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Mama Deb
mamadeb
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December 2010
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Mama Deb [userpic]
To the prom or to prom?

This is driving me nuts - when did this change?

When I was in high school (class of 1981), no one went "to prom" or took someone "to prom". It was always "the prom." You don't take someone to movies, or to restaurant, or to school dance, or even go to senior breakfast.

But in the last two or three years, that's what I'm hearing. Oh, people still say "the prom" as part of the prepositional phrase, but I'm hearing the phrase without the article a lot lately - I'm thinking about last night's Without a Trace, but also Grey's Anatomy last year. Or was it two years ago? Whatever - the one with the prom in the hospital.

When did people start dropping the "the" when it comes to the prom?

Okay. From what I've gathered, it's mostly a regionalism that may have been made more general by the movie Pretty in Pink.

Comments
(no subject) - (Anonymous)

The context puts "prom" as a noun, not a verb in this case, so I don't know.

I do know that "prom" comes from "promenade", but I'm not sure that high school students would.

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

Brits only started having proms in the past few years.

I'm beginning to think it's a combination of regionalism and Pretty in Pink.

But they do have Proms as a series of concerts in the Royal Albert Hall in the summer and early fall. I went to one in 1988.

You went to an end of term dance in the summer of 1988?

No. I went to a summer classical music concert in England in 1988. See here.