Thursday, April 2, 2009

Language Peeves - Where Are You At?

From a reader -

I used to monitor the HAM 2-meter frequency which is for local radio communications. Most of the people asked location by saying, "Where are you at?" I always wanted to ask, "What's the difference between 'Where are you?' and 'Where are you at?'"

The word where, by semantic nature, includes the preposition at, so asking someone where they are is the same as asking "at what location are you?"

That said, it would be redundant to ask the question, "At what location are you at?"

8 comments:

OHN said...

Like the old joke of two students at Harvard. One asks the other where the library is at....the other answers that those at Harvard do not end a sentence with a preposition...the first guy then rephrases to: Where's the library at asshole?

Laura Payne said...

Good one and very similar to the old joke I posted a few weeks ago - http://walkinthewords.blogspot.com/2009/03/grammar-humor-dont-end-sentence-with.html

Erin Davis said...

Exactly. The "at" is not necessary!

One of my latest language pet peeves: The incorrect use of the reflexive pronoun. Example: Thank you for giving such a warm welcome to my wife and myself.

Mark Pennington said...

Think you've heard 'em all? Check out these Top 40 Vocabulary Pet Peeves, but warning… you may cringe on a few that you have misused.

Wordacious said...

Mark - Great blog and a great post. I'm sure I have misused some of the words on occasion because, as you said, "everyone misuses a word now and then".

Mark Pennington said...

Thought the vocabulary list was enlightening? Check out these Top 40 Pronunciation Pet Peeves, but warning… you may cringe on a few that you mispronounce.

dandibrandi said...

You might be interested in the Newfoundland dialect(s), where it is perfectly acceptable to ask someone, "where ya to?" (where are you?) or "where did you find that to?" (where did you find that?) or "I was over to the store" (I was at the store). A fun sample sentence from a Newfoundlander: "stay where you're to 'til I comes where you're at."

The dialect is fascinating, if you ever want to explore it (there is actually a lot of variation in the dialect across the island, so I'd probably say it is more accurate to call them multiple dialects).

Wordacious said...

Thanks for mentioning the dialect dandibrandi, it does look fascinating. I will certainly check it out as I am very interested in dialects and have written about Michigan's Upper Peninsula dialect many times. http://walkinthewords.blogspot.com/search?q=upper+peninsula

Have a great day.

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