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Standing "in Line" or "on a line"?

  1. Peter Leeper profile image81
    Peter Leeperposted 5 years ago

    Standing "in Line" or "on a line"?

    Over the years, and to much annoyance, I have heard people refer to stanind in a "queue" i.e. in line as standing "on a line" oir waiting "on a line"  Usually it seems that people refer to this activity in this way.  Which do you think is correct?  Why?

  2. chiefmomofficer profile image61
    chiefmomofficerposted 5 years ago

    I always say "standing in line" as to me, saying "standing on a line" would imply that there is something on the floor that I am standing "on."  Just my two cents though.

  3. JamaGenee profile image83
    JamaGeneeposted 5 years ago

    Ditto to what chiefmomofficer said.  Standing "IN line", NOT "on a line".  I think it depends somewhat on the country or the vernacular of a particular area.

  4. duffsmom profile image60
    duffsmomposted 5 years ago

    I've never heard anyone say "on a line."  It might be a regional thing.  I say, "in line."

  5. BlissfulWriter profile image70
    BlissfulWriterposted 5 years ago

    It is most common to say "standing in line", rather than "standing a line".

  6. Lisa HW profile image72
    Lisa HWposted 5 years ago

    Oh!  That one irks the heck out of me!   IN LINE!!!    (lol)

    Here's my reasoning for anyone (like my kids' father) who insists on saying, "on line":

    It's a line that's made up of people.  That means that the people who make up that line are "in" it - not "on" it.  Maybe people who say "on line" imagine that there's an imaginary line that all the people IN that line are standing on (which is a far less flattering image of people IN a line than seeing them as part of the group that, in fact, makes up the line anyone is talking about in the first place.  Picturing people standing on an imaginary line takes the concept of a line from being something former by people by being something they're compelled to stay ON, rather than be a part of the line itself.

    And YET, do you think I've ever managed to convince that particular individual I mentioned that he's completely WRONG about saying "on line"???   Not on your life.  I've known this "irksome individual" for 39 years now, and he has yet to come around, see the error of his ways, and say, "IN line".

    On top of everything else, you'd think that now the Internet exists, people who say "on line" might want to see that now there's even more reason to say "in line" - but, NOOOOOOOO.....  They'd rather let "on line" and "online" be confused, rather than get rid of their thing that there's some imaginary line on the ground when people are waiting for one thing or another.  smile  smile

  7. Doc Snow profile image95
    Doc Snowposted 5 years ago

    My impression, for what it is worth, is that regional usage varies in this respect.  I grew up in Canada and live in Georgia now; "standing in line" is the normal usage in both places--North America not liking "queue" much!

    For me, 'on' a line creates a bizarre mental image, but clearly it's normal for some folks--and who am I to sneer?  Prepositional usage always seems a bit weird anyway--note how often the 'normal' preposition fails to line up in different languages.  (No, I can't think of an example this minute, but I swear I've noticed this!)

  8. Peter Leeper profile image81
    Peter Leeperposted 5 years ago

    Queue, which i like, probably isn't used much because it is hard to spell (see how i spelled it in original question(wait..i think i got auto-corrected))  I think one you might be thinking of Doc snow is one that comes from New England.  Often when people are saying that they too do something, they will say "so don't I" instead of so do I.  For the first few years i lived hear i thought people were  being sarcastic with me when they said this phrase...

  9. mattforte profile image91
    mattforteposted 5 years ago

    I have never once heard anybody say standing on a line...unless there happened to be a line on the ground, and they were standing on it.