Firstly, thank you to Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. I’ve always had a fascination with encyclopedias, and can quite happily spend hours skimming through one, picking up all sorts of useless information.
Alas that information didn’t include (although when I think about it, it probably did I’ve just forgotten it) a definition of what makes a road a road? what makes a street a street etc etc.
So, to answer a question that kept the wife and I amused for about twenty minutes the other night* (when I say amused I mean we argued, and when I say argued I mean at one point I was hiding behind the back of the sofa as she hurled things at me…):
ROAD: A road is a strip of land, smoothed or otherwise prepared to allow easier travel, connecting two or more destinations.
STREET: A street (rhymes with ‘teat’) is a strip of land, smoothed or otherwise prepared to allow easier travel along its length. The word “street” is often used synonymously with “road”, but the former term implies a greater degree of street life, particularly in urban areas.
AVENUE: British Archaeologists refine the general archaeological use of avenue to denote a long, parallel-sided strip of land, measuring up to about 30m in width, open at either end and with edges marked by stone or timber alignments and/or a low earth bank and ditch.
BOULEVARD: As a type of road, a boulevard tends to be a wide, arterial divided thoroughfare, often with an above-average appearance in terms of landscaping and scenery.
I should note that it was my confusion over the difference between an Avenue and a Boulevard that started the conversation. I should also note, for fearing of having to sleep in the garden, that Louise was right. I was wrong.
More FASCINATING STUFF later. Or not.