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Thread: 'on' or 'in'

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    #1

    Question 'on' or 'in'

    Hello,

    While reading about news related to "Occupy Wall Street",
    I came across a photo of "Occupy Boston" movement showing a group of people marching through Boston Common. According to Wikipedia,

    "Boston Common (also known as "the Common") is a central public park in Boston, Massachusetts. It is sometimes erroneously referred to as the "Boston Commons"." Later in that same entry in Wikipedia, there is a section called "Notable recurring events on the Common".
    Since it is a park, why does it not say 'in the Common'? Does 'in' sound strange?

    Interestingly I also read that there is a 'Boston Public Garden' adjacent to the Boston Common, but it is called simply 'Public Garden' or 'Boston Public Garden', and not 'Boston Public'.

    Thank you

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    #2

    Re: 'on' or 'in'

    It is not uncommon () to use 'on' for flat areas - on the common, on the pitch, on court (tennis)

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    #3

    Re: 'on' or 'in'

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    It is not uncommon () to use 'on' for flat areas - on the common, on the pitch, on court (tennis)
    @fivejedjon, thank you. I take it that it is OK to use either 'on' or 'in' in this case.

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    #4

    Re: 'on' or 'in'

    Unfortunately no.' In the park' and 'field/meadow' are fine, but , for me, 'in the pitch/court' are not; I don't think 'in the common' is. If you are surprised that a native speaker should be unsure, it's because the more one thinks about it, the more natural some unnatural things sound - and vice versa.

    Sorry I am not being very helpful.

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    #5

    Re: 'on' or 'in'

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Unfortunately no.' In the park' and 'field/meadow' are fine, but , for me, 'in the pitch/court' are not; I don't think 'in the common' is. If you are surprised that a native speaker should be unsure, it's because the more one thinks about it, the more natural some unnatural things sound - and vice versa.

    Sorry I am not being very helpful.
    @fivejedjon, no, it is ok. I understand the part about the more one thinks... I appreciate hearing what sounds natural to you. And to make it more difficult for non-English speakers there are the AmE and BrE differences.

    While on the subject of 'on' or 'in', may I ask another question?

    In the 3rd episode of Sherlock Holmes (BBC Series), Sherlock has John Watson examine a pair or sneakers and after hearing his observations, he says: "You're on sparkling form."

    I am used to hearing a player or a cricketer is in good form.

    Are 'in good form' and 'on good form' the same? Does 'you're on sparkling form' mean 'you are on a roll' (as some Americans would say)?

    Thank you

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    #6

    Re: 'on' or 'in'

    Both are acceptable.

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    #7

    Re: 'on' or 'in'

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympian View Post
    Does 'in' sound strange?
    Yes, to me it does.

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    #8

    Re: 'on' or 'in'

    Are 'in good form' and 'on good form' the same?
    I would only use in.

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