'road'. So a driveway is a road that you drive on, typically either to the street or your garage. A parkway is a road through or to a park. Usually parkways are landscaped, or beautified, with medians or trees along the edges.

Park comes from an old word (parc I think) meaning something enclosed. Generally fancy landscaped areas in the old days were enclosed to keep the riff-raff out, and started being called parks....the name stuck. The military enclosed the places they stored their vehicles (wagons and such, up to modern stuff) and called them 'parks' as well. They began referring to storing their vehicles as 'parking' them. The term started applying to any vehicle sometime around just after the war of 1812 and gained popularity into WW2, and stuck. It just lost the meaning of 'enclosed'. When so many military veterans continued using the phrase when they became civilians, it became standard.

Driveways and ParkwaysThis question is not as random as you think. Driveways were initially much longer, leading from the road back to the main house on the property. So initially people really did drive on them. The word parkway was used to describe a well developed thoroughfare, complete with trees, grassy divided medians and other landscaping, thus the "park" in the name.

Here are more opinions and answers from other WikiAnswers Contributors:

  • I think this is a linguistic quirk incorporated into contemporary English as a direct result of an old GeorgeCarlin skit. But, I could be wrong.
  • Partly because English is one of the most free-for-all languages in the world, with fewer rules and more borrowed words than just about any other tongue. Besides the driveway conundrum: 1) The plural of foot is feet, but the plural of boot is boots (beet??), 2) A vegetable farmer is a person whose job is to produce produce, 3) Your nose can run and your feet can smell, 4) "In action" and "inaction" are opposites, 5) You can be overwhelmed, but not whelmed, 6) "Plague" has one syllable but "ague" has two, 7) "ghoti" can be pronounced "fish" (see George Bernard Shaw), 8) "ough" has at least five different pronunciations, 9) its, hers, yours, ours, whose, and theirs are the only possessives that do NOT take apostrophes and on and on and on.

Related Questions

For the same reason that a parkway is called a parkway when you drive on it... Use the link below to the related question"Why do we park in the driveway and drive on the parkway?" for more detail.

We drive on a parkway and park on a driveway because a parkway is defined a "a broad landscaped thoroughfare" and a driveway is defined as "a private road giving access from a public way to a building on abutting grounds."

It's irony. Ask Mr. Ironic W. Meaning.

Its overrated to do it the right way :p

because the man who invented the dictionary was drunk.

This, my friend, is the worlds greatest conundrum... The parkay and the driveway... you see, it happens because the world is backwards and if you park on the parkway, you get rear ended...

Hello, Before you park the car I guess you drive on..."it" ... Driveway ;) parkit doesn't sound good parkway sound like a street or something.

Because when you use your drive way, there is a 50/50 chance you will be using it to be on your WAY to DRIVE, hence the name driveway. The same is for the paekway, you are most likely going on your WAY to PARK.

Hundreds of years ago, cars used to be only for the richest people. So, they made parkways look like parks. That's where we got the term "parkway". Why we park in a driveway, I have no idea.

People just have a tendency to name things the opposite of what they really are. Think about Iceland and Greenland. Greenland is covered in ice, and Iceland is covered in greenery.

A "driveway" is primarily the path from the road or street to an individual home. In some cases it can be a long private access drive, and in others it leads to an enclosed garage (so you can drive on it as well as park on it).Conversely, the term "parkway" is a road, not a place to park, because it is based on the meaning of "park" to indicate trees and other greenery (found along or between the sides of the road).

Its kind of stupid isn't it, I bet some idiot came up with the name and that's why.

An economic enigma is an everyday mystery or an odd happening that has no discernible reason or answer, like why we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway.

The same reason they call goods that go by road a shipment and goods that go by ship a cargo.

You can also park in a parking lot and drive in a driveway

The English term "driveway" is primarily the path from the road or street to an individual home, often to an enclosed garage (so you can drive on it as well as park on it). Conversely, the term "parkway" is a road, not a place to park, because it is based on the meaning of "park" to indicate trees and other greenery (found along or between the sides of the road).

parking space car park parking lot drive driveway

I know the answer but I won't spoil your fun. Since it's one of those mean little tricks we play on people trying to learn the English language, I wouldn't want to make it easy for them.

Driving on a driveway or parking in a parkway will damage muffler bearings,bend your Johnson rods,and loosen the ka-niffle pins holding the blinker fluid tank...dont say you were not warned.........

No Parkway Drive is not a satanic band.

Parkways earned their name because they traditionally have greenery similar to that of a park. You do drive on driveways on the way to your house (especially if you have a long driveway).

Grass. They are also called weeds as they are growing where they are not supposed to. Often it is called a "parkway strip." On the other hand sometimes a wide road with median strip is called a parkway but you can't park on it but the strip of concrete into my garage is called driveway but I usually park on it.

You must park 5 feet away from a driveway.

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