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    #1

    At instead of In

    In legal documents the preposition "at" is often placed before the name of a city; in "regular" English, however, one would use "in." Here's an example:

    "As regards the increase of 1967, during a meeting at Basel [Basel is a city in Switzerland.] on 19 August 1967, the Geigy undertaking announced its intention to increase its selling prices by 8% with effect from 16 October 1967."

    Do you have any ideas as to why this is?

    Thanks!

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: At instead of In

    Is it possible that Basel is also the name of a company, or that it was being used to mean "at the Basel office"? Otherwise, it doesn't make any sense to me to change the preposition for one type of writing.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #3

    Re: At instead of In

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Is it possible that Basel is also the name of a company, or that it was being used to mean "at the Basel office"? Otherwise, it doesn't make any sense to me to change the preposition for one type of writing.
    No, I don't think it was being used that way. It's quite common in legal writing, though. Here's another example:

    "The Treaty was signed at Washington." (CHINA)

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: At instead of In

    Well, it's a new usage for me. Live and learn!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. Soup's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: At instead of In

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    In legal documents the preposition "at" is often placed before the name of a city; in "regular" English, however, one would use "in." Here's an example:

    "As regards the increase of 1967, during a meeting at Basel [Basel is a city in Switzerland.] on 19 August 1967, the Geigy undertaking announced its intention to increase its selling prices by 8% with effect from 16 October 1967."

    Do you have any ideas as to why this is?

    Thanks!
    In, short for inside or within, is used to modify an enclosed area, like a city;e.g., Basel City, whereas at is used to refer to an absolute reference point in space or time;i.e., I am at work (absolute reference point), in the office (enclosed area).


    • ...during a meeting held at this geographical location: Basel City.

  4. engee30's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: At instead of In

    The same usage is often applied to the location of a football match where it is held, eg:
    They last played at Manchester back in 2009.

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