Steve Jobs was good at speech. So some people call him

the god of the field of speech


the god in the field of speech

Which one is correct?

1 Answer 1


I know your question has nothing at all to do with religion or religious belief, and people in power are often described as "gods" (even in religious texts) but you shouldn't be surprised that usage of the word "god" is shaped somewhat by religious contexts.

When people speak about "god" in the singular, especially in a religious context when they believe there is only one god, they tend not to use any article at all (ie they don't say "the god", they just call him "God"). On the other hand, when there are many gods they tend to have some kind of domain or responsibility, for example, Thor is the god of thunder in Norse mythology.

So, if you are calling someone the god (with the definite article) it sounds more natural to say "the god of [x]":

Steve Jobs was the god of the field of speech.

However, if you felt there were other people equally as noteworthy in the same field, you might use the indefinite article which sounds more natural and works fine with "in":

Steve jobs was a god in the field of speech.

In my opinion, this latter choice is the most natural and idiomatic. Using the definite article also implies that there must always be someone designated as the god of that field. As you are speaking about Steve Jobs in the past tense, it begs the question as to who replaced him? Even if there were no-one to equal him in his lifetime, perhaps now there are several people who might. Saying he was a god in this field allows for all these possibilities.

  • I'd go further. The whole structure is so unidiomatic that the OP would be better off starting again: Avoid "some people say", "god" and "field of speech" Since 1) who are these people? 2) we don't use "god" like that, and 3) speech isn't a field of study.
    – James K
    Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 16:38

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