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?