This latest idea was brought to my attention by reader Brian. Why do we say that we’re going out “to the bar” when we could mean a multitude of bars?
I say “to the bar,” however, I’ve only said it for the past year or so. Granted, I just turned 23, so it could be an age thing.
Until recently, I would say, “We’re going out to the Hong Kong,” or, “We’re going out to the bars on Boylston Street.” I would always make it specific to a certain bar or location. If I didn’t generalize, I would say, “We’re going out to the bars.” I would say that in Boston. At Fairfield, I would always specify the particular bar. During my semester in Florence, I would always specify the bar as well, because we always, always knew exactly where we were going at the beginning of the night.
So, why did this change?
I think I just started repeating what my friends here in Boston said. Again, being so young (and not much of a bar-hopper compared to most of my friends), I’m relatively new to the bar scene, so I decided that I might as well repeat what more experienced bar-hoppers said, therefore making me sound more in the know.
It doesn’t make sense. Why would I say that I’m going out to the bar if I may hit up three or four?
I guess “the bar” is right up there with “prom.” It has been invented, it varies from place to place, and nobody is even positive where it originated.
Time for another poll! Do you say, “I’m going out to the bar,” when you could mean any bar in particular?