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Non-Road Boards => Off-Topic => Topic started by: jon daly on August 21, 2018, 11:37:17 AM

Title: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: jon daly on August 21, 2018, 11:37:17 AM
Conn. > CT
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: 1995hoo on August 21, 2018, 11:56:51 AM
No.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: oscar on August 21, 2018, 12:06:51 PM
Not me, either.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: english si on August 21, 2018, 12:20:28 PM
On an individual level, a lot are better, but as a system it's terrible with no consistency and little sense:It's a symptom of the terrible idea that papers should have awkward English, especially in headlines and at the beginning of articles - pretty much unique to your side of the pond. Or should I say "AP style guide 'terrible' says Brit, moans about US paper headlines".
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: jon daly on August 21, 2018, 01:43:43 PM
The USPS system just seems forced to me; trying to fit every abbreviation into an ALLCAPS two letter format. It reminds me of the metric system.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: SP Cook on August 21, 2018, 02:00:45 PM
I have always associated the AP style with old people.  It was how my grandmother addressed letters.  The post office way is fine.  There are some quirks, such as why is Alabama AL and Alaska AK (and Alberta AB) ?  It would seem that nobody should have AL.  The too many M states (and Manitoba) also make it hard to memorize. You just have to memorize the list.

I have seen newspapers use the postal system, often confusingly.  My local rag has used VT for both Vermont and Virginia Tech (BTW, if you want to get under the skin of a Hokie, call the place "VPI" ), LA for Louisiana and Los Angeles, and, locally, they always print SC for the suburb of South Charleston and its high school, and then copy AP stories that mean South Carolina. 

Because the internet uses .ca for Canada, I think California ought to be CF.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: corco on August 21, 2018, 02:06:10 PM
Yes.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: oscar on August 21, 2018, 02:12:53 PM
I have always associated the AP style with old people.  It was how my grandmother addressed letters.  The post office way is fine.  There are some quirks, such as why is Alabama AL and Alaska AK (and Alberta AB) ?  It would seem that nobody should have AL.  The too many M states (and Manitoba) also make it hard to memorize. You just have to memorize the list.

I have seen newspapers use the postal system, often confusingly.  My local rag has used VT for both Vermont and Virginia Tech (BTW, if you want to get under the skin of a Hokie, call the place "VPI" ), LA for Louisiana and Los Angeles, and, locally, they always print SC for the suburb of South Charleston and its high school, and then copy AP stories that mean South Carolina.

When making travel reservations, I've run into agents who think Virginia's abbreviation is "VI", which actually belongs to the Virgin Islands. The ZIP/postal code mismatch when the agent enters "VI" tells the agent that something went wrong, so I can set the agent straight.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: 1995hoo on August 21, 2018, 02:29:27 PM
On an individual level, a lot are better, but as a system it's terrible with no consistency and little sense:
  • Some states, even 6-letter Hawaii, aren't abbreviated at all.
  • Ark., but Calif. rather than Cal. - why?
  • Ga., Ky., La., Md., Mo., Pa., Vt. and Va. have their postal codes as their AP abbreviations despite those codes not being consecutive letters in the state name
It's a symptom of the terrible idea that papers should have awkward English, especially in headlines and at the beginning of articles - pretty much unique to your side of the pond. Or should I say "AP style guide 'terrible' says Brit, moans about US paper headlines".

Then you have the Bluebook legal citation guide that has its own different set of state abbreviations, such as “Haw.” and “Cal.” (I find “Haw.” to be really weird.)

Some people abbreviate Ohio as “O.” I think there’s a BGS somewhere that does do as well.

The ones I find very weird are when people use the postal abbreviations without using all-caps, such as “Il” (I think a BGS somewhere has that too, and it’s in Clearview!) or “Ct” (context would tell you it’s not meaning “Court”). Of course this isn’t always true in view of abbreviations like “Va.” or “Ga.”

I don’t see the need for the pointless periods with the AP/Bluebook style, especially if you’re required for whatever reason to use monospaced type (the periods waste a lot of space).

Regarding the postal abbreviations for Alabama, Alaska, and Alberta, what would you change them to? “AA” would be weird, and it wouldn’t be any less ambiguous than “AL” might be considered. This is probably also why the AP/Bluebook style uses “Mo.” for Missouri—they use “Miss.” for Mississippi, and “Mi.” wouldn’t work.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: abefroman329 on August 21, 2018, 02:30:10 PM
For purely aesthetic reasons, yes. But they’re far less logical than USPS abbreviations, and I’d hate to have to actually write “Ill.” all the time.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: SP Cook on August 21, 2018, 03:16:05 PM
[“AA” would be weird

AA is already taken.  It is what they used to call APO (Army and Air Force) or FPO (Navy and Marines) Miami. 

In the old days the last line of an address for somebody in the service out of the country or at sea was like APO Miami, FL  but now it is like APO AE with a zip code. 

The odd change they made a few years ago was to turn State Dept mail over to the military.  In the old days if you wanted to write somebody working in the American embassy somewhere, they had a fake street address in Arlington, VA, the street being the place they really were, such that somebody in the embassy in Russia was:

Joe Blow
100 Moscow St.
Arlington, VA

Now they use the same as the military which replaces the made up street with a numeric code and the town with DPO AE.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: Beltway on August 21, 2018, 03:59:26 PM
My local rag has used VT for both Vermont and Virginia Tech (BTW, if you want to get under the skin of a Hokie, call the place "VPI" ),

They do get bothered by that?  Back at least thru the 1970s "VPI" was very commonly used in speech, although "Virginia Tech" was also used.

The full name hasn't changed.  Per Wikipedia -- "Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, commonly known as Virginia Tech and by the initialisms VT and VPI … "

VPI&SU is also used.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: CNGL-Leudimin on August 21, 2018, 05:51:39 PM
USPS all the way. Also as a unified nomenclature for State Routes, instead of "SR"/"WYO"/"M-" crap.

Italy does the same with its (former) provinces, they all but Rome use two letter abbreviations.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: kalvado on August 21, 2018, 06:32:48 PM

Italy does the same with its (former) provinces, they all but Rome use two letter abbreviations.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_3166-1
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_3166-2
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: abefroman329 on August 21, 2018, 07:10:42 PM
USPS all the way. Also as a unified nomenclature for State Routes, instead of "SR"/"WYO"/"M-" crap.
How frequently are there state routes without an accompanying street name for that route?
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: US 89 on August 21, 2018, 07:15:40 PM
USPS all the way. Also as a unified nomenclature for State Routes, instead of "SR"/"WYO"/"M-" crap.
How frequently are there state routes without an accompanying street name for that route?

Extremely common in the west, sometimes even in cities.

And for the record, I hate AP abbreviations. They seem forced when they’re used.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: 1 on August 21, 2018, 07:50:53 PM
I prefer the USPS abbreviations, too.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: mgk920 on August 21, 2018, 07:55:53 PM
Regarding the postal abbreviations for Alabama, Alaska, and Alberta, what would you change them to? “AA” would be weird, and it wouldn’t be any less ambiguous than “AL” might be considered. This is probably also why the AP/Bluebook style uses “Mo.” for Missouri—they use “Miss.” for Mississippi, and “Mi.” wouldn’t work.

To the USPS, 'AA' is for mail to 'Armed Forces Americas'.  For example, if you are sending a card to your friend in the Army and he or she is stationed stateside, the bottom line in the address would be 'APO, AA (ZIP Code)'.

