Nantucket is an island. Do people live on it or in it?

Nantucket is an island off the coast of Massachusetts. A man might say that he lives ON Nantucket. He would never say he lives IN Nantucket. For the same reason, it is odd to say, “I live in Boston.” One does not live in the land of Boston. One lives ON the land of Boston.

This is another example of words being used to convey a corporate fiction. In the corporate setting/layer, Boston is a file folder and the person/persona is a business that sits in that folder. In that context, it is correct to say the persona lives in Boston.

But if thou wants to remain a living man or woman, thou would say, “I live on Boston.”

I read about this long ago but it didn’t really click until noticing the language used to state that one lives ON an island not IN an island. Eventually, people will be taught to say they live ‘in Nantucket’.


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