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More evidence. (Recruitment)

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 19:48 (674 days ago) @ RaichuKFM

I'll grant that I say "I'm in the town" much more than I say "I'm inside the town", (although I would probably say either say "I'm in town" or "I'm inside of the town", for what that's worth) but that's because in is a shorter word that means the same thing in this context?

Wow, RaichuKFM, so many words. You need an editor. It just so happens I am a seasoned professional editor in real life. Those words don't mean precisely the same thing. They mean approximately the same thing, but as your editor I would ask, why are you saying "inside the town"? That's awkward. Sure, the reader might understand what you mean, but they would likely be stopped by your word choice. You don't want people stopped because you unnecessarily abandoned the common usage of a word. Now if the conditions of your parole required that you stay inside the city limits (blue's example), and your parole officer is accusing you of breaking that condition, you might point at the city limit sign and say "I'm inside the city limits." That usage of "inside" is a good fit because you're drawing attention not just to your location (in the city) but you're location relative to the boundaries of your location. You're emphasizing important information.

I would say that I am in Kent, right now. But I would not deny that I'm inside of it! And I would say I'm inside the township limits. I am inside the continental United States, right now.

I never said you were wrong. I said this wasn't common usage. Common usage is important when clear and efficient communication is the goal.

I am inside the town, because I am in the town. Whenever you are in a space, you are inside the boundaries of the space. We just talk more about the space than the boundaries, and in is a shorter word. But if I walked into the space from outside, I would say I'd walked inside the space. Regardless, it's not about which word choice is more popular, it's about whether mine makes sense. And I can't see how it doesn't?

It can be about which word choice is more popular because the more popular word choice is more likely to be understood without confusing anyone.


Besides, all the google hits argument answers is that people don't talk about being "inside the [generic location]"; but I don't think that's because inside doesn't work that way, I think that's because that's clunky as all get out? A search for "inside of town" gets fourteen million hits. Even if some of those are "inside of town hall" or some other building reference, I think that's enough of a counterargument?

Nope. Flawed methodology. There are million storie--er, structures in the city, and you could be inside any of them and they would be called the town _____.

There are twenty eight million hits for "inside the forest" (and nineteen million for "inside of the forest"), and two hundred ninety nine million for "inside the field". 562 million for "inside of the field"! While "in the field" only has 383 million. That's catching some things like baseball fields, of course, but those are usually open to the sky, and only sometimes have walls around them.

Look at them though. In how many of them does forest serve as adjective for words like "service" or again, draw attention to a boundary ("inside the forest boundary")? (By the way, one of the three "I am inside the town" search hits was "I am inside the town limits.") In many of these search results the unspoken subject is "ecosystem." The emphasis is on forest as bounded place. Such usage does not mean it's just as clear to say "I'm going for a walk inside the forest" as it is to say "I'm going for a walk in the forest."

Let me put it this way; if we're in an endless desert, and I draw a circle in the sand, and stand in it, and say "I'm inside this circle", are you really going to tell me that I'm wrong? That I'm outside the circle, or that the circle has no sides? No. Now let's say I don't draw a circle. Let's say I'm just standing there, in the same desert, and another person gets a little too close. I might say "Hey, you're inside of my personal space", despite there being no clear external boundary. Are you going to tell me I'm wrong then? Well, if you do, had I said "Hey, you're in my personal space", would that be wrong? Why not? It's implying there's an in and an out just as much, and since it's some kind of space around me, that must mean there's an inside and an outside of that space!

Again, I never said you were wrong. Your example of the circle in the sand is actually perfect and "inside" is the ideal word choice there because you're emphasizing the boundary. Your other example: "You're inside my personal space"? I'd question your word choice. People don't generally say that. They say "you're in my personal space."


So now you can circle around to "But Raichu, we're just saying, nobody really talks like that", which is fair. But now we've established that things in spaces must be inside of those spaces, logically, right? So then if there is a context where saying in is clunky- people say "I'm inside" more often than they say "I'm in" when they're not infiltrating something- so since I can say I am in the Shadow Realm, if I want to quickly state that, I could say "I'm inside", with context there to indicate what I'm inside of.

The problem isn't saying "I'm inside an open area", it's trying to let context fill the gap when there just isn't enough context! Context clues could point to that meaning "I'm inside the Shadow Realm", but they could also possibly point to "I'm inside the throne room" or "I'm indoors". So just saying "I'm inside" could mean any of those things, because you could be inside another dimension, or inside a room, or inside as in just inside like indoors, and you would be correct in saying you're inside, but it just doesn't offer enough context to tell which.

Your mental model of the void area may well be different than mine. I still not sure what it's supposed to be called. Just in terms of my experience of that final fight, though, I'm inside what is clearly a room and then I'm not in the room, and the area I'm in seems to have no boundaries. To MY mind is the room is inside if anything is. It's that simple. So when someone says "I'll go inside" before the encounter starts, it's confusing. You're already here, dude.

Trying to arbitrarily limit where it's appropriate to say you're inside just strikes me as ridiculous, and bound to fail? We're not going to agree on a rule, because that wouldn't make sense; we could agree on a convention, like "Without context, presume inside means inside the throne room", and you can argue all you like which convention is better, but, you won't be able to show that one of them doesn't make sense? If somebody asked if I was inside the shadow realm, would that strike you as talking like an alien?

Maybe an ESL student. ;)

We've established that "inside" is confusing. Maybe your usage is less confusing if you're very familiar with the concept of being inside a shadow realm, whatever that is. On the other hand, most of us have tons of experience being inside rooms. Language (especially English) is idiomatic. Good communication often relies on making choices that are most likely to be clearly understood by the most people, so on some level, it is a popularity contest.

Because using inside to mean indoors, and also like a preposition, but only that preposition when you are indoors sounds more ridiculous to me.

Because inside can mean either it makes sense to me to use it only where no one can deny you're inside in both senses of the word (the throne room). Seriously, though, I'm okay with never using "inside" without an identified subject.

I asked another person the experiment thing, by the way, this time having the voice come through a radio to try and eliminate a potential spot of bias. And they also said the void?

The only good experiment I can think of is to take someone through that part of the game. Turn off the TV and ask, "Someone says, 'I'm inside.' Where are they?" I bet most would say in the room.

I feel like maybe I should bow out of this, because I don't know what more I can say? And it doesn't feel pleasant. I'm worried about coming off as an ass, and it's not really that great to have to defend a concept that's just basic to me against forms of criticism that feel unfair? Which is probably my fault for how I put things to begin with, but, bleh.

I'm so sorry you feel this way. I get paid to have these kinds of discussions all day, and I kind of like it.


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