This post was going to be about the travel equivalent of the little black dress. You know. The indispensable item you throw into your suitcase first, wherever the destination, be it Belize, Boston or Bhopal. The post idea was prompted by an article that appeared the Huffington Post.
That’s where I stopped. I didn’t know whether to fill that blank with “in” or “on”.
If I were referencing an article I’d read in The New York Times, I’d have no problem. But the HuffPost (and Slate and Salon) only exist electronically. Is a click-through the equivalent of a page turn? If so, then I suppose we read articles “in” web-based publications. It just doesn’t feel right, though. I read items “on” a device, whether it’s my iPhone, iPad or MacBook. What’s in my hands is the conduit, not the actual content – never has, never will be. So “on” would appear to be the better choice.
Normally, when confronting grammatical conundrums like this, I’d ask myself “What would Strunk & White do?” [Note to self: trademark WWS&WD, make bracelets, sell to every liberal arts college bookstore to be displayed next to Elements of Style.] Since you’re reading this on/in my blog I’m asking for your assistance with this one. If we can reach consensus, we’ll tackle those other thorny existential issues: chickens, eggs, trees in the forest, etc.
Love that book. I bought the illustrated copy by Penguin a few years back and it’s an indispensable source of anything about grammar and sentence construction.
Illustrated? I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for visiting.
Kalman’s illustrations made reading this classic more interesting. It was nice reading your posts and being let into your adventures. Thanks!
The EOS is still an excellent standard. As well, and in a pinch, I’ll ask myself, what would Orwell have written and then write that…:)
His “Politics and the English Language” is genius – thanks for the comment.
ON — The preposition follows the device — TV/PC/cellphone/Ipad/Kindle all are “on” devices, for now. It raises interesting questions about the superficiality of the digital realm though. That is until we port William Gibson-like into the web, then we will be IN. Hmm, can’t wait for those Open Suitcase entries!!
Thanks, Annie! Don’t know if I’m ready for a Neuromancer reality?!?
I have never had the pleasure of reading that book but I would have to agree it is not quite the same as having the actual paper in your hand. So I guess my answer would be ‘on’?!
That seems to be the consensus so far. Thanks for visiting and check out the book – it’s a classic.
My vote is also for “on”. Also, being a “frequent flyer” I’m hoping you haven’t ditched the idea of a post on “the travel equivalent of the little black dress”! BTW, I nominated you for the “Sunshine Award” on my post today!
Thank you so much! “On” appears to be the consensus and, yes, I’ll get back to travel essentials!
Hope you had a great Thanksgiving and are in the midst of a great Thanksgiving weekend!
I would say “that appeared online in the Huffington Post,” or “that appeared in the Huffington Post online,” or “that appeared in the online publication, the Huffington Post.” Definitely not on. That just sounds all wrong to me. And I love love love Strunk and White. OMIT NEEDLESS WORDS!
This’s fascinating. I think I’m leaning toward ‘in’. isn’t it that the sentiment is contained within the words, no matter where the words appear?
Good question, I must admit I would read thru it either way without giving it a second thought. I try my best to avoid grammatical errors when posting, but they happen. It seems to be a sticky point with some. Recently a reader from Greece felt it necessary to correct me at every turn. I didn’t feel too bad, since I don’t write it for people like that. The posts I enjoy are: honest, interesting and sometimes funny and I don’t mind spelling or grammatical errors one bit, life’s too short. 🙂
I do need this book. I’ll check on amazon. By the way thank for liking my blog, and for the post.
Thanks for the visit. The book is invaluable. You will love it.