Mike
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: mgk920 on August 21, 2018, 08:17:46 PM
I have always associated the AP style with old people.  It was how my grandmother addressed letters.  The post office way is fine.  There are some quirks, such as why is Alabama AL and Alaska AK (and Alberta AB) ?  It would seem that nobody should have AL.  The too many M states (and Manitoba) also make it hard to memorize. You just have to memorize the list.

I have seen newspapers use the postal system, often confusingly.  My local rag has used VT for both Vermont and Virginia Tech (BTW, if you want to get under the skin of a Hokie, call the place "VPI" ), LA for Louisiana and Los Angeles, and, locally, they always print SC for the suburb of South Charleston and its high school, and then copy AP stories that mean South Carolina. 

Because the internet uses .ca for Canada, I think California ought to be CF.

Boat registration numbers use 'CF' for California.  Wisconsin ('WI' to the USPS) is 'WS' on boats and Michigan ('MI' to the USPS) is 'MC' on boats.

I very much prefer the USPS abbreviations, along with their Canada Post brethren.

BTW, the complete list for boat registration number state codes for the USA:
http://continuouswave.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/016188.html

I have not been able to find the equivalent list for Canadian provinces and territories, except that Ontario is 'ON'.

Mike
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: bandit957 on August 21, 2018, 08:49:40 PM
I remember reading a book that used "Ken." instead of "Ky." Another book used "U." for Utah.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: qguy on August 21, 2018, 10:58:19 PM
Some old-timers used "Penna." instead of "Pa." for Pennsylvania. I guess PennDOT and the PTC could be called old-timers since they used signage with "Penna Turnpike."
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: Duke87 on August 22, 2018, 12:06:51 AM
I grew up with standard postal abbreviations and only encountered the other older abbreviations later in life. Personally I prefer the postal method for its consistency (two letter code for every state or Canadian province).

My praise of the post office for consistency ends there, though. Their methods are shit for how they assign ZIP codes and accompanying (often fake, contrived) city names.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: PurdueBill on August 22, 2018, 12:12:44 AM
Put me down as an old fart who's a fan of the traditional abbreviations.  Maybe it's because of being from Mass. originally or going to school in Del. and Ind. and living in O., but I likes me the old-time abbrev.

Someone mentioned the BGS with "O." for Ohio.  There was at least until recently a surviving example in Indianapolis on I-65 SB approaching I-70, advertising "Columbus O." in button copy which nowadays would be Dayton, possibly "Dayton OH" but possibly not, but definitely not in button copy.  There used to be more "O." examples but there were many more "Columbus OH." ones with the extraneous period.

I don't think in the case of the M states that it is natural for people to abbreviate some of them with only two letters.  Like Massachusetts and Mississippi; which one should be MS?  When I was growing up near Boston giving my address over the phone or something, I don't know how many times I had to correct someone who assumed Mass was MS.  I said no, it's MA and they said isn't Maine MA? No, Maine is ME. Mississippi is MS. They thought Miss. was MI. Well what about Mich? Who knows what they thought that was.  Mass, Mich, Miss just come easier for common usage by humans in contexts where you aren't writing something for a machine to read.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: jon daly on August 22, 2018, 06:23:47 AM
^This was the best verbalization of my sentiments.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: jon daly on August 22, 2018, 06:30:28 AM
I grew up with standard postal abbreviations and only encountered the other older abbreviations later in life. Personally I prefer the postal method for its consistency (two letter code for every state or Canadian province).

My praise of the post office for consistency ends there, though. Their methods are shit for how they assign ZIP codes and accompanying (often fake, contrived) city names.

Ooh! I love numbering schemes like area codes, Zip Codes, et cetera. (Part of the appeal of the highways for me was the numbering system,) In the Hartford area, they're assigned semi-alphabetically. There's aberrations like Enfield being stuck between Taftville and Tolland at 06082 and 06083. But that may be because the biggest part of town BITD was Thompsonville.


http://www.ciclt.net/sn/clt/capitolimpact/gw_ziplist.aspx?zip=060
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: 1 on August 22, 2018, 07:00:16 AM
I grew up with standard postal abbreviations and only encountered the other older abbreviations later in life. Personally I prefer the postal method for its consistency (two letter code for every state or Canadian province).

My praise of the post office for consistency ends there, though. Their methods are shit for how they assign ZIP codes and accompanying (often fake, contrived) city names.

Ooh! I love numbering schemes like area codes, Zip Codes, et cetera. (Part of the appeal of the highways for me was the numbering system,) In the Hartford area, they're assigned semi-alphabetically. There's aberrations like Enfield being stuck between Taftville and Tolland at 06082 and 06083. But that may be because the biggest part of town BITD was Thompsonville.


http://www.ciclt.net/sn/clt/capitolimpact/gw_ziplist.aspx?zip=060

Alphabetical here, too, within each "hundred block". 018xx starts with its "primary" city (which for some reason is Woburn), and then it goes alphabetical. Other "hundred blocks" are similar, starting with a primary city and then going alphabetical.

[begin edit]
ZIP codes in Massachusetts:

These are the "hundred blocks". Except for 021xx and those with only a few cities/towns, the one listed as "primary" gets the lowest numbers, and the rest are alphabetical.

010xx (no primary): Western MA.
011xx: Springfield and Longmeadow MA only
012xx (Pittsfield): Western MA, north of 010xx.
013xx (Greenfield): North-central MA.
014xx (Fitchburg): North-central MA, east of 013xx.
015xx (no primary): Central MA, excluding Worcester.
016xx: Worcester, and Worcester only.
017xx (Framingham): Western suburbs of Boston.
018xx (Woburn): Northern suburbs of Boston, but not on the coast.
019xx (Lynn): North Shore.
020xx (no primary): Southwest suburbs of Boston.
021xx (Boston): Boston and inner suburbs to the north; not alphabetical, unlike the others.
022xx: Part of Boston, and part of Cambridge.
023xx (Brockton): South Shore.
024xx (no primary): Western inner suburbs of Boston.
025xx (no primary): Part of Cape Cod and the Islands.
026xx (no primary): The rest of Cape Cod.
027xx (no primary): The part of MA near RI.
RI begins at 028xx.

[end edit]

Area codes are interesting, too. By design, they have nearly equal population (about 1.5 million), and they're not gerrymandered. Also, you used to be able to tell how important the area code was by its digits — lower digits meant more important. I'm still not sure why western Massachusetts got 413 and the Boston area got 617, though; the Boston area really should have gotten lower digits.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: 20160805 on August 22, 2018, 07:53:19 AM
USPS all the way. Also as a unified nomenclature for State Routes, instead of "SR"/"WYO"/"M-" crap.

Italy does the same with its (former) provinces, they all but Rome use two letter abbreviations.
Yup.  This is exactly what I do in my road logs too.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: abefroman329 on August 22, 2018, 08:53:35 AM
I grew up with standard postal abbreviations and only encountered the other older abbreviations later in life. Personally I prefer the postal method for its consistency (two letter code for every state or Canadian province).

My praise of the post office for consistency ends there, though. Their methods are shit for how they assign ZIP codes and accompanying (often fake, contrived) city names.

