While not something we stay awake thinking about at night, it's still an odd linguistic nuance to ponder. Since it's a Friday, let's spend time answering a semi-useless question: why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?
Cecil Adams at The Straight Dope answered this way back in 1987:
"Let's get one thing cleared up right off the bat: you can drive on the driveway. Indeed, if you'll permit me to wax philosophical for a moment, this is the very essence of drivewayness—to enable you to drive from the street to your garage...moreover...in Old French, a parc was an enclosure. To this day a military park means an area where vehicles are stored and serviced. As early as 1812 there was a verb "to park," meaning to store one's howitzers in a military park. This carried over to carriages and ultimately to any sort of vehicle.
Our notion of landscaped parks, meanwhile, derives from the medieval practice of enclosing game preserves for the use of the aristocracy. The term was later applied to the grounds around a country estate, then to royal parks in London to which the proles were grudgingly admitted, and finally to any landscaped public grounds."
So, with this information, I gather the reason a parkway is called a parkway is because they used to be roads that went to scenic parks. And the reason a driveway is called a driveway is because it's the conduit for a car from the street to the house's garage. So, does that mean if you're parking on a driveway rather than your garage, you're actually doing it wrong?
Although I think maybe I'm spending too much time on Tumblr, what do you think?
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