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  1. #11
    NearThere is offline Member
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    Re: Idiomatic preposition choice

    Stuart,

    This is all so very interesting to me. So it's becoming a norm that one country uses one variant and other country uses the other and thus "at" is no more right (or righter?) than "in" and vice versa, and Standard English is no more when it comes to subtle differences such as this. Correct?

    How about tests? How would students handle that? Would it all depends what country is the test prepared? Geez, like English itself is not hard enough to learn.

    By the way, you said:

    Given your location, perhaps that suggests that the use of "at" is more common in Asia-Pacific Englishes.
    Did you just mean Asia-Pacific region alone, or did you include the United States which is where I am in. I really do think majority of the people here "prefer" using "at" for employment location, in fact I have the impression that using "in" is considered bad English. But I could be wrong. Any American have an opinion on that?

  2. #12
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    stuartnz is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Idiomatic preposition choice

    Quote Originally Posted by NearThere View Post
    Stuart,

    This is all so very interesting to me. So it's becoming a norm that one country uses one variant and other country uses the other and thus "at" is no more right (or righter?) than "in" and vice versa, and Standard English is no more when it comes to subtle differences such as this. Correct?
    I would agree with this. Subtle differences like this one do not damage the mutual intelligibility of the different variants of English, nor do they represent a departure from the core grammatical structure which the variants have in common. Using one or other may cause someone to say, "that's wrong" if the choice made by the speaker is not one the hearer's idiolect uses, but since (praise be!)we don't have an English Academy along the lines of l'Académie Française, there is no one "Standard English".

    As for the English variants of the Asia-Pacific region, I would include Nth American variants, since Canadian, NZ and Australian English all show a blend of influence from UK and US English. The extent of the impact of those two major variants differs in each of the others, NZ English is still nearer UK English than is Australian English for example, but in every case the growing impact of US English on other variants is easily seen.
    Last edited by stuartnz; 18-Mar-2008 at 21:40. Reason: fixing a typo

  3. #13
    NearThere is offline Member
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    Re: Idiomatic preposition choice

    Quote Originally Posted by stuartnz View Post
    I would agree with this. Subtle differences like this one do not damage the mutual intelligibility of the different variants of English, nor do they represent a departure from the core grammatical structure which the variants have in common. Using one or other may cause someone to say, "that's wrong" if the choice made by the speaker is not one the hearer's idiolect uses, but since (praise be!)we don't have an English Academy along the lines of l'Académie Française, there is no one "Standard English".

    As for the English variants of the Asia-Pacific region, I would include Nth American variants, since Canadian, NZ and Australian English all show a blend of influence from UK and US English. The extent of the impact of those two major variants differs in each of the others, NZ English is still nearer UK English than is Australian English for example, but in every case the growing impact of US English on other variants is easily seen.
    You said you were not a teacher, correct?

    I'm just giving a hard time. Thanks!

    NT

  4. #14
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Re: Idiomatic preposition choice

    StuartNZ might not be a professional teacher, but he is, I think, 100% right.

    ~R

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