General Writing and Grammar Help/IN the air & ON the air

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Question
Dear Ted:

Is there any difference between "IN the air" and "ON the air"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

Again, many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Is there any difference between "IN the air" and "ON the air"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

*** There is a BIG difference between the two.  "IN the air" suggests that you are flying.  "ON the air" refers to radio or television broadcasting.

EXAMPLES:

The plane sped down the runway, until its nose began to rise and it suddenly was IN the air.

At the international hot-air balloon festival, more than 200 balloons were IN the air at the same time.

The radio announcer saw the overhead light change to red, and the light said "ON THE AIR."

The political did not realize that his microphone had not been turned off; he was ON THE AIR when he made a racial slur about his opponent.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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