It’s not a new mistake. Errors like this have appeared in news stories before. Even Starbucks expressed a lack of understanding recently about what communities are in LA. But the fact remains that it’s not that complicated to differentiate communities like Silverlake from suburbs like Simi Valley.
Well, it must be complicated, because Simi Valley (Wikipedia) is an incorporated city just outside of Los Angeles County. Or maybe its just complicated to me, because I’ve always viewed Los Angeles largely as one big suburban sprawl (with the exception of downtown).
That said, the Random House Dictionary definition of a suburb isn’t on my side – but neither is it on TJ’s:
1. a district lying immediately outside a city or town, esp. a smaller residential community.
2. the suburbs, the area composed of such districts.
3. an outlying part.
Since we’ve lately been debating the definitions of other words (like insipid) and other city related definitions (what is the Eastside?) I thought this was as good a time as any to ask the readers what they think about What Is A Suburb?
I don’t think anyone would argue with calling Silverlake, Echopark, Koreatown, or even SiFi “neighborhoods” – but, dictionary definitions aside, is the term “suburb” offensive and/or colloquially wrong?
TJ Sullivan also posted last year about the confusion of defining the different communities of Los Angeles…