Why do we drive on a parkway and park in our driveway?
This question, although taken to be humerous, has a very serious answer. Do you know what it is?
- Same way we fill out a form while filling it in, and how a house can burn down while burning up.
- we drive on roads and park on driveways!
- I don't know, how can a person be pretty ugly?
- i suppose that question was out during test drive.... have you got a licence..? how did you drive and how did you park...?
- That was one of the many questions in the comedian Gallagher's skit. He also asked why do we live in apartments if they're all stuck together. He had a million of them. He was the guy who'd smash watermelons with a sledge hammer. Remember him?
- The explanation can be summarized in three parts:
1) Grammar (the building of English compounds). The parts of English compound words like these can be related in a variety of different ways. So in this case, the relationship of "drive" and "park" to "way" is different in each case;
one based on the verb "to drive", the other based on the NOUN "park".
2) History of "Driveway" --- This originally referred to a private road, usually between a public road and a private house. Historically, these were rather long (think of an impressive country estate -- poor folk or those living in the city would not have a driveway), and their main purpose was indeed for DRIVING driving to the house, certainly not for leaving the horses and carriage (and later car) sitting on.
But in more recent times, driveways got shorter and people began more frequently to leave their cars on them (esp. as they added MORE cars and the garages became full of other stuff!)
3) "Park" is used in two different senses in these words (which is always a good setup for a pun or joke)
"parkway" meaning "a broad LANDSCAPED thoroughfare" is based on the NOUN "park"
Thus "park" here refers not to what one does ON this sort of road but to the "park" areas built (or left) around it. This fits with the meaning of park as an area of land that is set aside (originally by royal grant or law), for gardens, animals, etc.
the VERB "park" is based on this noun, referring to leaving something sitting in one place
(Thus is one sense both 'park in the driveway' and 'drive on the parkway' base 'park' on the same root idea -- only in one it is the land beside the road that is left sitting, in the one it is the vehicle.)