Ooh! I love numbering schemes like area codes, Zip Codes, et cetera. (Part of the appeal of the highways for me was the numbering system,) In the Hartford area, they're assigned semi-alphabetically. There's aberrations like Enfield being stuck between Taftville and Tolland at 06082 and 06083. But that may be because the biggest part of town BITD was Thompsonville.


http://www.ciclt.net/sn/clt/capitolimpact/gw_ziplist.aspx?zip=060

Alphabetical here, too, within each "hundred block". 018xx starts with its "primary" city (which for some reason is Woburn), and then it goes alphabetical. Other "hundred blocks" are similar, starting with a primary city and then going alphabetical.

Area codes are interesting, too. By design, they have nearly equal population (about 1.5 million), and they're not gerrymandered. Also, you used to be able to tell how important the area code was by its digits — lower digits meant more important. I'm still not sure why western Massachusetts got 413 and the Boston area got 617, though; the Boston area really should have gotten lower digits.
Lower digits were more prestigious because it took less time to dial them (less time waiting for the dial to turn). Some of the weirdness is due to the prominence of the geographic areas at the time they were assigned - if done today, DC wouldn’t have gotten 202, Atlanta wouldn’t have gotten 404, and Houston would have been 313 or even 312.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: Henry on August 22, 2018, 09:21:09 AM
I'm all for the USPS system too!
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: Beltway on August 22, 2018, 09:23:00 AM
Lower digits were more prestigious because it took less time to dial them (less time waiting for the dial to turn).

Also less distance to turn the dial.  When dialing 7 or 10 numbers it definitely made a difference.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: jon daly on August 22, 2018, 09:39:51 AM
617 is a mystery to me. Most of the other big metro areas got shorter numbers to dial. NYC was 212, LA was 213, Chicago was 312, IIRC.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: SP Cook on August 22, 2018, 09:49:07 AM

To the USPS, 'AA' is for mail to 'Armed Forces Americas'.  For example, if you are sending a card to your friend in the Army and he or she is stationed stateside, the bottom line in the address would be 'APO, AA (ZIP Code)'.


Not exactly.  With a few spy related exceptions, AA mail is not for the USA.  It is people stationed in other countries in the Americas or on ship homeported in the USA.  Mail to people in the USA who live on base is just sent to them at the actual address in the actual city and state the place is. 
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: mgk920 on August 22, 2018, 09:51:12 AM
I grew up with standard postal abbreviations and only encountered the other older abbreviations later in life. Personally I prefer the postal method for its consistency (two letter code for every state or Canadian province).

My praise of the post office for consistency ends there, though. Their methods are shit for how they assign ZIP codes and accompanying (often fake, contrived) city names.

Ooh! I love numbering schemes like area codes, Zip Codes, et cetera. (Part of the appeal of the highways for me was the numbering system,) In the Hartford area, they're assigned semi-alphabetically. There's aberrations like Enfield being stuck between Taftville and Tolland at 06082 and 06083. But that may be because the biggest part of town BITD was Thompsonville.


http://www.ciclt.net/sn/clt/capitolimpact/gw_ziplist.aspx?zip=060

Within a ZIP Code numbering region (ie, '123xx'), the initial local code numbers (the 'xx' part), other than for the major city in each region, were assigned to local places in alphabetical order of their names.  As regions grew, local numbers began to be fudged due to availability, similar to how I-route numbers are 'fudged' due to availability in areas where proper ones (based on the original numbering plan) are unavailable.

Mike
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: SP Cook on August 22, 2018, 10:04:03 AM
Lower digits were more prestigious because it took less time to dial them (less time waiting for the dial to turn).

To me, the interesting thing to be learned from the area code map is the uneven growth of the country. 

They assigned the area codes in 1947.  In sum, the middle number of an area code had to be 1 or 0.  If a state (or other jurisdiction) had one area code for the whole thing it got a 0, if there were more than one, it got a 1.  The first and third numbers had to be 2-9 and the more "important" a place was the lower the number, which makes sense when you think about how a dial telephone works, which is why NYC got the lowest possible number, 212; and the farm states got the high numbers. 

Find the map from 1947.  the only arguably southern state with more than one area code was Texas.  The only states arguably western states with more than one was Texas, California and, oddly, Kansas.   Iowa had three. 

And today Florida has EIGHTEEN area codes.  I love air conditioning. 
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: mgk920 on August 22, 2018, 10:40:39 AM
I grew up with standard postal abbreviations and only encountered the other older abbreviations later in life. Personally I prefer the postal method for its consistency (two letter code for every state or Canadian province).

My praise of the post office for consistency ends there, though. Their methods are shit for how they assign ZIP codes and accompanying (often fake, contrived) city names.

Ooh! I love numbering schemes like area codes, Zip Codes, et cetera. (Part of the appeal of the highways for me was the numbering system,) In the Hartford area, they're assigned semi-alphabetically. There's aberrations like Enfield being stuck between Taftville and Tolland at 06082 and 06083. But that may be because the biggest part of town BITD was Thompsonville.


http://www.ciclt.net/sn/clt/capitolimpact/gw_ziplist.aspx?zip=060

Alphabetical here, too, within each "hundred block". 018xx starts with its "primary" city (which for some reason is Woburn), and then it goes alphabetical. Other "hundred blocks" are similar, starting with a primary city and then going alphabetical.

Area codes are interesting, too. By design, they have nearly equal population (about 1.5 million), and they're not gerrymandered. Also, you used to be able to tell how important the area code was by its digits — lower digits meant more important. I'm still not sure why western Massachusetts got 413 and the Boston area got 617, though; the Boston area really should have gotten lower digits.
Lower digits were more prestigious because it took less time to dial them (less time waiting for the dial to turn). Some of the weirdness is due to the prominence of the geographic areas at the time they were assigned - if done today, DC wouldn’t have gotten 202, Atlanta wouldn’t have gotten 404, and Houston would have been 313 or even 312.

The initial area code numbers were assigned in the late 1940s and were originally set to allow local 'cord board' operators (only the biggest cities had customer self-dial phone service at the end of WWII) to more quickly forward outbound long-distance calls from their customers.  To save time in the local exchange offices, the places with the highest volume of inbound traffic got the easiest and fastest to dial (on old-style rotary phone dials) area code numbers.  Also, the original rule was that in the second position of area code numbers, '0' was for use in states where the entire state was in a single area code (yes, *ALL* of Florida was once '305' and *ALL* of Georgia was once '404') and '1' was for use in states with two or more area codes.

That quickly began to break down as more and more smaller cities got self-dial phone service after the War and needed machine addressable local phone numbers, eating up the available numbers in many of the '0' states, and by the late 1990s, the 0/1 thing itself in area codes ran out of available numbers, requiring the use of 2 through 8 as their second digits.  Note that '9' is reserved for use when the current 10D plan runs out of available numbers, allowing for a transitional period in the then needed expansion to 11 digit numbers in Canada, the USA and all of those little mainly Caribbean island countries ('World Zone 1').  In that, the second position of existing three digit area code numbers will become '9' as they are expanded to four positions (ie, my local '920' area code number will become '9920') and after the transition period, 2-8 will be available in the second position with '9' prohibited from position three.

Mike
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: jeffandnicole on August 22, 2018, 10:54:36 AM
The 609 area code in South Jersey just fully transitioned over to an overly.  609 originally was for all of South Jersey (201 was the first, state wide area code then went exclusively for North Jersey) and 25 or so years ago it was split with 856.  Being that 609 is now overlayed with 640, they now are forced to do 10 digit dialing.  856 (my area code) I believe is the only area code in the state that still permits 7 digit dialing.

