flatter

CORALINNA

Senior Member
Portuguese - Brasil
Is it ok to say "NY is flatter than San Francisco."? Because in SF you have many hills all around.
 
  • Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I can't imagine an instance when you would compare the two cities on the basis of one of them being flatter than the other. You could say that the skyline of New York is level compared to San Francisco where the skyline reaches from the waterfront up several hills.
     
    I can't imagine an instance when you would compare the two cities on the basis of one of them being flatter than the other.
    I think you could make such a comparison in some situations. For example, in a discussion about touring American cities by bicycle:

    New York is a flatter city than San Francisco, so it is easier for cyclists.

    That would be a logical follow-up comment to one describing San Francisco as challenging for cyclists because of its many hills.

    (Of course New York is really not very easy for cyclists, but that has nothing to do with hills or lack thereof.)
     

    pops91710

    Senior Member
    English, AE
    I can't imagine an instance when you would compare the two cities on the basis of one of them being flatter than the other. You could say that the skyline of New York is level compared to San Francisco where the skyline reaches from the waterfront up several hills.
    Skyline and topography are not the same thing. I see no reason why you cannot compare the lay of the land in NYC to San Francisco when it is the topic of a discussion.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I can't imagine an instance when you would compare the two cities on the basis of one of them being flatter than the other. You could say that the skyline of New York is level compared to San Francisco where the skyline reaches from the waterfront up several hills.
    If I want to go on a walking tour, I'll pick New York over San Francisco because it is flatter regardless of the skyline.
    I don't think your statement is true either. The tallest buildings in San Francisco are not on top of the tallest hills and the tallest building in San Francisco (Transamerica Pyramid, 850' and not on a hill) is 400 feet shorter than the tallest building in New York City (Empire State Building, 1250').
     

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    My concern is the use of adjective flatter to describe the difference between two American cities. The question is whether it is okay to say that NY is flatter than San Francisco.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    My concern is the use of adjective flatter to describe the difference between two American cities. The question is whether it is okay to say that NY is flatter than San Francisco.
    I say things like that, and it is because I am a cyclist, as another poster noted, it would flow easily in the relevant conversation. We don't move to Cheshire cos it is flatter than Staffordshire. Chester is flatter than Stoke on Trent.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    My concern is the use of adjective flatter to describe the difference between two American cities. The question is whether it is okay to say that NY is flatter than San Francisco.
    To us, it seems obvious that "flatter" refers to the ground. I think we should ask your question of you.
    Why can you only imagine people caring about the standard deviation of the height of the buildings? Are you a giant thinking about lying down on the city? Do you fly planes over cities while blindfolded? ;)

    People comment on whether a skyline is pretty or impressive. I've never heard anyone comment on its flatness. :)
     
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