June 23, 2005

Do You Stand "In Line" or "On Line"

I am a native Californian, born and bred within the fine city of Los Angeles. During my travels to different places around the country and the world I have had to wait to get on planes, into movies, walk through airport security and been a member of lines to get into any number of places.

Most of the time I have had to wait "in-line" in spite of the attempts of some people to get me to wait "on-line" but I most definitely have never been part of the queue.

I have to say that I just don't like the term, "on-line" that is. When it comes to having to wait to enter somewhere it just feels awkward and unnatural to say that I am waiting "on-line" unless of course I am surfing the net.

15 comments:

Stacey said...

Definitely in-line. On-line makes no sense to me. You are in it, not on it.

Where do they say on-line?

Michael said...

New Yorker here, In Line. On Line is the internet.

maybe they have dial-up.

Take Care
Michael

Z said...

In Pittsburgh we wait IN LINE. We may have problems when it's slippy outside and we may have to run inside in our tenners to red up the place and we always shop with a buggy and carry laundry in bushels...but regardless...we're IN LINE.

Jack's Shack said...

Here in LA it is IN Line as well.

Neil said...

Maybe I had a weird family upbringing, but I will say I am "in line" at a bank, but "on line" at a movie theater, the only difference being that the bank is a chore and the movie line is part of a social outing.

Jack's Shack said...

That is kind of interesting.

Workman Chronicles said...

"On line..."

Isn't that a Jersey thing?

As a comedian once said...what did cavemen wait in (on) before lines were invented?

*Morris Workman
www.mesquedia.com
workmanchronicles.blogspot.com

Gavriel said...

I was raised to say "in-line". But since moving to "me acharon" Israel, there's no longer a line to be in, just a clump of people jockeying for position.

I have heard people say on-line, I just can't figure out where they got it.

Jack's Shack said...

I know that clump, been there, done that. It can be kind of wacky.

phantom said...

The only time i heard the phrase 'on-line'(besides the web) was in an army flick where recruits had to stand in formation on a white marking on the ground.

p.s. I hate lines and would only stand in one at gunpoint.

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

"On line" is supposed to be a New York City area thing.

Jack's Shack said...

Hi Steg,

I have only heard it used by Easterners.

Batya said...

get in line
stand on line
and now I'm online...

Sean said...

It's usually "on line" in the NYC area and, apparently, a number of other spots on the east coast. I'd assume it's because, here, so many lines (for buses, theaters, restrooms, etc.) never really empty, they're seen as entities in and of themselves -- it's not simply something made up by the participants (those standing "in line"), but have an independent existence.

Anonymous said...

I am a 59 year old native New Yorker. It's been my experience that only people from the NY metro area (includes northern NY, southern CT) stand on line. Everywhere else in America they stand in line. I have found this to be a foolproof indicator of whether someone grew up in NY or not. Though Michael, an earlier poster, is throwing me off. He must be a young guy.