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"Waiting on line" or "Waiting in line"



 
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ESL Forum | English Vocabulary, Grammar and Idioms
When we you 'most' and 'most of'? | Meaning of "break down" and "digest quickly"
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"Waiting on line" or "Waiting in line" #1 (permalink) Sun Feb 13, 2005 9:40 am   "Waiting on line" or "Waiting in line"
 

Which if not both is correct?

I was waiting on line for the rollercoaster.

or

I was waiting in line for the rollercoaster.

Please help settle an arguement,
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Waiting in line #2 (permalink) Sun Feb 13, 2005 12:03 pm   Waiting in line
 

You were waiting in line for the rollercoaster.

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Waiting on line #3 (permalink) Mon Mar 14, 2005 3:27 am   Waiting on line
 

In the Northeast - NY, NJ, CT, or Boston - waiting "on line" and waiting "in line" are both acceptable. Its just that in the rest of the country - in the unimportant parts - they only say "in line." That's why NY is the center of the universe, and the South, or the Midwest, or California, isn't
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You're a Moron #4 (permalink) Tue Nov 04, 2008 18:13 pm   You're a Moron
 

The correct grammar is 'waiting in line'. Unless there is a line painted and you are standing 'on' it you are not on a line you are in it.

"Waiting on line" I have lived in 4 different parts of America. Trust me New York is far from the 'center' of the Universe. Truth is it is quite an embarrassment with people like you living here.
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Waiting on line or in line #5 (permalink) Tue Nov 04, 2008 18:26 pm   Waiting on line or in line
 

.
I waited in line at the polls in Connecticut for just over an hour this morning. ;)

I have also heard people say "wait on line", but it is much less commonly used than "wait in line".
.
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Waiting on line or in line #6 (permalink) Tue Nov 04, 2008 23:55 pm   Waiting on line or in line
 

I grew up in New York. We did wait "on line." It's the only place I've ever heard it used - that and the immediately surrounding area.

I don't agree, by the way, that it's a matter of "grammar." It's a regional variation. You wouldn't say that correct grammar requires us to say "I live on Mulberry Street" and that our British counterparts are therefore wrong when they say "I live in Mulberry Street," would you? I do believe the person who posted bfore you - in 2005, I may add - had his or her tongue firmly in cheek.

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Waiting on line or in line #7 (permalink) Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:24 am   Waiting on line or in line
 

Ahh, the beauty of an absentee ballot... no lines at all. :P

Interesting to hear about the 'waiting on line', I've not heard that.

I've heard "I'm waiting on the line to move' or similar.
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Waiting on line #8 (permalink) Wed Nov 05, 2008 21:00 pm   Waiting on line
 

waiting on line wrote:
In the Northeast - NY, NJ, CT, or Boston - waiting "on line" and waiting "in line" are both acceptable. Its just that in the rest of the country - in the unimportant parts - they only say "in line." That's why NY is the center of the universe, and the South, or the Midwest, or California, isn't


NY is strange. People talk funny and they write funny...more than that, they made Hillary Clinton one of their senators! :lol: :P I'm only kidding, of course (about Hillary) :lol: .
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"Waiting on line" or "Waiting in line" #9 (permalink) Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:38 am   "Waiting on line" or "Waiting in line"
 

"On line" is the proper and correct way of describing your position when waiting for your turn-- be it to buy a movie ticket or otherwise. The fact that the NY/NJ area says it this ways is only evidence of the fact that the civilized world uses this form and barbarians resort to other variations, e.g.: "in line."
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"Waiting on line" or "Waiting in line" #10 (permalink) Wed May 13, 2009 17:35 pm   "Waiting on line" or "Waiting in line"
 

"Waiting in line" is the proper, most commonly used form of the phrase. Only the people in the NY area have embarrassingly and ignorantly stuck to their use of the ubiquitously computer-related term "online" as the way to describe one's position in a line--i.e., a line of people.

Someone has stated that the reason it's "on line" in New York is because when immigrants first arrived in Ellis Island, they were literally standing "on lines painted on the ground"-- this literal "waiting on line" usage stuck to this day. Obviously, it's become incorrect, as people nowadays generally are not standing "on painted lines" literally anymore. To make matters worse, "on line" has become a common computer and internet related term, and it's just an embarrassment to use it in reference to anything else.
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