201 was a nice one for the state - Yeah the 0 was long, but 201 was the 'shortest' area code with a middle 0, as 000 & 102 aren't permitted.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: abefroman329 on August 22, 2018, 11:20:08 AM
617 is a mystery to me. Most of the other big metro areas got shorter numbers to dial. NYC was 212, LA was 213, Chicago was 312, IIRC.
Chicago was and is 312.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: jon daly on August 22, 2018, 12:03:07 PM
I miss 203 and think that the part of Conn. that got it (Fairfield and New Haven Counties, generally speaking,) is more New York-like and less New English than the rest of the state. I'm guessing from 1's post that they're roughly equal in population, but leaving that area as 203 might've been more convenient for those in the NYC area calling Connecticut. Nevertheless, it just doesn't seem right to me.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: DTComposer on August 22, 2018, 01:20:11 PM
Put me down as an old fart who's a fan of the traditional abbreviations.  Maybe it's because of being from Mass. originally or going to school in Del. and Ind. and living in O., but I likes me the old-time abbrev.

Someone mentioned the BGS with "O." for Ohio.  There was at least until recently a surviving example in Indianapolis on I-65 SB approaching I-70, advertising "Columbus O." in button copy which nowadays would be Dayton, possibly "Dayton OH" but possibly not, but definitely not in button copy.  There used to be more "O." examples but there were many more "Columbus OH." ones with the extraneous period.

I don't think in the case of the M states that it is natural for people to abbreviate some of them with only two letters.  Like Massachusetts and Mississippi; which one should be MS?  When I was growing up near Boston giving my address over the phone or something, I don't know how many times I had to correct someone who assumed Mass was MS.  I said no, it's MA and they said isn't Maine MA? No, Maine is ME. Mississippi is MS. They thought Miss. was MI. Well what about Mich? Who knows what they thought that was.  Mass, Mich, Miss just come easier for common usage by humans in contexts where you aren't writing something for a machine to read.

First, I like the feel of the older, multi-letter abbreviations - but then, I also insist on writing out street suffixes rather than abbreviating, even in casual correspondence (the exception being Blvd., and that's only when I have space constraints).

That said, I understand the two-letter abbreviations and the need for machine-readable consistency. And I never had an issue with the "M" states - if I sound out Massachusetts, Maine, and Mississippi, then assigning MA, ME, and MS makes sense. MO for Missouri had already been used in cultural contexts.

It is interesting that you include O. in your preferences for old-style, easier-to-parse abbreviations - why wouldn't O. be Oklahoma or Oregon?

All of this may be moot from an addressing standpoint, though, since the use of zip codes should negate the need for states. In fact, the use of Zip+4 and delivery point numbers, which are all included in the bar code that gets added at the bottom of the addresses, means that you ostensibly could have just the bar code, no written address at all, and the piece should be delivered.

The USPS system just seems forced to me; trying to fit every abbreviation into an ALLCAPS two letter format. It reminds me of the metric system.

I don't want to stray off-topic, but how exactly is the metric system "forced"? If someone was building a measurement system from the ground up, would they be more likely to use divisors of 1760, 3, and 12 (getting miles to yards to feet to inches), or divisors of 1000, 100, and 10 (getting kilometers to meters to centimeters to millimeters)? The first set of numbers is arbitrary, not intuitive, and adds an unnecessary layer of computation - that, to me, is much more "forced," as is/was the general obstinance of the United States in adopting the metric system.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: US 89 on August 22, 2018, 01:23:18 PM
Population doesn't really correlate to how many area codes a state has, because states where most of the growth has been more recent still have fewer area codes than other states with comparable populations. As an example, Mississippi and Kansas both have four area codes. Nevada and Utah are both larger, but they only have three.

It's also fascinating how long some western states survived with only their one area code. Arizona lasted until 1995 with their original 602, Utah made it to 1997 with just 801, and Nevada held out until 1998 with 702.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: jon daly on August 22, 2018, 02:10:39 PM
I don't want to stray off-topic, but how exactly is the metric system "forced"? If someone was building a measurement system from the ground up, would they be more likely to use divisors of 1760, 3, and 12 (getting miles to yards to feet to inches), or divisors of 1000, 100, and 10 (getting kilometers to meters to centimeters to millimeters)? The first set of numbers is arbitrary, not intuitive, and adds an unnecessary layer of computation - that, to me, is much more "forced," as is/was the general obstinance of the United States in adopting the metric system.

Perhaps "forced" isn't the right word. The metric system is founded on a less human scale than the old system. E.g., a foot is, literally the length of a human foot. Ditto when it comes to hands; if you're measuring horses.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: SP Cook on August 22, 2018, 03:09:50 PM
Metric - Yes.  The metric system is sterile and artificial.  Yes, I know some guy tried (and failed) to figure out how far it is around the world and a meter was supposed to be some even fraction of that, and that, and all the others things are based off that, but so what? 

The units have no practical relation to anything.  No one can say a meter or a kilometer or a gram or whatever is the size it is in any other way than the above story. 

However, in a pre-industrial society, the traditional units represent amounts and distances that typical people dealt with every day.   The units developed from what was needed.

Yes it makes math harder.  Buy a calculator.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: Beltway on August 22, 2018, 03:25:52 PM
Perhaps "forced" isn't the right word. The metric system is founded on a less human scale than the old system. E.g., a foot is, literally the length of a human foot. Ditto when it comes to hands; if you're measuring horses.

Horsepower
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: kalvado on August 22, 2018, 03:50:55 PM
Metric - Yes.  The metric system is sterile and artificial.  Yes, I know some guy tried (and failed) to figure out how far it is around the world and a meter was supposed to be some even fraction of that, and that, and all the others things are based off that, but so what? 

The units have no practical relation to anything.  No one can say a meter or a kilometer or a gram or whatever is the size it is in any other way than the above story. 

However, in a pre-industrial society, the traditional units represent amounts and distances that typical people dealt with every day.   The units developed from what was needed.

Yes it makes math harder.  Buy a calculator.

Units developed from whatever was available at the time. If a human body is the only more or less reproducible thing around - you have to use that. With all uncertainties involved. And those are... not insignificant.
PS. A foot of adult male (yours truly) compared to 1 foot x 1 foot tile. 
(https://i.imgur.com/unSCRLq.jpg)
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: jon daly on August 22, 2018, 04:09:16 PM
Perhaps "forced" isn't the right word. The metric system is founded on a less human scale than the old system. E.g., a foot is, literally the length of a human foot. Ditto when it comes to hands; if you're measuring horses.

Horsepower

I would have expected that from Max Rockatansky :).
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: DTComposer on August 22, 2018, 05:12:13 PM
Perhaps "forced" isn't the right word. The metric system is founded on a less human scale than the old system. E.g., a foot is, literally the length of a human foot. Ditto when it comes to hands; if you're measuring horses.

Absolutely. But whose foot? Whose hand? The Romans calculated a mile based on 1,000 paces of their soldiers. Could they guarantee each of those 1,000 paces were exactly the same length? Or that the next thousand paces would be exactly the same length as the previous 1,000?

