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Should I use “in” or “on”?

What is the difference between these two phrases? Which is more common?

find something in the wiki

find something on the wiki

marked as duplicate by Matt E. Эллен, James Waldby - jwpat7, aedia λ, Mitch, user2683 Dec 22 '11 at 19:04

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  • 3
    Honestly, I hear both as equally acceptable. – sq33G Dec 22 '11 at 12:21

I lean towards in the wiki, but I think that is simply because the usage is more common and has become idiomatic. Whether we look "in" or "on" a reference derives from our actions towards its physical incarnation, thus

  • in the manual
  • in the dictionary
  • in the catalog
  • in the directory


  • on the agenda
  • on the bulletin board
  • on the list

However, when referring to a specific wiki, I would use on. A wiki is a type of website, and websites are almost invariably "on":

  • look it up in the wiki
  • look it up on Wikipedia
  • look it up in Lexis
  • look it up on Lexis.com
  • look it up on the intranet
  • featured on Yelp
  • find us on Facebook
  • I agree the more "the wiki" is associated with a specific website (such as Wikipedia), the more likely it is we will use "on" rather than "in". Overall, "in" seems to always be more common, but that preference definitely seems to lessen as the target gets more specific. – FumbleFingers Dec 22 '11 at 19:16
  • @FumbleFingers: There, is the difference you are looking for: it's in the wiki; but on Wikipedia. Notice that in the above examples, on goes with proper names/ domain names, for instance. – Kris Dec 23 '11 at 8:12
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    @Kris: Let's not forget we're talking about a stylistic tendency here, not some black/white right/wrong. Also note that if you check UK/US usage for, say, in/on a database you'll see the US favours "in" by more than 5:1, but for the UK that preference is less than 3:1. – FumbleFingers Dec 23 '11 at 14:48

It is in the wiki.

Wiki is a community edited knowledge base, in which one could find something.

  • 1
    unless "wiki" refers to the website on which the wiki resides... – yuttadhammo Dec 22 '11 at 13:57
  • 1
    I don't see why grammatically speaking the wiki should be any different to the database. Whilst it's true that in the database is more common, that doesn't imply "on" is in any way "incorrect". – FumbleFingers Dec 22 '11 at 19:09
  • @FumbleFingers: please see my comment under choster's post. – Kris Dec 23 '11 at 8:14

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