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a question for all you nice Americans

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#1 of 23 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted September 27 2001 - 11:00 AM

I'm writing a journal article for an American readership at the moment and I need help in making a cultural reference. In the UK, there are several towns which are famous for being places where people go to retire (Frinton or Bournemouth being the prime examples). Are there any similar places in America? [Before anyone offers info about the 'snowbird' phenomenon, I know about it, but it's centred around a particular state or at least a specific part of the country rather than a specific city isn't it?].

#2 of 23 OFFLINE   Brian Perry

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Posted September 27 2001 - 11:05 AM


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#3 of 23 OFFLINE   Jonathan Burk

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Posted September 27 2001 - 11:09 AM

Palm Springs

There is also a developer who builds "master planned active adult" communities. They're called Del Webb Sun City's, and they seem to be pretty popular.

#4 of 23 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted September 27 2001 - 11:11 AM

The cliche is usually Florida. Several towns are famous for their retirement communities: Palm Beach, Boca Raton. I hear Miami Beach is making a comeback, but that also attracts a younger crowd.

In California, I suppose it would be Palm Springs, though that's famous for a number of other things as well (how many other towns have streets named after Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Gerry Ford)?

[quote] a particular state

[quote] I am shocked, SHOCKED that a proper British author would commit such a linguistic faux pas. It is geometrically impossible for anything to be centered "around". Things are centered "on" a single point, "around" which they revolve. We Americans have utterly corrupted this usage with our inveterate sloppiness, but that's no reason you Brits need follow suit. Posted Image

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#5 of 23 OFFLINE   James Q Jenkins

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Posted September 27 2001 - 11:17 AM

As said before, the state of Florida is known as a retirement Haven here in the states. The entire state, not just a town. ------------------ -JQJ

#6 of 23 OFFLINE   Rich Malloy

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Posted September 27 2001 - 11:23 AM

Arizona and New Mexico are also popular retirement states, but south Florida is the classic golden years destination.
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#7 of 23 OFFLINE   Hugh Jackes

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Posted September 27 2001 - 11:27 AM

Florida aka God's waiting room aka The checkout zone Or, here in Southern California, Leisure World: aka Seizure World aka Leisure Prison [Edited last by Hugh Jackes on September 27, 2001 at 02:29 PM]
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#8 of 23 OFFLINE   Deane Johnson

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Posted September 27 2001 - 11:27 AM

Mesa and Scottsdale, Arizona Mesa tends to be lower in cost, Scottsdale a bit on the ritzy side.

#9 of 23 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted September 27 2001 - 11:51 AM

two places popped into my head when reading your question. florida and palm springs. it's almost a running joke that retired people go there. ------------------ You step in the stream, But the water has moved on. This page is not here. [Edited last by Ted Lee on September 27, 2001 at 02:52 PM]

#10 of 23 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted September 27 2001 - 11:54 AM

Thanks for the rapid responses, guys. Michael, interesting point, and I am aware of the distinction. However, a couple of years ago, I decided to throw caution to the winds re: 'centres round', for two reasons. First, the phrase has entered into common usage to the extent that rather like 'hopefully', it has arguably lost its original meaning and the style guides I've consulted have as much as admitted that its use is unlikely to cause offence. Second, I think that I can justify 'centres around' as a valid phrase with a meaning distinct from 'centres on'. It's true that 'centres on' is better if you strictly mean 'centres' as a synonym of 'targetting', and in such circumstances I would use that phrase. However, arguably 'centres round' means something rather different - you are not saying 'it is focused precisely here and everything else revolves around [i.e. is dependent on] it'. Instead you are saying that 'somewhere around here is the greatest concentration of the factor in which we are interested'. In the example in question, I was saying that I knew that the geographical centre of the phenomenon was 'round about' there, but I did not wish to commit myself to citing a specific location as a centre of activity. Hence the need for a different phrase.

#11 of 23 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted September 27 2001 - 12:19 PM

Oh well, I guess you can't stand in the way of progress, whether it's technological or linguistic. M.
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#12 of 23 OFFLINE   LarryDavenport



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Posted September 27 2001 - 12:35 PM

I wonder if Florida is an East Coast thing and Arizona is a West Coast thing. ------------------ These chicks know how to party! - MoJo JoJo

#13 of 23 OFFLINE   Glenn Overholt

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Posted September 27 2001 - 01:25 PM

A lot of doctors here once recommended that some of their elderly patients move to Phoenix, where the air was really clean and dry. I think its still dry, but it has grown so big that the clean part no longer works. An interesting footnote. Glenn

#14 of 23 OFFLINE   Eric Scott

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Posted September 27 2001 - 01:31 PM

Andrew, You Brits are are just too gracious. Sometimes I wonder if your just being sarcastic? (ie Topic question) Posted Image

Here's the link you need to really check out.

Sarasota, Florida is a monumental middleclass retirement spot.

Here's a little tid-bit. The best kept secret in retirement towns is Cape Cod. Not commonly known for the high number of retired government agents.

[Edited last by Eric Scott on September 27, 2001 at 04:34 PM]

#15 of 23 OFFLINE   Scott H

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Posted September 27 2001 - 09:45 PM

Florida and Arizona. I think that would be a fair analogy to town references in the UK. It's a little harder to specifically reference cities here, in light of the scale and population.

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#16 of 23 OFFLINE   Dennis Reno

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Posted September 28 2001 - 04:34 AM

Another (un-PC) name for Florida: The Elephant Graveyard Now before anyone flames me, my Grandfather (who will be 80 next year) came up with the name. He refuses to move full-time to Florida because, in his words, "I'm not ready to die." He and my Grandmother have a winter home in Florida. It is hysterical to listen to his description of the "old, cranky SOBs". In many ways, youth is a state of mind...

#17 of 23 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted September 28 2001 - 11:13 AM

Thanks for all the input. I think I'll just use 'Florida'. Curious how to the average Brit, Florida is seen as one giant amusement park (at least outside the hurricane season) - the idea of it being associated with older adults is an alien concept.

#18 of 23 OFFLINE   Ricky Hustle

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Posted September 28 2001 - 12:36 PM

Vegas. There are many retirement communities here, and the old folk just love hanging out at those nickel slot machines all day long.

#19 of 23 OFFLINE   Seth Paxton

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Posted September 28 2001 - 08:03 PM


the idea of it being associated with older adults is an alien concept.

[quote]Not once you visit there and spend every day behind people going 20 mph with their turn signal on. Posted Image

It's quite the running gag in the States. However, I always thought of the curve as the panhandle meets the rest of the state (on the Gulf side) as being one of the bigger retirement sections.

South FLA may be a retirement area, but it's also such a PARTY area that it balances out. Some of the other areas of FLA are for retirement ONLY it seems. Posted Image

Phoenix for the reasons mentioned above. Hell, I'd move there, it's freaking beautiful AND LOTS OF BASEBALL year round. Spring training, D'back, summer rookie leagues, etc.

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#20 of 23 OFFLINE   TheoGB



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Posted September 29 2001 - 01:40 AM

I'd have to say Andrew that while Bryson supports your 'hopefully' stance in 'Troublesome Words' he would still take you up short on 'centres around'. 'Course, I'd have probably said the same thing myself. Posted Image


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