hpaulj wrote: ↑
Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:00 pm
For the ordinary user, 'the door is alarmed' is enough to warn that a alarm will (probably/may) sound if the door is opened. Yes, the alarm installation and/or activation might be incomplete or faulty, but I'd only attempt to use it in an emergency. I don't think I've ever seen such a sign, but it's as clear as the common (in the USA) 'Alarm Will Sound If Door Is Opened'.
Looking at Google images for 'door is alarmed' indicates it is most common in the UK, and maybe Australia. And plenty of people try to turn it into a pun ('the window is just startled'). But to Americans, British phrases like 'in hospital' sound just as odd. Where's the missing 'the'?
Yes it's clear enough, just funny.
I have wondered about in hospital / in the hospital before. In the hospital can sound funny if you are not used to it - as though there is only one hospital, or the point is that the person is in a particular one, not just any old hospital... but usage does not seem to be consistent. We can't say 'in hospice', for example. We can say 'my parents got married in church' (well not many people can...) but we can't say 'my parents got married in cathedral'.
To me there is a definite difference in that in the version without the the, the point is the same regardless of which particular hospital or church it is - so maybe it is more like a missing a than a missing the.
When we say 'in the pub / down the pub' it sounds like banter. Somehow this seems to work by playing on the fact that we are implying it's always the same pub, when we know it isn't... I haven't worked it out any more coherently than that though.
Even in the US people say 'my son is in college', I think. Try out the sentence 'my son is in the college' and you'll see how it sounds to us when you say 'my grandma is in the hospital'.