RE: Working "with"; working "on"

Subject: RE: Working "with"; working "on"
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "Sean Brierley" <sbrierley -at- Accu-Time -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2008 14:07:24 -0400

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
techwr-l-bounces+kevin -dot- mclauchlan=safenet-inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+kevin -dot- mclauchlan=safenet-inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-
>] On Behalf Of Sean Brierley
> Sent: Monday, August 11, 2008 13:38
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: RE: Working "with"; working "on"
> Based on the original post, I say it all depends on context and I'd
> assume anything. If things are unclear, I'd ask for a clarification.
> only context that would be easy to distinguish would be involving
> people: "I'm working with Burt on the new guide," "I'm working on Burt
> to get him to help with the new guide."

Well, maybe images didn't work for you.
Substitute "car".

If you are working _with_ a car, it's something else that's likely the
expected outcome (say you're the getaway driver...), and a car just
happens to be a tool or a prop that you use along the way. If you are
working _on_ a car, then the car is going nowhere until the pieces are
re-attached and you pack up your tools. Or maybe you are painting it,
and it can go any time... but the results might be messy.

Or somebody might be using a car as a background for a photo shoot - I
would say that they are working _with_ the car..... however, perhaps the
lovely and talented model is draping herself _on_ the car... dammit, I'd
better find another example. Lemme see...

Are you saying that you don't, by default, get a different flavor and
implication from "Jaimie's working _with_ GPS mapping software" and
"Jaimie's working _on_ GPS mapping software"?

That's my question to everybody. I immediately hear "working on" as
"Jaimie is programming it or maybe testing it", but at the very least,
Jaimie is having a hand in creating or modifying it. But "working with"
suggests to me that Jaimie has some job or task in which GPS mapping
software is useful... but somebody else (not likely Jaimie) created that
software. Do others generally note a similar distinction when they
encounter "with" or "on" in such sentences? Or is most of it peculiar
to me? I'm makin' it all up, and I should adjust the meds?

- Kevin

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Working "with"; working "on": From: McLauchlan, Kevin
RE: Working "with"; working "on": From: Sean Brierley

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