Odd Language #166: In or Out: Make Up Your Mind

Last week, I wrote about the ambiguity of “in”. Mr. Compton is the best tracker in Jeffersonville (in Robert Charles Wilson’s Darwinia). One interpretation of that is that he is based in Jeffersonville.

The issue: Another way of stating this is that he is based out of Jeffersonville, “out” meaning “in” here. Sometimes, I wonder why we bother so much with prepositions in English. They can be more confusing than clarifying.