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Why do we say he lives on campus but not he lives in campus? Technically we live in the boundaries of the campus.

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Noah, maybe you should add your example as an answer to this question... – J.R. Jun 14 '12 at 10:31
up vote 7 down vote accepted

You live on a piece of land which includes several buildings. The same preposition, on, is used with the word farm as well, and the logic behind it is the same.

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Does a farm have multiple buildings? – Noah Jun 14 '12 at 10:42
@Noah: To my (extremely) limited experience, apart from the house where the farmer usually lives, there are also barns for the animals. – Irene Jun 14 '12 at 10:48
Thanks! I should probably visit one :) – Noah Jun 14 '12 at 11:31
I wouldn't try to find logic in it: if you try to apply logic to linguistic questions you often get the wrong answer. The actual answer is "because that's what we do". Americans tend to live on a street; the British used to live in a street, though nowadays they sometimes live on one. – Colin Fine Jun 14 '12 at 16:22
"Does a farm have multiple buildings?" Yes, of course. What an odd question - have you ever seen a farm with strictly one stucture?? – Joe Blow Aug 29 '14 at 12:50

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