Belated reply re: "the" wife

Bob Haas highbob at MINDSPRING.COM
Tue Nov 9 20:22:47 UTC 1999

And that is why we study dialects, Aaron.  Around here, a common answer to the
query: "Well, what's Johnny doin' now that he's finished high school?" would be:
"Oh, he's in college."  Now, I say common in my community--that's the southeastern
US, NC, mountains, Watauga County, Boone to be precise.  I realize that some
individuals might never say "in college," but some, at least a few, would.

And I was trying to both compare and contrast "at university" and "in college" as
phrases that both indicate states of being and location.

Maybe "in college" is a southern thing?  Any takers?  Has this been discussed

"Aaron E. Drews" wrote:

> Even if one were a college student (as opposed to a university student), one
> would say "I'm at college", meaning both that "I'm a student" and "I'm
> physically at the further education institution as I speak".   I can't think
> of an instance when anyone would say "in university" or "in college".
> (BTW, "college", in general, in the UK roughly equates to the community
> college in north America, with similar services and types of
> qualifications).


Bob Haas
Department of English
High Point University
University of North Carolina at Greensboro

                         "Shun the frumious Bandersnatch!"

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