I recently noticed this in various titles of things (books, articles, etc.):

  • Language and the brain
  • Technology and society

These make sense and are grammatical, but why not use in in place of and (especially in the second example)? Why not technology in society? This would better define that technology is a part of society and not just "next to" it.

Is there any grammatical difference between in and and here besides them being different parts of speech?

  • 1
    Is "Society in Technology" the same as "Technology in Society?" If your answer is yes, then "in" and "and" are synonymous in this context. Personally, I think the answer is no.
    – Lumberjack
    May 13, 2015 at 1:09
  • "In" and "and" are two different words with different meanings. What makes you think this is a special case?
    – user11550
    May 13, 2015 at 4:24

1 Answer 1


I think I would consider them to mean slightly different things but the difference is nuanced.

"Language and the brain" means to me "The relationship between the brain and language"

"Language in the brain" means to me "The areas of the brain pertaining to language"

"Technology and society" would mean "The relationship between society and technology"

and then "Technology in society" means "The areas of society where technology is used"

In the end, I interpret the difference to be physical places or instances where a thing is found versus the effects of one thing on another.

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