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Thread: Why do you say?

  1. #1
    Phantom Flasher... Markp.com's Avatar
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    Why do you say?

    Why do you say...

    I'm on a bus...

    and

    I'm in a car?

    Strange... just noticed that today

  2. #2
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    Last edited by Naked inc.; 06-20-2005 at 09:32 PM.

  3. #3
    Moonlight shadow asheep_uk's Avatar
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    Gosh, I never realised that! Maybe it's the theness...

    "I'm on a bus, I'm on a train, I'm on a boat, I'm in the car"


  4. #4
    Phantom Flasher... Markp.com's Avatar
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    I understand the kind of ownership thing... "I'm in MY car"... but if its someone elses car, you still probably say, "I'm in the car on the way to the airport" etc...

    Strange...

  5. #5
    Information Architect Subway's Avatar
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    It's because "the car" is in most cases a specific car, your car or your friends car, where a bus or a train ... it's just a train, in most cases it can't be your bus or your friends bus, so it's normaly nothing directly related to you as a person.

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  6. #6
    illusion luvenny's Avatar
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    Bus is big, car is small

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    Last edited by Naked inc.; 06-20-2005 at 09:32 PM.

  8. #8
    curmudgeon swampy's Avatar
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    Because in order to get "in" a car you have to sit down into it, whilst you board a bus by walking in through the door

  9. #9
    supervillain gerbick's Avatar
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    I always thought it was more indicative of how much control you have, or possibly could have. you can only ride a bus, train, boat as a passenger. but you most likely will be driving a car... so it's in, as in "in control"... but on, as only as a passenger.

    I asked this a while back because of the differences in German and English. But I can't remember the bullcrap I got as an "answer"...

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  10. #10
    supervillain gerbick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampy
    Because in order to get "in" a car you have to sit down into it, whilst you board a bus by walking in through the door
    Well, you still go through a car door; unless you're named Bo or Luke Duke.

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  11. #11
    curmudgeon swampy's Avatar
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    yes, but the difference is that you sit down into it rather than walk onto it.

    The big dawback in my argument is that you step into and elavator, not onto it.

  12. #12
    illusion luvenny's Avatar
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    On a similar note:

    Why do you say 'get a free gift' ?!

    Doesn't gift always free?!

  13. #13
    He has risen! lefteyewilly's Avatar
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    I agree with the ownership/control thing

    It's just like saying "I'm in the driveway" or "I'm on the highway".

  14. #14
    Hairy Member robbmcaulay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvenny
    On a similar note:

    Why do you say 'get a free gift' ?!

    Doesn't gift always free?!
    Good point, and I hate when you subscribe to something and you get a FREE GIFT when you've just signed up to pay 30odd a month for 12 months!
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  15. #15
    associate admedia's Avatar
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    "I'm in your driveway"

    I'm on a plane.

    Are you in the station or on the train?

    You're on the lawn. I'm in the driveway.

    English is so strage.

  16. #16
    <! FlaSHy -->
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    This is why people have such a hard time learning English, I believe it's the hardest language to learn. I've always hated (there, their, they're) I understand the difference I just don't see the need for 3 of em.

  17. #17
    Phantom Flasher... Markp.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poonz
    This is why people have such a hard time learning English, I believe it's the hardest language to learn. I've always hated (there, their, they're) I understand the difference I just don't see the need for 3 of em.
    Hahaha! Try learning Polish, then get back to me about that hardest language thing!

    I think English is one of the easiest out there!

  18. #18
    Moonlight shadow asheep_uk's Avatar
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    The Latin alphabet is generally pretty easy. Spanish is the easiest to learn, closely followed by German. Eastern Europe get a little bit tricker, working all the way across to China and Japan which have very complex languages.

    There's a fantastic sentence which uses there, they're and their. It becomes quite clear why we have three different words when you see it, I just can't find it right now. Somebody else might know what I'm talking about.

  19. #19
    Busy doing nothing Boris the Frog's Avatar
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    NOt sure about polish, but i tried learning Thai - 56 consonants! 5 different 'tones'.
    The cleaning lady where wer worked was always referred to as 'Maid' whcih I though was insulting, until I found out that if we didn't say her name correctly we would be calling her 'fatty' or something of that ilk. She preferred 'Maid'.
    My personal favourite was that 'white' and 'rice' was the same word but pronounced with a different tone!
    I used to know the alphabet, but can't remember so much anymore - only 5 years ago, as well!


    Anyway, my boss says its to do with 'stepping onto' or 'stepping into' something. Being enclosed by something means you are more likely to be 'in' it - and a car is more enclosing than a bus.

  20. #20
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampy
    The big dawback in my argument is that you step into and elavator, not onto it.
    To that I'd say that most people don't class elevators as 'transportation', despite the fact that they clearly are.

    As to why you're 'in' the car and 'on' everything else, I'd cast my vote to the proximity, the personal attachment, the very intimate (not intimate like that, you pervs) interior of a car.

    Buses, trains etc are drafty, noisy, undeserving of a personal bond implied by saying 'in'.
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