Metric - Yes.  The metric system is sterile and artificial.  Yes, I know some guy tried (and failed) to figure out how far it is around the world and a meter was supposed to be some even fraction of that, and that, and all the others things are based off that, but so what? 

The units have no practical relation to anything.  No one can say a meter or a kilometer or a gram or whatever is the size it is in any other way than the above story. 

However, in a pre-industrial society, the traditional units represent amounts and distances that typical people dealt with every day.   The units developed from what was needed.

These colloquial measurement sufficed in, as you say, a pre-industrial society. But we left that behind a couple of hundred years ago. We build airplanes and bridges and computers and other Big and Complicated Things, and those things need precise and consistent measurements to function correctly and safely. So we had to come up with a bunch of international agreements that pegged down precisely what an "inch" or a "foot" or a "mile" is - now they're just as "artificial" and "sterile" as a metric unit is, but with the bonus of having no consistent relationship between each primary unit. In fact, I would argue that Imperial units are now more "forced" than metric units for precisely that reason.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: Brandon on August 22, 2018, 05:59:27 PM
I don't want to stray off-topic, but how exactly is the metric system "forced"? If someone was building a measurement system from the ground up, would they be more likely to use divisors of 1760, 3, and 12 (getting miles to yards to feet to inches), or divisors of 1000, 100, and 10 (getting kilometers to meters to centimeters to millimeters)? The first set of numbers is arbitrary, not intuitive, and adds an unnecessary layer of computation - that, to me, is much more "forced," as is/was the general obstinance of the United States in adopting the metric system.

I would've used a system that can easily be divided in quarters and eighths instead of tenths.  Who says dividing things by ten is natural?  Quarters and eighths work just as well, and is a bit more natural, IMHO.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: roadman65 on August 22, 2018, 06:14:45 PM
Some people still use Mass to describe MA.  The Mass Pike for its turnpike for example.

I still actually like Tenn for TN.
Ala for AL
O for OH (used to be a sign in Huntington, WV on US 52 for Chesapeake, O in 1989)
Del for DE
Md for MD
Pa for PA
W Va for WV
Wis for WI
Ill for IL
Ind for IN
I forgot what Kansas used before KS
Okla for OK
Tex for TX
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: GaryV on August 22, 2018, 06:37:17 PM
Lower digits were more prestigious because it took less time to dial them (less time waiting for the dial to turn).

Also less distance to turn the dial.  When dialing 7 or 10 numbers it definitely made a difference.

I think the main point was that it took the mechanical switches* less time to connect the lower digit numbers.  That's why higher population centers have area codes with 2's or 3's in them, and a 1 in the middle.  Every few fractions of a second added up.  Fewer clicks and pulses going between cities with more people.

* - I'm not sure if that's the correct name for it or not.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: jp the roadgeek on August 22, 2018, 06:58:21 PM
Conn. > CT

My mom still uses it to this day.  I use CT

ZIP code blocks in CT (general speaking):

060xx: Most of suburban Hartford County, most of Tolland County, and eastern portions of Litchfield County
061xx: The immediate Hartford area (the Hartfords, Wethersfield, and Newington)
062xx: Most of Windham County and eastern Tolland County
063xx: New London County
064xx: Middlesex County, most of New Haven County outside the Greater New Haven and Waterbury areas, the town of Southington in Hartford County (including the villages of Plantsville, Milldale, and Marion), Newtown and Monroe (including villages) in Fairfield County.
065xx: The immediate New Haven area (the Havens except North Haven, Hamden, Woodbridge, Bethany)
066xx: Greater Bridgeport area and southeastern Fairfield County
067xx: Greater Waterbury area of New Haven County, western and northern portions of Litchfield County
068xx: Most of Upper Fairfield County, including the Greater Danbury area
069xx: Southwestern Fairfield County (Gold Coast) area.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: mrsman on August 22, 2018, 08:09:22 PM
The old zip code books made the system very clear.  Basically, first digit represents a group of states, then the numbers are generally for a region (in order of geography), then the next 2 digits for po within each region.  Within each region, the last 2 digits assigned alphabetically.

Ex 902 represents cities near L.A. (but not the city itself).

90201 for bell
90210 for Beverly hills
90220 for Compton
Etc.


Nexus 5X

Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: Duke87 on August 23, 2018, 01:34:53 AM
I grew up with standard postal abbreviations and only encountered the other older abbreviations later in life. Personally I prefer the postal method for its consistency (two letter code for every state or Canadian province).

My praise of the post office for consistency ends there, though. Their methods are shit for how they assign ZIP codes and accompanying (often fake, contrived) city names.

Ooh! I love numbering schemes like area codes, Zip Codes, et cetera. (Part of the appeal of the highways for me was the numbering system,) In the Hartford area, they're assigned semi-alphabetically. There's aberrations like Enfield being stuck between Taftville and Tolland at 06082 and 06083. But that may be because the biggest part of town BITD was Thompsonville.

Not the point. Conceptually, I like the idea of ZIP codes. What I do not like is how the post office rejects actual geographic reality and substitutes their own when assigning them. You would think, logically, that ZIP codes should be drawn to follow existing municipal boundaries and such as much as possible. And that when you address an envelope, the proper way of doing so would be to use the name of the municipality in which the intended destination is located... but no, that would make too much sense. What we actually have instead is a fucking mess.

For an example of what I mean, take a look here at the boundaries of ZIP code 10604 (https://www.google.com/maps/place/West+Harrison,+NY+10604/@41.0537606,-73.8006518,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x89c2966c1fb643a7:0xa97a30e7006f3770!8m2!3d41.0603977!4d-73.7419017). This ZIP code contains parts of the city of White Plains, the town of North Castle, the town of Harrison, and the town of Rye Brook but does not contain the entirety of any single municipality or even close to it. Furthermore, if you are sending a letter to someone in this ZIP code, the post office would prefer you address it to "West Harrison, NY 10604" regardless of which of the four municipalities named above the destination is located in. There is no town, village, or city of West Harrison. "West Harrison" is merely a neighborhood within the town of Harrison.

This is not an exceptional case, this is... disturbingly normal. And this is just an example of a ZIP code that crosses municipal lines. There are plenty of ZIP codes out cross county lines. Hell, there are ZIP codes out there that cross state lines. As a result, you cannot definitively determine what political subdivision an address is located based solely on its ZIP code; often it will be ambiguous and there will be no way to tell without looking at a map.

In a way it's a perfect example of US government bureaucracy at work - a very thorough system that works for its single intended purpose within the silo of the bureaucracy that created it, but that is useless for anything else because zero thought was put into coordinating it with anything outside of the silo.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: jon daly on August 23, 2018, 06:15:23 AM
^ I see what you're saying. For the longest time, my family lived in a part of Ellington, Conn that had a Rockville ZIP Code. Eventually, we got serviced by the Ellington post office and things were more logical; except for the fact that the USPS didn't notify anyone of the changes, so some important mail was never received.

