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On Sun, May 31, 2009 at 8:48 AM, David McCann <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> On Sat, 2009-05-30 at 12:20 -0700, Gary Shannon wrote:
>
>> Speaking only for myself, using "at" with a city name in any context
>> just feels very wrong to me. I might say "I will be at the conference
>> in Reykjavik.", but I would never say "*I will be at Reykjavik." or
>> "*The conference will be at Reykjavik." In my Midwest and Pacific
>> Northwest American dialect the proper preposition to use with a city
>> name is always "in". Always.
>
> In my English English, "at" is less common but possible in some cases. I
> suspect that it depends on the size of the place:
>
> at Watford
> ?at Birmingham
> *at London
>
> Of course, there's always the idiomatic use of "at" in connection with
> universities: "She's at Birmingham".

And then there are cases where the noun may refer to different places
depending on the preposition. For example, take "Fillmore" in San
Francisco. Depending on the preposition and presence of a definite
article, it could refer to the Fillmore Auditorium, the Fillmore
District, or Fillmore Street:

"at the Fillmore" -> Fillmore Auditorium (a music venue)
"in the Fillmore" -> Fillmore District (a neighborhood, which contains
the venue)
"at Fillmore" (no article) -> Fillmore Street (one of the main
thoroughfares in the district)