I saw a special slogan in a library,

Loud talk's out of keeping in this library.

I have ​looked it up in the online cambridge ​dictionary, and I can see that they use the preposition, "with" in the two given example sentences.
Does this mean that the use of "in" in the slogan is wrong? Or both are correct?

Thank you

  • 2
    I don't understand the meaning of this sentence. Are you sure you wrote it exactly as it is? Dec 17, 2015 at 19:26
  • I remembered that FumbleFingers had given some suggestion to my question, but it disappears now. FumbleFingers, can you post it again please?
    – kitty
    Dec 18, 2015 at 9:18
  • 1
    Bare "out of keeping ... in" is not an idiomatic use nowadays. books.google.com/ngrams/… Dec 18, 2015 at 15:02
  • 1
    Is it from this book? books.google.com/… Dec 18, 2015 at 15:06

1 Answer 1


The normal use of "out of keeping" does use the preposition "with," as in "loud talking is completely out of keeping with proper library etiquette." With this idiomatic phrase, two things are being compared: loud talking and proper library etiquette, and they are found to be incompatible.

But this sentence doesn't use "out of keeping" to compare anything; it just uses it to mean something like "wrong" or "inappropriate." So it says "in this library" to describe the location where loud talk is "out of keeping." Other examples where "in" could be appropriate:

Yelling is out of keeping in an exam room

Insulting your classmates is out of keeping in English class

That said, this sentence is close to unreadable to this native speaker, and I wouldn't recommend trying to learn too much from it. A few ways it might be rephrased:

Loud talk is out of keeping with library etiquette

Let's keep loud talk out of this library

[Please] no loud talking in this library


  • Thank you for the help, Zach Lipton. In your example sentence, "Yelling is out of keeping in an exam room", will it make the meaning different if I change the presposition this way, "Yelling is out of keeping with an exam room"?
    – kitty
    Dec 18, 2015 at 9:07
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    That looks a little wrong to me @kitty, though perfectly understandable. The meaning would be the same either way. We normally use "in" to describe things things that happen in a place. You could say "Yelling is out of keeping with the rules for taking exams." I suppose you could also say "Yelling is out of keeping with being in an exam room," though that sounds somewhat awkward. I'm curious what others think though. Dec 18, 2015 at 9:18

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