Where It’s At

This Tip of the Day is brought to you by the tiny word “at.”

There are right ways and wrong ways to use “at,” and we are going to discuss when and how to use “at” both in the middle and at the end of sentences.

Bad Examples:

Where are my sunglasses at?  (end of sentence)

Oil production is at 475 b/d and the water cut is at 23%. (middle of sentence)

Corrected Examples:

Where are my sunglasses?

Oil production is 475 b/d and the water cut is 23%.

[Commercial Break]

Sometimes you feel like an “at,”

Sometimes you don’t.

The boys in the ‘hood use “at,”

Grammar geeks won’t.
[Now, back to our regularly scheduled program…]

There are times, however, when using a colloquialism adds the appropriate flavor to a particular sentence. Even the Oxford English Dictionary defines a proper use for the idiom “where it’s at” as “the true or essential nature of a situation (or person); the true state of affairs; a place of central activity.”


He’s a hip, cool dude who really knows where it’s at.

That drilling rig superintendent has drilled so many horizontal wells, he really knows where it’s at.

These days, the Bakken Shale is where it’s at.


It pays to read those weekly status reports carefully, because sometimes you get a few good laughs.

Here are two examples I saw today.

1) The backflush was perfumed with no success. I’m sure they meant “performed” rather than “perfumed.” No, they weren’t talking about bathroom odors here; they were trying to perform a backflush on a well to clean out perforations or drilling fluids or something.

2) The rig is currently in the well to fish the roads. I’m sure they cannot fit the entire rig in the wellbore, and they were fishing out a parted rod from a beam pump, not a road. But the image of the rig in the well trying to catch a fish in the roads was worth having to read the entire progress report.

Profound Quote of the Day:
“The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself – the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us – that’s where it’s at.”

– Jesse Owens, American runner, 4 gold medals in 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany, 1913-1980


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