While we're on this topic, I should mention an online friend who worked and maybe still works in logistics. I was reading a thread where someone wrote that someone "wasn't even in the same ZIP code" and he penned a long diatribe about how ZIP Codes are a collection of points and not areas.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: 1995hoo on August 23, 2018, 08:04:19 AM
We live in Fairfax County. The USPS says our address is “Alexandria.” Some two-thirds of the addresses they call “Alexandria” are in Fairfax County, rather than the City if Alexandria, even as far south as the Mount Vernon area. It confuses people into thinking we live in the city, and it even confuses some residents about paying personal property tax (car tax) and the like. My neighborhood is allowed an alternative designation (“Kingstowne, Virginia”) and I prefer to use that.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: jon daly on August 23, 2018, 09:51:15 AM
Perhaps "forced" isn't the right word. The metric system is founded on a less human scale than the old system. E.g., a foot is, literally the length of a human foot. Ditto when it comes to hands; if you're measuring horses.

Absolutely. But whose foot? Whose hand? The Romans calculated a mile based on 1,000 paces of their soldiers. Could they guarantee each of those 1,000 paces were exactly the same length? Or that the next thousand paces would be exactly the same length as the previous 1,000?

Metric - Yes.  The metric system is sterile and artificial.  Yes, I know some guy tried (and failed) to figure out how far it is around the world and a meter was supposed to be some even fraction of that, and that, and all the others things are based off that, but so what? 

The units have no practical relation to anything.  No one can say a meter or a kilometer or a gram or whatever is the size it is in any other way than the above story. 

However, in a pre-industrial society, the traditional units represent amounts and distances that typical people dealt with every day.   The units developed from what was needed.

These colloquial measurement sufficed in, as you say, a pre-industrial society. But we left that behind a couple of hundred years ago. We build airplanes and bridges and computers and other Big and Complicated Things, and those things need precise and consistent measurements to function correctly and safely. So we had to come up with a bunch of international agreements that pegged down precisely what an "inch" or a "foot" or a "mile" is - now they're just as "artificial" and "sterile" as a metric unit is, but with the bonus of having no consistent relationship between each primary unit. In fact, I would argue that Imperial units are now more "forced" than metric units for precisely that reason.

I dunno. Sometimes I philosophically inclined to say, "Forget robots, I'm not sure I like other Big and Complicated Things." Yeah, I drive 110 miles a day to work in an office and gab with you guys is my down time, but how much better is my lot than the lot of a medieval peasant? You get some mossbacks who complain how the French Revolution ruined civilization, but what if it was Francis Bacon and the Scientific Revolution?

Other times I think that that's tilting at windmills and even more antediluvian than horse and buggy thinking.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: abefroman329 on August 23, 2018, 11:44:36 AM
Yeah, I drive 110 miles a day to work in an office and gab with you guys is my down time, but how much better is my lot than the lot of a medieval peasant?
In general, point taken, but if you’ve lived past the age of 30 and haven’t lost six children to medical conditions that are easily treated in 2018, it’s much better.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: Brandon on August 23, 2018, 11:48:01 AM
I grew up with standard postal abbreviations and only encountered the other older abbreviations later in life. Personally I prefer the postal method for its consistency (two letter code for every state or Canadian province).

My praise of the post office for consistency ends there, though. Their methods are shit for how they assign ZIP codes and accompanying (often fake, contrived) city names.

Ooh! I love numbering schemes like area codes, Zip Codes, et cetera. (Part of the appeal of the highways for me was the numbering system,) In the Hartford area, they're assigned semi-alphabetically. There's aberrations like Enfield being stuck between Taftville and Tolland at 06082 and 06083. But that may be because the biggest part of town BITD was Thompsonville.

Not the point. Conceptually, I like the idea of ZIP codes. What I do not like is how the post office rejects actual geographic reality and substitutes their own when assigning them. You would think, logically, that ZIP codes should be drawn to follow existing municipal boundaries and such as much as possible. And that when you address an envelope, the proper way of doing so would be to use the name of the municipality in which the intended destination is located... but no, that would make too much sense. What we actually have instead is a fucking mess.

Here's another example, 60586 (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Plainfield,+IL+60586/@41.5683069,-88.2736819,13z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x880e8ad3a1900991:0x98f5ce109a60fed8!8m2!3d41.5726561!4d-88.231513?hl=en).  This ZIP Code primarily serves the City of Joliet (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Joliet,+IL/@41.5131222,-88.2202095,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x880e456bec363d7d:0x9f9e66f7a36bc042!8m2!3d41.525031!4d-88.0817251?hl=en) along the Caton Farm Road corridor, and a bit of southern Village of Plainfield (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Plainfield,+IL/@41.623389,-88.2962625,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x880ef4f4bc37a549:0x146344e09a792fb9!8m2!3d41.632223!4d-88.2120315?hl=en).  Yet, it leads to major confusion as people here believe they live in Plainfield, in spite of the fact they pay their water bill to City of Joliet, as well as their property taxes.  The USPS should allow "Joliet" as an alternate for these, yet they do not.  The USPS only allows "Plainfield".
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: jon daly on August 23, 2018, 12:45:39 PM
Yeah, I drive 110 miles a day to work in an office and gab with you guys is my down time, but how much better is my lot than the lot of a medieval peasant?
In general, point taken, but if you’ve lived past the age of 30 and haven’t lost six children to medical conditions that are easily treated in 2018, it’s much better.

I suppose so, but you wouldn't know better if you lived back then. Or would you? Maybe Friar Tuck or Maid Marian had to deal with anxieties just like today's folks.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: jon daly on August 23, 2018, 12:47:42 PM
I don't want to stray off-topic, but how exactly is the metric system "forced"? If someone was building a measurement system from the ground up, would they be more likely to use divisors of 1760, 3, and 12 (getting miles to yards to feet to inches), or divisors of 1000, 100, and 10 (getting kilometers to meters to centimeters to millimeters)? The first set of numbers is arbitrary, not intuitive, and adds an unnecessary layer of computation - that, to me, is much more "forced," as is/was the general obstinance of the United States in adopting the metric system.

I would've used a system that can easily be divided in quarters and eighths instead of tenths.  Who says dividing things by ten is natural?  Quarters and eighths work just as well, and is a bit more natural, IMHO.

I was getting into the securities industry just as decimalization was starting. This gave folks who were handy with fractions (like me) less of an advantage.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: abefroman329 on August 23, 2018, 03:39:25 PM
Yeah, I drive 110 miles a day to work in an office and gab with you guys is my down time, but how much better is my lot than the lot of a medieval peasant?
In general, point taken, but if you’ve lived past the age of 30 and haven’t lost six children to medical conditions that are easily treated in 2018, it’s much better.
I suppose so, but you wouldn't know better if you lived back then. Or would you? Maybe Friar Tuck or Maid Marian had to deal with anxieties just like today's folks.
I’m thinking more of the fact that we don’t treat major medical conditions with leeches and bloodletting any more.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: abefroman329 on August 23, 2018, 03:45:13 PM
I find metric more precise, and prefer to use grams and milliliters when portioning food I’m going to eat. 300 milliliters of coffee and milk in the morning, for example. And it’s much easier to divide 454 grams of strawberries into 3 portions than a pound. 151 grams is a portion, rather than 5.33333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333 ounces.

