A reader in Portland, Oregon, sent me a lovely email complimenting an article I wrote, which had just posted online. The headline made me gasp: "A Local Shares Things to Do in Oahu." It's true, I'm a local to O‘ahu (which I spell the Hawaiian way), and it's true that in the article I share some of my favorite things to do there.

But "in" O‘ahu? This is one of my pet peeves. I most frequently see "in Maui," but it doesn't matter which island you're talking about; non-locals don't seem to get that O‘ahu and Maui are islands, not cities.

I did some investigating and found discussions on (not in)External link opens in new tab or window Grammar Exchange andExternal link opens in new tab or window English Language Learners Stack Exchange that tackle this vexing prepositional situation.

Thankfully, the offending headline of my article was online. I emailed my editor, she agreed with me, and—Presto!—the preposition was fixed. Curious? Read the articleExternal link opens in new tab or window here.

—Constance Hale

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