In? On? Google

David A. Daniel dad at POKERWIZ.COM
Sat Sep 29 11:17:17 UTC 2007

Usage of in and on is highly idiomatic. We all know that while normal people
are waiting in line New Yorkers are waiting on line. And as George Carlin
says (or at least used to say) "You can get ON an airplane if you want to,
but I am going to get IN it."

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
Mark Mandel
Sent: Friday, September 28, 2007 10:07 PM
Subject: Re: In? On? Google

My guess (or theory or hypothesis if I want to sound more scholarly) is that
places defined as surfaces take ON and places defined by boundaries on
surfaces take IN:

on Earth, on the Moon, on small islands (Staten Island)

in Rochester, in the US, in large islands (Greenland), continents (Europe,
Australia, Africa)

This mainlander thinks of Hawai`i as a state and so a political entity
rather than a topographic one; similarly e.g. Iceland or Greenland. Do
Hawai`ians say "in" or "on" for Oahu? for the big island (i.e., the island

m a m

On 9/25/07, Your Name <ROSESKES at> wrote:
> I've always been fascinated by how we choose "in" vs. "on."  I  live ON
> the
> earth, but I live IN Rochester - which is  obviously ON the earth.  I'd
> never
> say I lived ON Rochester or IN the  earth.  I found the info IN the
> dictionary,
> but ON the internet  (or on Google).  Is that because the info was ON the
> pages, but the pages  were contained INside the book covers?  While the
> Google
> info appears ON my  monitor screen?
> Anyone who can shed any light on how we choose IN vs. ON?
> Rosemarie
> The worst thing about censorship is **************************  !
> ************************************** See what's new at
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