General Writing and Grammar Help/Center of attention

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Question
Dear Ted:

Which of the following sentences is correct?

1) He ​likes being the center of ​attention.

2) He ​likes being at the center of ​attention.

If both are possible, do they mean the same thing?

If so, which would you use?

Thank you,

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

1) He ​likes being the center of ​attention.

2) He ​likes being at the center of ​attention.

If both are possible, do they mean the same thing?

*** No, they don't mean the same thing.  If he is AT the center of attention, he is where the action is.  He is not necessarily alone.  For instance, during a basketball game, the ten players are AT the center of attention.

If he IS the center of attention, he is the STAR.  There may be many other people around him, but he likes to be the one person who stands out over everyone else.  

If so, which would you use?

** Either one, depending on what meaning I want to confer.  The USUAL phrase is "he likes being the center of attention."  In other words, he is an egotist.


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.

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

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