Print

Print


On Sun, May 31, 2009 at 1:26 PM, Mark J. Reed <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> On Sat, May 30, 2009 at 3:20 PM, Gary Shannon <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>> Speaking only for myself, using "at" with a city name in any context
>> just feels very wrong to me.
>
> Not "in any context", but certainly in general, it is very wrong IML.
> To say that something is located within the city limits of city X, one
> says it is "in" X, not "at" X.
>
> Furthermore, in those rare instances where "at X" does occur for some
> city X, it doesn't mean the same thing as "in X".  It means "at [some
> specific institution or event with which the listener is familiar that
> is located or taking place in] X."  For instance, "at the X
> office/bureau/campus/base": "I'm stationed at Reykjavik" refers to a
> specific military installation.  "I'm up at Santa Cruz" must refer to
> the University, not just the city).  If it has been established that
> the next LCS will be in Reykjavik, I might say "I'll be at Reykjavik"
> to mean "I'll be at the LCS when it is in Reykjavik".  But "in" would
> still be correct, and more likely.
>
>> The only exception I can think of might be "The arrow points at
>> Chicago." But that talks about direction, not location.
>
> There's always "The University of Illinois at Chicago".  But this use
> of "at" for specific campuses in a university system feels like a set
> phrase, and is related to the elision meaning I gave above.  You
> certainly wouldn't say *"the main campus of the University of Illinois
> is at Chicago"; you'd have to say "in Chicago".  A Google search for
> "at Chicago" confirms this - the top results are all names of
> colleges, schools within the college, embassies, etc.  Going down the
> list the hits are all using the city name as a possessive modifier of
> the sort of noun you normally use "at" with: "at Chicago's Tea Party",
> "at Chicago's famous such-and-such restaurant"...

Isn't that basically just metonymy?