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Overheard while waiting on line ...

Henry Wong
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Joined: Sep 28, 2004
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  40


Overheard while waiting on line at the local post office... "sir, is there anything perishable?"... "No. It is just a box full of Twinkies"....

Henry

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Jayesh A Lalwani
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Joined: Jan 17, 2008
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  28

"on line" or "in line"
Paul Clapham
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Joined: Oct 14, 2005
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    8

"On line" is the traditional way to say it in New York.
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 31127
    
166

Nice. Those should be around forever.

"on line" and "in line" both sound right to me. I'd say "on line" though. of course I'm from New York too.


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Henry Wong
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Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
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  40

Paul Clapham wrote:"On line" is the traditional way to say it in New York.


I always used "on line" -- never really thought about it as a New York thing... BTW, I am a native Brooklynite, so it could also be a residue of my former accent.

Henry
Wendy Gibbons
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Joined: Oct 21, 2008
Posts: 1107

wellas someone who speaks The Queen's English (and proud of it) it should be in line, as you are in the line not on it.unless you were sat on somebodys shoulder of course.
Jan de Boer
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Joined: Dec 10, 2010
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    1
Okay, but I must say the timing of the joke is really perished if you have to look up what Twinkies are. It's a sort of snack?
Matthew Brown
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Joined: Apr 06, 2010
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    8

I don't think I've ever had one, but they became pretty famous after this: Twinkie defense.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
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  16

to this mid-westerner (in the U.S.), "on line" means "I am sitting at my computer and am connected to the internet". If I am in a queue at the post office or Disneyland, I am "in line".

I'm curious as to what New Yorkers call the style of skates known as rollerblades, where there are four wheels right behind each other. Are they on-line skates, or in-line skates?


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Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
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166

fred rosenberger wrote:I'm curious as to what New Yorkers call the style of skates known as rollerblades, where there are four wheels right behind each other. Are they on-line skates, or in-line skates?

in line skates
Mike Simmons
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  10
So, do any non-New-Yorkers use "on line" in this way? Because so far, it does seem to be a distinctively New York thing.
Bear Bibeault
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  67

It's not a New England or a Texas thing.


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Mike Simmons
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  10
What about a ninja thing?
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

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  67

Mike Simmons wrote:What about a ninja thing?

That'd be ラインで待っている










[Translation: "I'm waiting in line"]
Mike Simmons
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  10
賢い!
Steve Luke
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  21

Mike Simmons wrote:So, do any non-New-Yorkers use "on line" in this way? Because so far, it does seem to be a distinctively New York thing.


It's in line in Philadelphia. I don't recall it being on line during my time in Buffalo NY either, but I may not have taken notice.


Steve
Joanne Neal
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  16
Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:
fred rosenberger wrote:I'm curious as to what New Yorkers call the style of skates known as rollerblades, where there are four wheels right behind each other. Are they on-line skates, or in-line skates?

in line skates

But if you fitted them with a wireless connection they could be online inline skates.


Joanne
Frank Silbermann
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fred rosenberger wrote:to this mid-westerner (in the U.S.), "on line" means "I am sitting at my computer and am connected to the internet". If I am in a queue at the post office or Disneyland, I am "in line".

I'm curious as to what New Yorkers call the style of skates known as rollerblades, where there are four wheels right behind each other. Are they on-line skates, or in-line skates?
To me, it's a matter of emphasis, whether you're describing:

(1) where you are ("You will find me in the line at the cash register." -- definite article before the world "line"), or
(2) what you are doing ("I am on line waiting to pay." -- no definite article before the word "line"), or
(3) how a group of people are standing ("The soldiers are standing in line at attention." -- no definite article before "line").
Greg Charles
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Joined: Oct 01, 2001
Posts: 2864
    
  11

"Waiting on line" is a regionalism most associated with New York City, but also common in New Jersey and, despite Bear's experience, it seems to be in parts of New England as well. Here, I found a map.
Frank Silbermann
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Posts: 1390
Greg Charles wrote:"Waiting on line" is a regionalism most associated with New York City, but also common in New Jersey and, despite Bear's experience, it seems to be in parts of New England as well. Here, I found a map.
Well, I lived in NYC until I was nearly eight. I would define a "NYC regionalism" to be a usage that I eventually abandoned, whereas I would consider a NYC-specific usage that I kept to be correct and believe it should be considered the standard. I feel the same way about NYC-specific pronunciations.
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 31127
    
166

Greg Charles wrote:"Waiting on line" is a regionalism most associated with New York City, but also common in New Jersey and, despite Bear's experience, it seems to be in parts of New England as well. Here, I found a map.

That map is nice! It's interesting how there is an East coast cluster and than random dots. People moving maybe?
 
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