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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

Ah. Yes.

"Proms" have been American things since at least - huh - since the late 19th C, according to some sources, but they didn't begin to reach today's levels until the thirties.

And they're different things in HS and some colleges. In HS, they're the big formal dance at the end of the senior (and maybe junior?) years. In my college, it was a big dinner-dance with parents just before graduation.