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  1. cubezero3's Avatar
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    #1

    In the corner or on the corner

    In the corner or on the corner, which one is right?

    It seems like people say on the corner if it’s the corner of a surface, e.g. on the corner of the street, or on the corner of a table. In the case of a three dimension space, in the corner of the room and in the corner of the letter are preferred.

    That's the impression I had when I was reading the relative entry in the OED.

    Can I take it as a rule of thumb and follow it?

    Many thanks

    Richard

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: In the corner or on the corner

    Quote Originally Posted by cubezero3 View Post
    I
    It seems like people say on the corner if it’s the corner of a surface, e.g. on the corner of the street, or on the corner of a table. In the case of a three dimension space, in the corner of the room and in the corner of the letter are preferred.

    That's the impression I had when I was reading the relative entry in the OED.
    I wouldn't rely on it. You will hear other things.

    I for example say 'at the corner of the street' at times; and probably 'in the corner of a (2-dimensional) field' if I am actually in the field, though 'at the corner' if I am outside. I am honestly not sure, but I think I'd say 'in the corner of the table'.

    I do not understand your view of a letter as a 3-dimensional space, I'm afraid.

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: In the corner or on the corner

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I wouldn't rely on it. You will hear other things.

    I for example say 'at the corner of the street' at times; and probably 'in the corner of a (2-dimensional) field' if I am actually in the field, though 'at the corner' if I am outside. I am honestly not sure, but I think I'd say 'in the corner of the table'.

    I do not understand your view of a letter as a 3-dimensional space, I'm afraid.
    I'm not sure I understand your "in the corner of the table" are you talking about a table such as a dining table/coffee table?

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: In the corner or on the corner

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    I'm not sure I understand your "in the corner of the table" are you talking about a table such as a dining table/coffee table?
    Yes.

    As I wrote my last post, two of us native speakers were looking at a coffee cup ** the corner of the dining table. We were discussing how we would describe the position of the cup. My colleague was fairly sure that she would say 'on', but she thought she had heard 'at', and she felt that 'in' might be just about possible. I thought, at the time, that I would go for 'in', while accepting 'on' and, less certainly 'at'.

    An hour later, I am not sure.

    ps I like your new fresh-air look, but I shall miss the so-appropriate guru.
    Last edited by 5jj; 28-Jan-2011 at 21:53. Reason: ps added

  5. cubezero3's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: In the corner or on the corner

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I wouldn't rely on it. You will hear other things.

    I for example say 'at the corner of the street' at times; and probably 'in the corner of a (2-dimensional) field' if I am actually in the field, though 'at the corner' if I am outside. I am honestly not sure, but I think I'd say 'in the corner of the table'.

    I do not understand your view of a letter as a 3-dimensional space, I'm afraid.
    As a matter of fact, I don't understand it either.

    I saw all those examples in my beloved OED and thought the one who wrote them must have put just these examples here with a purpose. I tried to decifer the code included in them. The one with letter in it is the only exeption that doesn't fit my theory, so I felt obliged to assume the writer treated a letter as three-demensional.

    Having read you posts here, I'd say I thought too much then.

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    #6

    Re: In the corner or on the corner

    This morning I was standing at the corner of the table. I put my coffee cup on the corner of the table and finished the letter I was writing by making a little drawing in the corner. I took the letter to the post office on the corner of my street and on the way home I patted a dog standing at the corner of the building next door.

    I don't know if that helps.

  6. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: In the corner or on the corner

    Quote Originally Posted by JMurray View Post
    This morning I was standing at the corner of the table. I put my coffee cup on the corner of the table and finished the letter I was writing by making a little drawing in the corner. I took the letter to the post office on the corner of my street and on the way home I patted a dog standing at the corner of the building next door.

    I don't know if that helps.
    Yes, it does. I think I'd better withdraw my, " I think I'd say 'in the corner of the table'. Sorry, cubezero.

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