Even though I grew up in Fremont, I feel like a professional Bay Area resident. (Almost typed “Bay Arean,” but “arean” sounds too much like “Aryan,” and, well, I’m not blonde.) Went to school at Santa Clara University, currently living in Berkeley, working in Palo Alto. My first job was in San Francisco, and not once did I say “I work in Frisco.” I also did not say “San Fran.”
It’s an ongoing debate: What is an acceptable replacement for the four-syllable city name that seems to trip up outsiders so much? A couple of months ago, upon hearing “San Fran” used in a serious sentence for the first time ever, I threw a version of this question to my Facebook friends:
I can see the appeal of saying “Frisco” like it isn’t foolish. It rhymes with “disco,” which is a super fun word that implies super fun nights. It’s all over the place in hyphy rap lyrics, motorcycle gang jackets, and location-specific marketing techniques (albeit composed by people who are not originally from the Bay).
“San Fran” just baffles me. It sounds…funny? Like a child’s vocabulary. It also reminds me of Yan-Yan “dipping cookies.” (“Dipping cookies” also sounds funny to me, but I digress.) I’ve recently been followed by a couple of Twitter users with “SanFran” in their title, and I wonder if they realize they just sound like dorks.
What’s wrong with SF? Or SFO, the name of the air travel hub most San Francisco transplants travel through to get here?
Then again, what’s wrong with “San Francisco?”
I happened upon the book Barbara mentions at Half Price Books on Shattuck (How Bay Area am I?), so there you go. Herb Caen. One of the most notable Bay Area journalists to have ever existed.
Side Note: Remember when journalists were “notable?” Sigh.