In the greater L.A. area, people have a habit of referring to the individual highways by name, rather than by number. One hears phrases like "the Fifteen" or "the Four-oh-five" rather than, as they say in San Francisco, "One-oh-one South", or in Nebraska, "Eye-eighty".

One might be persuaded that this reverential mode is a verbal relic of the days before the Interstate Highway System was numbered, and that the numbers are standing in for the destinations of the highways, such as Santa Monica Freeway. However, since the average age of inhabitants of Los Angeles is much younger than those who grew up driving in the era of Raymond Chandler, this cannot be the explanation for the reverence accorded highways, as reasonable as it sounds.

In the L.A. regional dialect, one also hears a certain tone of disdain in the phrase "surface streets". It is in this phrase, which may be defined as connoting "those streets along which people might ride bicycles", that the automobile-worshiping nature of the drivers of Los Angeles is apparent. One need only look to the movie Grease to find the deep-seated cultural worship of the automobile and its effects on the collective mind of Los Angeles, including the confusion of aqueducts with raceways.