Belated reply re: "the" wife

A. Vine avine at ENG.SUN.COM
Tue Nov 9 00:38:26 UTC 1999

Hi Bob (couldn't resist, take a drink),

I would agree that "in college" is a state along the same lines as "in the
hospital".  The many professors on this list may be "at the college", but I
suspect few of them are "in college".  Then again, they can't be "at college"
either, because you can only be "at college" when you're "in college".

Or is this just me?

Reminds me of some list of college student terms I remember reading awhile
back.  The term that got me was "home home", which means where one's family
lives, as opposed to one's dorm room or apartment.


Bob Haas wrote:
> Andrea, would you address this state of being vs. location phenomenon in regards to
> higher education?  I'm thinking of the British "at university" vs. the more
> American "in college."  Or have I got it wrong?
> "A. Vine" wrote:
> > 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
> > example.
> >
> > 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.
> >
> > Andrea
> --
> Bob Haas
> Department of English
> High Point University
> University of North Carolina at Greensboro
>                          "Shun the frumious Bandersnatch!"

More information about the Ads-l mailing list