Can anyone tell me, why do you talk 'in character', but 'out OF character'? Why the extra word for what are dual concepts?
In the same way as you are "out of time".
I honestly don't think it is any deeper than that. If I had access to the OED I could probably give you a better answer, but it would probably just end with the same answer. Idioms: they be confusin'.
Now that you've said it... In portuguese we have the same stuff!
In character = no personagem
Inside of the box = dentro da caixa (or In the box = na caixa)
Outside of character = fora do personagem
Outside of the box = fora da caixa (but no Outside the box = Fora a caixa, this is wrong)
Our "da" is a contraction of your "of the", being of = "de", and the = "a"... De+a = da.
Easy! The "of" Is filling the character so you can get out!
I don't need to know the truth anymore... Omega answer was the best. I'll stay with it.
Wha'did I tell you? 8D Just remember to bring cookies to thank it for taking your place. Else you'll get reported and the character will break the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh wall out of anger.
G's onto something, and I think it comes down to this in this case: being 'out of' character is a declared state, one that necessarily demands at least two states for the actor (in character, out of character), and might demand someone else's projected perspective to decide what the actor's state is. A roleplayer can declare that they're out of character; or your friend can remark that you're acting out of character if you're being unusually snippy. Other projected / subjective relationships come up when people are talking about, for instance, a dog being right of that tree. Whose right? Is it my right, or is it your right? (These, btw, are more formally known as projective static adpositions; you can wiki it if you're curious. I initially typed up a whole long explanation and then realized the reaction I'd get would be [tyres squeal, dogs bark, eyes glaze.])
So.. because the relationship you're expressing is projective, you've got to have that of there. There's that explanation, but that brings us back to the original question. Why is "out of character" okay when "in of character" is totally bad?
It's got something to do with the special properties of of. I'm not a semanticist. It may because in usually takes the objective case while out usually takes what's called the of-genitive, which is a sort of genitive where whatever's doing the possessing gets expressed as a prepositional phrase and of postmodifies whatever's being possessed. Contestants of the Island, admin of the site, this sort of thing.
That explanation is good for this..:
✔ in the Outpost
X in of the Outpost
X out the Outpost
✔ out of the Outpost
But, uh! That might be me talking out of my ass? I've just cross-pollenated two theories of argument structure in contemporary theoretical semantics.
[tyres squeal, dogs bark, eyes glaze.]
Uh, right then!
Since i didn't understood anything Z just said, AND since Omega explanation rules... I'm still with Omega's.
Perhaps more a logician's thoughts, rather than a grammarian's, but here goes:
Without detracting from G or Z's explanations*, I think I'd probably explain it in terms of wanting to focus what you are saying as being about what locus you are in or out of, rather than the relationship of being 'in' or 'out'.
To say you are in (locus) is self explanatory in terms of the object to which the relationship is being stated. It's inherently specific. Thus it could be rendered as: Considering all the (locii) I could be at ... (locus) is where I am. The negative form isn't focussed on the fact that I'm somewhere else, it's about the fact that I'm not 'there'. Both forms are automatically focussed on a location.
In contrast, to say that you are outside (locus) leaves open the question "what are you talking about, the fact that A: you are somewhere else (not specified), or that B: you are not in a particular place (specified.)?
Using 'of' specifies that the relationship (outside) under consideration is specifically between you and (locus), and not you and other unspecified locii. Thus it could be rendered as: Considering all the locii I could be, (locus) is not where I am. It avoids the question "where, that is not '(locus)', are you?", because you've already contextually limited the relationship under consideration as between 'you' and '(specific locus)'.
So, this focussing isn't really adding anything useful when I'm talking about being within something, but can be useful when I'm talking about being outside of (!) something.
Putting it another way ... using 'of' attempts to cloak us in a focus on the locus.
That's about my two bobs worth!
PS: it also reduces confusion in incomplete or contracted forms. Consider: "Get out of the kitchen" and "Get out the kitchen". Get the kitchen out of what?
* nor Omega's, for that matter.
Speaking as someone with a linguistics degree from Berkeley...
You guys are nuts. Trying to find logic amongst the prepositions is like looking for Cheetos floating in intergalactic space. There ain't any.
The theories that purport to explain which prepositions are assigned to which locative, genitive, temporal or causal relationships are ex post facto stamp-collecting with no predictive value. This is the sort of bloody nonsense up with which I will not put.
Monsterzero ... I afraid I must disagree. There are so cheetos floating in intergalactic space. Are so are so are so! There, now we've got that settled.
Cheers for all the answers. I've learnt some interesting stuff here. I'm going with Monster0. A Berkeley linguistics degree has to count for something. It's all just pretty much random (the linguistic usage, not the degree). Portugese works the same as English (in this case) either by coincidence, or possibly because both languages inherited this construction from Latin.
Nice to know about 'projective static adpositions' Zol. Even if in the end they weren't especially relevant in this case.
Now I know to bring cookies, next time I'm out of character. Thank you Omega. Should make role playing smoother.
I look forward to seeing Cheetos from outer space, coming soon to an outpost near you.
There you are, you foul Fourth Wall! I shall smite you with randomness and mindblogging logic that exists only in my mind!
Since you can fight said Fourth Wall, there is no reason to be logcial nor to make sense. You can be redundant, repeat yourself and others, write about your inside thoughts or out of character shouting. That's the Improbable Island.
It's the English language. It's about as consistent, and makes about as much sense, as the island.
I haven't been reading it long, but I'd be surprised if the blog Language Log hasn't had a post at some point about this. I'm amazed that I even read it, considering how much I dislike the English language, and grammar in particular.
That being said, I'd have to agree with monsterzero. You're "in"(side) your character, and then your "out"(side) your character, kind of like 1st and 3rd person.
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