Of New York and Prepositions

If you’re moving here from elsewhere, or visiting for the first time, here’s something you need to know that no one else will tell you: New Yorkers (and indeed, citizens of the tristate area as a whole) have an entirely different relationship to prepositions than anyone else in the country.

For instance, one:

1) Stands on line, not stands in line, at the movie theater, etc. Yes, here in New York, there is an invisible line and woe betide those who fail to stand upon it. In no way are you forming a line with your bodies. You have neither that much power nor that close a relationship with your fellow man.

2) Calls out sick, never calls in sick, with the sniffles. It’s less important, after all, where your call goes than where you, glorious you, happen to be at the moment. Which is out. If you see what I mean.

I hope this helps.

Published by Jen Hubley Luckwaldt

I'm a freelance writer and editor.

3 thoughts on “Of New York and Prepositions

  1. Wow, I had no idea either of these existed, but I’m definitely not an East Coaster, so perhaps I just thought it was everyone’s (grating) accents when I lived there.

    However, I have another one to add, I think? My people of Texas, when they light a fatty (whatever that is, ahem), like to “smoke out” not “smoke up.”

  2. In Chicago, you go to “the Jewel,” even though the name of the store is just Jewel, and you also “go with,” as in, “I’m going to the Jewel. Want to go with?”

  3. But if you were to call in sick, you’d just show up and be in…and then you’d get everyone else sick. And then you’d be ME.

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