Why do we say “in” a movie but “on” a TV show?
Em: Emma, did you see Johnny Depp on Alice through the looking glass? I found the movie very interesting.
Emma: Yes it was good. But Johnny Depp was ‘in’ the movie not ‘on’.
Em: Really? I thought it was ‘on’ like ‘on’ television.
Emma: No silly. A movie is like a book. You can be ‘in’ a book or ‘in’ a movie. A television is a physical object and you can be ‘on’ a television.
Em: Haha! Am I sitting ‘on’ the television?
Emma: Very funny! When you are watching television, you are watching pictures displayed ‘on’ the television screen. But a movie is not an object. It is a collection of information or a story and the characters are all ‘in’ a movie.
Reason: That’s right. It all started before the invention of movies or television. People used to act in plays, on a stage- Stage plays. Another reason can be that television shows are ongoing but movies are not. Thus, you are ‘on’ an ongoing television show but you are ‘in’ a movie.
Em: Huh! Now I am confused as to what is going ‘on’ ‘in’ my mind!