Belated reply re: "the" wife

A. Vine avine at ENG.SUN.COM
Mon Nov 8 22:53:39 UTC 1999

RonButters at AOL.COM wrote:
> living room"--we only have one of them, and if we have lived with them for
>  This is why
> the Southernism "He's still in the bed" sounds so weird to me--seems to my
> Yankee ears to imply that the house has only one bed. (But cf. American "He's
> in the hospital.)

But "in the hospital" is an expression, having no bearing on whether there is
one or many area hospital(s).  Not sure if "in the bed" is an expression in your

Perhaps to get away from the connotation of "the" referring to a known hospital,
the English say "in hospital".  It's more of a state, as in "in school" vs. "at
school".  When talking about my father who is a doctor, I don't say, "he's in
the hospital", I say "he's at the hospital".

Pardon, I have vague recollections that this has already been discussed.


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