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In The Sun Or Inside The Sun?

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In The Sun Or Inside The Sun?. by Temitayo (f): 10:02am on November 28

Like other phenomena, different natural elements have their own registers. That is, there are certain expressions peculiar to them – including grammatical features that must always be observed. Understandably, they bring their own challenges, too.

For instance, do we say someone was struck by thunder or he was stricken by it? Also, December is almost here and that force, which unleashes sharp cold on everyone, wetting eyes and cracking the lips of all and sundry, will assume power. That is harmattan, whose spelling gives some people a headache.

Indeed, the computer too often protests with the red line no matter how well you think you spell it. The reason for this is that some dictionaries do not even recognise the word as harmattan is largely alien to western cultures. No wonder, the Oxford Dictionary defines it thus: ‘A very dry, dusty easterly or north-easterly wind on the West African coast, occurring from December to February.’

Today we are treating one or two of such popular problems: the one concerning the preposition to use in a situation where someone is more or less at the mercy of the sun. Are we to say the person is inside the sun, under the sun or in the sun? Note that inside the sun is a poor and substandard expression. As a matter of fact, it is wrong. It is a carryover from our indigenous languages. At least, I am sure of Yoruba language that has ninu, meaning inside, to describe the presence of someone in the sun or rain. In other words, inside the rain is Yoruba English, as it may be the case in some other Nigerian languages. So, you are speaking bad English next time you ask your child, “What are you doing inside the sun.

The only way one can be inside the sun is by travelling to meet it in the burning space and enter right inside it. Geographers will, however, tell you that no one dare go near the real sun in its fiery majesty.

This leads us to under the sun and in the sun. The first could be a bit sensible but only when what we mean is being under the sun that is up there in the sky, the way you say you are under a tree or the roof of a house. But that is not what we mean when a person is out there probably sweating in the sun. The idea is that the person is in the midst of sunlight. So, the best expression in the context is in the sun.

If you, however, remember, there is a biblical/proverbial saying that there is nothing new under the sun. This is an acceptable statement but it means something entirely different from being in the sun. It means there is nothing happening now that has not happened sometime or somewhere in the past.

The boy is inside the sun. (Wrong)

The boy is under the sun. (Wrong)

There is nothing new under the sun. (Correct)

The boy is in the sun. (Correct)

Inside the rain?

The above explanation is applicable here in the sense that it is illiterate to say you are inside the rain. Inside what? As if you are inside a room or bus! Also, if you say you are under the rain, you are obviously selling the notion that rain (or its source) is up, up in the sky and shielding man the way an umbrella does. This is not the idea of the situation of a man who is either deliberately staying or walking in the rain or is caught up by it. The correct thing to say is that he is in the rain, literally enveloped by it:

The couple had to stay inside the rain for about five minutes. (Wrong)

The couple had to stay under the rain for about five minutes. (Wrong)

The couple had to stay in the rain for about five minutes. (Correct)

Meanwhile, note that, like smitten; stricken is a correct expression. It is the present and past participle of strike. The dictionary describes it as suffering severely from the effects of something unpleasant. So, it is right to say He was stricken by thunder. And, remember, the correct spelling of that peculiar West African wind is ‘harmattan’.

Source: https://punchng.com/in-the-sun-or-inside-the-sun/

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Re: In The Sun Or Inside The Sun?. by Michael08 (m): 12:08am on November 29
hmm thanks for the update, nice article

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