Over the past week, I've met several people from "Silver Spring." I have to say that it seems people from Montgomery County have reduced the name 'Silver Spring' to the point of uselessness. From my experience anyone who lives east of Connecticut Avenue claims to be from Silver Spring and everyone who lives west of Connecticut says Bethesda (except in Rockville).
While neither Silver Spring nor Bethesda are incorporated places and therefore don't have definite boundaries, one can use common sense to define the places. I work in Silver Spring (note: not "Silver Spring") and I can really call it Silver Spring. But if you live in Kensington, a place which is incorporated and has definite boundaries, you shouldn't call it "Silver Spring." I've even heard of people calling Langley Park and Burtonsville "Silver Spring."
I certainly understand why people want to call most of Montgomery County "Silver Spring." It's a phenomenon repeated across the Country. For instance, if you are marketing housing to anyone from Atlanta, you should bill it as being in "Vinings" (even if it's in Denver).
But when it comes to having a sense of community, it seems that people won't claim the places they actually live. In the District, it seems, people have a much stronger connection to neighborhoods so what is driving the lack of community in the suburbs?
What are your thoughts?