Every city has its particular characteristics that, for whatever reason – the culture of the city, the geography (the physical area) of the city, the history of the city – help shape (change) the people who live there. People adapt (take on) certain attitudes, certain characteristics, certain behaviors.
Someone who lives in Los Angeles is called an Angelino (Angelino). In Los Angeles, we Angelinos have our own personality and characteristics. The one I want to talk about today is feeling entitled.
To feel entitled means to feel like you deserve whatever you get, that, in a sense, the world owes you something. To be entitled means to feel that you’re number one, you’re important, and that whatever good things you get, you get because of who you are or what you did. In other words, you’re so good, you’re so wonderful, that the world should treat you like a king or queen.
This is, of course, is a very negative way to describe someone’s personality, but I think it really is true in the city where I live. One of the places you see this sense of entitlement in Angelino culture is on the freeways.
We spend a lot of time in our cars in L.A., and for that reason, we have some of the worst traffic (too many cars on the road) in the United States. We have too many cars for too small of a space, and we don’t have a good public transportation system.
Logically, when you have a lot of people spending a lot of time in their cars and those same people feel entitled, well, that leads to certain problems.
On the freeways, it leads to (results in) a lot of honking. To honk means to make a loud noise with your car by using your car horn. We also use the verb “to beep” your horn. Beeping your horn usually means you are making noise with your horn but for a short time. Honking your horn means that you make noise for a longer time, especially when you’re angry.
When you feel entitled, you feel that everyone else should just get out of your way! This means that there are a lot of impatient drivers in LA. And they honk. A lot.
The situation is very different in other parts of the United States. Back in Minnesota, where I’m from, people honk, of course, but it’s not considered a very nice thing to do. You don’t do it very often, and if you can avoid honking, you do.
The size of the city certainly makes a difference. Los Angeles, like New York or Chicago, is such a big city that you think, “Well, I’m never going to see these people again anyway, and so I don’t really have to care about them.” In a smaller city or town, you may actually know the person you’re honking at, or at least see them again.
So if you ever come to Los Angeles, and you hear me honking at you, don’t take it personally – but do get out of my way!
Photo credit: John Greenfield, CC