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On or in a car?


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#1 Derwent Motorsport

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 13:43

Marshalling on the VSCC Lakeland Trial on Saturday we had over 100 cars from 1906 to mid thirties. Some of the older cars had the crew perched on top and as they got more modern the crew were within the car. It made me wonder at what point reports stopped saying the driver was on his car and said he was in it. Was the "on" actually due to his postion high up, or did it really go back to the link with horse racing? Or was the "in" linked to the lower cars where the axles was above the chassis members?

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#2 Vitesse2

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 14:19

A lot of early race reports are written in the style of the turf: "Next came Miss Levitt on Mr SF Edge's Napier" etc. This style certainly persists into 1920s Brooklands results, but I think it was dying out by about 1925.

However, "sur" and "auf" are still current in French and German race reports, so "on" hasn't gone away!

GP d'Inde: victoire de Sebastian Vettel sur Red Bull

http://www.lepoint.f...-1521970_26.php

Sebastian Vettel auf Red Bull gewann am 23. September 2012 nach 2:00:26,144 Stunden das 14. Rennen der 63. Formel 1-Saison, den Grand Prix von Singapur.

http://suite101.de/a...-vettel-a138014

Personally, I use "on" for pre-Great War events and "in" for 1919 onwards. A nod to the "iron steeds" of that heroic age - assuming that doesn't sound too pretentious!  ;)

#3 john winfield

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 14:47

Raymond Baxter, a favourite of mine, would use the older terminology on occasion (6m 10s onwards - restarted 1973 BGP) :


http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

Great to watch - any excuse will do.

#4 Michael Ferner

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 16:44

Well, "Sebastian Vettel auf Red Bull" has something to it, I must confess... :D

#5 arttidesco

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 17:47

Raymond Baxter, a favourite of mine, would use the older terminology on occasion (6m 10s onwards - restarted 1973 BGP) :


http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

Great to watch - any excuse will do.



Not seen that before :up:


#6 D-Type

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 18:49

It's a bit hard to say sometimes. For pre-WW1 I agree 'on' more or less makes sense, but I think Lautenschlager was 'in' the 1914 Mercedes. Post WW1, drivers were 'in' Delages, Bugatti 35s and Monza Alfas, and definitely 'in' Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz but I still think they were 'on' an ERA. Post WW2 - always 'in' - even trials cars. But is it 'in' or 'on' a kart?

#7 arttidesco

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 18:58

Post WW2 - always 'in' - even trials cars.


Are you sure ?  ;)

#8 D-Type

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 19:28

I'll class that as an honorary kart so I can say "don't know' :p

#9 arttidesco

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 19:31

I'll class that as an honorary kart so I can say "don't know' :p


:rotfl: :up:

#10 kayemod

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 19:42

How about this for the best of both worlds, one in and one on.

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#11 Nick Planas

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 22:24

Raymond Baxter, a favourite of mine, would use the older terminology on occasion (6m 10s onwards - restarted 1973 BGP) :


http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

Great to watch - any excuse will do.


Nice to hear NGH in the commentary box as well :)

#12 Charlieman

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 21:32

I don't think that anyone has delivered an answer. "On the car" was a common expression beyond Brooklands times and well into the 1950s.

Before this question was raised, it was niggling in my brain. I was reading books that said "in" and others that said "on". But in overlapping reports, "on" and "in" were used for the same car.

Perhaps we fail to understand that somebody is driving an automobile and that they are "with the car".

#13 Allan Lupton

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 21:44

This won't help at all, but you may also have noticed that some people live in a road and others live on a road. I think the latter is mainly found in US-English.

#14 D-Type

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 22:11

I'd never thought about it. Living on a road in Britain is somehow rural: a farm on the Midsomer road, the Jolly Farmer on the Nether Wallop road, a house on the Cambridge Road ( as opposed to in Cambridge Road, Suburbia). It looks as if on this side of the pond it's "on the xxx road"

#15 uechtel

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:24

In German language we have somebody auf (on) a certain make, but in a certain car or model.

#16 kayemod

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:33

This won't help at all, but you may also have noticed that some people live in a road and others live on a road. I think the latter is mainly found in US-English.


This will help even less, but doesn't UK usage depend on the importance of the road? Major roads on, lesser roads in, "I live on The Mall, but he lives in Pooter Road..."


#17 David McKinney

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 11:27

Even further OT...

I've recently noticed that we put different emphasis on the words "road" and "street", eg Pooter Road but Pooter Street. The exception seems to be when the definite article is used, when both words get equal stress, eg the London Road

Does anyone care?

#18 Allan Lupton

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 17:07

Even further OT...

I've recently noticed that we put different emphasis on the words "road" and "street", eg Pooter Road but Pooter Street. The exception seems to be when the definite article is used, when both words get equal stress, eg the London Road

Does anyone care?

My friend who was with the BBC pronunciation unit tells me that "street" is never stressed but all the other descriptors (road, way, close, avenue etc.) are.
As for where one lives, he points out that not only can you live on a road or in a road but you can live either in an address or at it.

Edited by Allan Lupton, 14 November 2012 - 17:10.