And there’s the fact that the imperial system isn’t the same from country to country. A pint is 16 fluid ounces in the US and 20 fluid ounces in the UK, which means a quart is bigger there, which means a half-gallon is bigger there, which means a gallon is bigger there...Meanwhile a liter is the same size here and there (though, of course, it’s actually a litre there).
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: Big John on August 23, 2018, 04:19:17 PM
Yes, the imperial gallon.  Also a liquid gallon is different than a dry gallon, what gives with that.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: jon daly on August 23, 2018, 04:34:12 PM
Yeah, I drive 110 miles a day to work in an office and gab with you guys is my down time, but how much better is my lot than the lot of a medieval peasant?
In general, point taken, but if you’ve lived past the age of 30 and haven’t lost six children to medical conditions that are easily treated in 2018, it’s much better.
I suppose so, but you wouldn't know better if you lived back then. Or would you? Maybe Friar Tuck or Maid Marian had to deal with anxieties just like today's folks.
I’m thinking more of the fact that we don’t treat major medical conditions with leeches and bloodletting any more.

Leeches? You lucky Frenchmen! Edward the Confessorcare doesn't cover that.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: US 89 on August 23, 2018, 04:56:39 PM
I find metric more precise, and prefer to use grams and milliliters when portioning food I’m going to eat. 300 milliliters of coffee and milk in the morning, for example. And it’s much easier to divide 454 grams of strawberries into 3 portions than a pound. 151 grams is a portion, rather than 5.33333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333 ounces.

First of all, a portion would actually be 151.33333333... grams, so your argument is flawed there. But in any case, that's quite a cherry-picked example. What if you wanted to divide it into 4 portions? Or 8? Or 16? and so on?

Ideally, you want round numbers when you're dividing amounts. As it turns out, ten is not a very good number for division anyway, because it only has two factors: 2 and 5. As a system, customary units tend to work well for division. Take the yard, for example. You can divide a yard 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 18, or 36 ways and come out with a whole number of inches. In addition, a yard can be divided into any multiple of 2, 3, 4, or 9 to get a decimal in inches that doesn't repeat. For metric units, that only works for multiples of 2 or 5.

For standardized units, like in scientific applications, I'll agree that metric is better. But for general, day-to-day use, customary units are just more useful overall.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: Beltway on August 23, 2018, 05:02:45 PM
I find metric more precise, and prefer to use grams and milliliters when portioning food I’m going to eat. 300 milliliters of coffee and milk in the morning, for example. And it’s much easier to divide 454 grams of strawberries into 3 portions than a pound. 151 grams is a portion, rather than 5.33333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333 ounces.
And there’s the fact that the imperial system isn’t the same from country to country. A pint is 16 fluid ounces in the US and 20 fluid ounces in the UK, which means a quart is bigger there, which means a half-gallon is bigger there, which means a gallon is bigger there...Meanwhile a liter is the same size here and there (though, of course, it’s actually a litre there).

Nautical miles, statute miles.  Knots, miles per hour.

However Celsius degrees are less precise than Fahrenheit degrees.  For atmospheric temps you really to go to the nn.5 for relevance and precision with Celsius degrees.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: kalvado on August 23, 2018, 05:10:24 PM
I find metric more precise, and prefer to use grams and milliliters when portioning food I’m going to eat. 300 milliliters of coffee and milk in the morning, for example. And it’s much easier to divide 454 grams of strawberries into 3 portions than a pound. 151 grams is a portion, rather than 5.33333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333 ounces.

First of all, a portion would actually be 151.33333333... grams, so your argument is flawed there. But in any case, that's quite a cherry-picked example. What if you wanted to divide it into 4 portions? Or 8? Or 16? and so on?

Ideally, you want round numbers when you're dividing amounts. As it turns out, ten is not a very good number for division anyway, because it only has two factors: 2 and 5. As a system, customary units tend to work well for division. Take the yard, for example. You can divide a yard 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 18, or 36 ways and come out with a whole number of inches. In addition, a yard can be divided into any multiple of 2, 3, 4, or 9 to get a decimal in inches that doesn't repeat.

For standardized units, like in scientific applications, I'll agree that metric is better. But for general, day-to-day use, customary units are just more useful overall.

So how many times within past year you had to divide 1 yard into 18 equal parts?
A more realistic scenario is how deep you need to cut into 2x4 to go 1/3 deep? Considering 2x4 is actually 3.445" x 1.43"...
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: abefroman329 on August 23, 2018, 05:13:27 PM
What if you wanted to divide it into 4 portions? Or 8? Or 16? and so on?
Then I’d have 4 portions of 1135 decigrams. Or 8 portions of 5675 centigrams. Or 16 portions of 28,374 micrograms. And so on.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: DTComposer on August 23, 2018, 09:01:07 PM
I grew up with standard postal abbreviations and only encountered the other older abbreviations later in life. Personally I prefer the postal method for its consistency (two letter code for every state or Canadian province).

My praise of the post office for consistency ends there, though. Their methods are shit for how they assign ZIP codes and accompanying (often fake, contrived) city names.

Ooh! I love numbering schemes like area codes, Zip Codes, et cetera. (Part of the appeal of the highways for me was the numbering system,) In the Hartford area, they're assigned semi-alphabetically. There's aberrations like Enfield being stuck between Taftville and Tolland at 06082 and 06083. But that may be because the biggest part of town BITD was Thompsonville.

Not the point. Conceptually, I like the idea of ZIP codes. What I do not like is how the post office rejects actual geographic reality and substitutes their own when assigning them. You would think, logically, that ZIP codes should be drawn to follow existing municipal boundaries and such as much as possible. And that when you address an envelope, the proper way of doing so would be to use the name of the municipality in which the intended destination is located... but no, that would make too much sense. What we actually have instead is a fucking mess.

For an example of what I mean, take a look here at the boundaries of ZIP code 10604 (https://www.google.com/maps/place/West+Harrison,+NY+10604/@41.0537606,-73.8006518,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x89c2966c1fb643a7:0xa97a30e7006f3770!8m2!3d41.0603977!4d-73.7419017). This ZIP code contains parts of the city of White Plains, the town of North Castle, the town of Harrison, and the town of Rye Brook but does not contain the entirety of any single municipality or even close to it. Furthermore, if you are sending a letter to someone in this ZIP code, the post office would prefer you address it to "West Harrison, NY 10604" regardless of which of the four municipalities named above the destination is located in. There is no town, village, or city of West Harrison. "West Harrison" is merely a neighborhood within the town of Harrison.

This is not an exceptional case, this is... disturbingly normal. And this is just an example of a ZIP code that crosses municipal lines. There are plenty of ZIP codes out cross county lines. Hell, there are ZIP codes out there that cross state lines. As a result, you cannot definitively determine what political subdivision an address is located based solely on its ZIP code; often it will be ambiguous and there will be no way to tell without looking at a map.

In a way it's a perfect example of US government bureaucracy at work - a very thorough system that works for its single intended purpose within the silo of the bureaucracy that created it, but that is useless for anything else because zero thought was put into coordinating it with anything outside of the silo.

All of this is absolutely true, but when you consider the scope of the silo (particularly at the time the system was implemented) - to efficiently deliver hundreds of millions of pieces of mail every day to nearly any and every location over nearly four million square miles, at a cost of pennies per piece to the sender, and at no cost to the receiver - I can begin to appreciate why decisions were made that might not jibe with what the casual observer would consider to be common sense.

When you consider municipal boundaries, there are thousands of examples of little tentacles of cities that jut into the gut of a another city. Should those tentacles be served by their actual city's post office, who might be five or six miles away, or by the closest post office, who might only be one or two miles away, albeit in a different municipality? There are examples near me of streets that have houses in multiple cities - houses on the same block, on the same side of the street. Should we send two different mail trucks in, each serving the handful of houses in their own city? Wouldn't that become a shining example of government inefficiency and waste?

