Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Allen165 is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Switzerland
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    1,676
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 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!

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    16,970
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 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.

  3. #3
    Allen165 is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Switzerland
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    1,676
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 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)

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    16,970
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 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.

  5. #5
    Soup's Avatar
    Soup is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,892
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 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.

  6. #6
    engee30's Avatar
    engee30 is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Great Britain
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    2,819
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default 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.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk