Wednesday, October 24, 2007

In And On Again

In the mail, I received an advertisement from a catering company. The ad wanted to inform me of their Christmas food packages and prices. The also said that "If you want your order(s) arranged in your platter(s) pls send in advance."

If you studied my previous post regarding in and on, you will notice the error in the use of in. Here's something from that post:

On refers to a surface: "The cat jumped on the counter," "She placed her phone on the sofa."
In refers to being surrounded: "That was in my bag," "She is in the theater."

The advertisement I received wanted to say that the catering company can arrange food using the platters or plates of the client. A plate or a platter is a relatively flat surface; therefore, we use on: "If you want your order(s) arranged on your platter(s)."

If we're talking about a bowl, though, we use in as the sides of a bowl surround the food: "The fruit is in the salad bowl."

Of course, the sentence from the advertisement I received has other problems. Here's the fully corrected sentence: "If you want your order(s) arranged on your platter(s), please send them in advance.

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