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I'm making a chat application and when the user chooses to delete someone I need to show a confirmation window, but I'm unsure which to use.

Option 1

Are you sure you want to delete? You will no longer see this person in your Contacts.

Option 2

Are you sure you want to delete? You will no longer see this person on your Contacts.

Is one more correct or more often used than the other?

  • My vote is for "IN." Contacts in this case acts as a container that contains many individuals. I have never heard a sentence like this constructed with "ON" rather than "IN." For context, I am native American English speaker in the northeast United States. – Lumberjack Jul 24 '14 at 18:12
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    Really that sounds like a contextual question based on your implementations and preferences. Either works just fine. What makes the most sense to you? I have people IN my contacts. I have people ON my contacts list – MegaMark Jul 24 '14 at 18:19
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    There is a question which is often cited as a duplicate: Should I use "in" or "on". The answer depends on how you visualise your Contacts: as a container/group/collection, or a list. – Andrew Leach Jul 24 '14 at 18:19
  • @AndrewLeach Yeah that's what I was trying to say – MegaMark Jul 24 '14 at 18:21
  • @MegaMark I concur. I have heard the usage you shared as well. However, without the word "list," the sentence would be awkward to my ears. – Lumberjack Jul 24 '14 at 18:24
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"In your Contacts" sounds like it would be more appropriate. Since your contacts are a group of people and this person will not longer be in that group.

I feel this is somewhat similar to when deciding whether you "Sign in/on" or "Log in/on". It seems like the more acceptable approach is the word "in" for the reason that you are dealing with a collection of objects.

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The concept of "Contacts" on the internet works a lot like a physical address book and has many of the same expressions.

So someone would be in your contacts, since information shared by books is said to be in a book.

However, if you change that to "contact list," then it becomes on.

"Did you find Brad in your contacts?"

"No, he wasn't on my contact list."

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