I wish we had a system where all the boundaries lined up neatly: municipalities, school districts, zip codes, area codes and exchanges, and so on. But I'd argue (particularly in areas that have grown in the last 50 to 60 years) the fault is with the municipal boundaries, which are often the result of piecemeal annexations, not with the agencies who are charged with providing the services.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: Ophidian14 on August 23, 2018, 09:32:04 PM
Bipp
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: mgk920 on August 24, 2018, 12:30:29 AM
I grew up with standard postal abbreviations and only encountered the other older abbreviations later in life. Personally I prefer the postal method for its consistency (two letter code for every state or Canadian province).

My praise of the post office for consistency ends there, though. Their methods are shit for how they assign ZIP codes and accompanying (often fake, contrived) city names.

Ooh! I love numbering schemes like area codes, Zip Codes, et cetera. (Part of the appeal of the highways for me was the numbering system,) In the Hartford area, they're assigned semi-alphabetically. There's aberrations like Enfield being stuck between Taftville and Tolland at 06082 and 06083. But that may be because the biggest part of town BITD was Thompsonville.

Not the point. Conceptually, I like the idea of ZIP codes. What I do not like is how the post office rejects actual geographic reality and substitutes their own when assigning them. You would think, logically, that ZIP codes should be drawn to follow existing municipal boundaries and such as much as possible. And that when you address an envelope, the proper way of doing so would be to use the name of the municipality in which the intended destination is located... but no, that would make too much sense. What we actually have instead is a fucking mess.

Here's another example, 60586 (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Plainfield,+IL+60586/@41.5683069,-88.2736819,13z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x880e8ad3a1900991:0x98f5ce109a60fed8!8m2!3d41.5726561!4d-88.231513?hl=en).  This ZIP Code primarily serves the City of Joliet (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Joliet,+IL/@41.5131222,-88.2202095,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x880e456bec363d7d:0x9f9e66f7a36bc042!8m2!3d41.525031!4d-88.0817251?hl=en) along the Caton Farm Road corridor, and a bit of southern Village of Plainfield (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Plainfield,+IL/@41.623389,-88.2962625,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x880ef4f4bc37a549:0x146344e09a792fb9!8m2!3d41.632223!4d-88.2120315?hl=en).  Yet, it leads to major confusion as people here believe they live in Plainfield, in spite of the fact they pay their water bill to City of Joliet, as well as their property taxes.  The USPS should allow "Joliet" as an alternate for these, yet they do not.  The USPS only allows "Plainfield".

Or the USPS 'city' names for places in NYC that are not in Manhattan or places in the San Fernando Valley and the other outer neighborhoods in the City of Los Angeles?  Why not 'New York, NY' instead of 'Flushing, NY' or 'Bronx, NY' or 'Los Angeles, CA' instead of 'Chatsworth, CA' or 'San Pedro, CA', for example?

Mike
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: jon daly on August 24, 2018, 06:08:06 AM
My sister's mailing address in Queens is Middle Village.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: DTComposer on August 24, 2018, 01:27:00 PM
I grew up with standard postal abbreviations and only encountered the other older abbreviations later in life. Personally I prefer the postal method for its consistency (two letter code for every state or Canadian province).

My praise of the post office for consistency ends there, though. Their methods are shit for how they assign ZIP codes and accompanying (often fake, contrived) city names.

Ooh! I love numbering schemes like area codes, Zip Codes, et cetera. (Part of the appeal of the highways for me was the numbering system,) In the Hartford area, they're assigned semi-alphabetically. There's aberrations like Enfield being stuck between Taftville and Tolland at 06082 and 06083. But that may be because the biggest part of town BITD was Thompsonville.

Not the point. Conceptually, I like the idea of ZIP codes. What I do not like is how the post office rejects actual geographic reality and substitutes their own when assigning them. You would think, logically, that ZIP codes should be drawn to follow existing municipal boundaries and such as much as possible. And that when you address an envelope, the proper way of doing so would be to use the name of the municipality in which the intended destination is located... but no, that would make too much sense. What we actually have instead is a fucking mess.

Here's another example, 60586 (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Plainfield,+IL+60586/@41.5683069,-88.2736819,13z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x880e8ad3a1900991:0x98f5ce109a60fed8!8m2!3d41.5726561!4d-88.231513?hl=en).  This ZIP Code primarily serves the City of Joliet (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Joliet,+IL/@41.5131222,-88.2202095,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x880e456bec363d7d:0x9f9e66f7a36bc042!8m2!3d41.525031!4d-88.0817251?hl=en) along the Caton Farm Road corridor, and a bit of southern Village of Plainfield (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Plainfield,+IL/@41.623389,-88.2962625,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x880ef4f4bc37a549:0x146344e09a792fb9!8m2!3d41.632223!4d-88.2120315?hl=en).  Yet, it leads to major confusion as people here believe they live in Plainfield, in spite of the fact they pay their water bill to City of Joliet, as well as their property taxes.  The USPS should allow "Joliet" as an alternate for these, yet they do not.  The USPS only allows "Plainfield".

Or the USPS 'city' names for places in NYC that are not in Manhattan or places in the San Fernando Valley and the other outer neighborhoods in the City of Los Angeles?  Why not 'New York, NY' instead of 'Flushing, NY' or 'Bronx, NY' or 'Los Angeles, CA' instead of 'Chatsworth, CA' or 'San Pedro, CA', for example?

Mike

In Los Angeles at least, the postal "cities" correspond very well with local usage - residents, when asked where they live, would tell you they're from San Pedro, Woodland Hills, Chatsworth, etc. before they would say they're from Los Angeles. Many of these were towns/communities that were already established before Los Angeles annexed them (several of them were previously incorporated cities), and there's a strong sense of neighborhood identity among the residents that predates zip codes.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: abefroman329 on August 24, 2018, 03:59:46 PM
My sister's mailing address in Queens is Middle Village.
Right, mine was Woodside when I lived in Queens. But you could have written “Queens, NY 11377” or “Woodside, NY 11377” or “My Butt Smells, NY 11377” for the address and it would have made it to me as long as you included the right ZIP code.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: jon daly on August 24, 2018, 04:38:18 PM
At this point in the week, it is time to break out the Newman:

"You see, certified mail is always registered, but registered mail is not necessarily certified. "
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: GaryV on August 24, 2018, 05:00:32 PM
Not the point. Conceptually, I like the idea of ZIP codes. What I do not like is how the post office rejects actual geographic reality and substitutes their own when assigning them.
Except the Post Office is in the business of delivering mail, not figuring out what the local political division is.  When ZIP codes were set up, each physical post office got one or more.  Because that's how the mail is delivered, by people who get the mail from the physical post office and bring it to the locations.  To get the mail to the correct post office, the ZIP code was used.

Some codes have been divided.  Some place names most likely have changed to keep up with changing political boundary changes or especially name changes.  But they can't keep up with every consolidation, division, annexation, incorporation, etc.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: kalvado on August 24, 2018, 06:22:50 PM
Not the point. Conceptually, I like the idea of ZIP codes. What I do not like is how the post office rejects actual geographic reality and substitutes their own when assigning them.
Except the Post Office is in the business of delivering mail, not figuring out what the local political division is.  When ZIP codes were set up, each physical post office got one or more.  Because that's how the mail is delivered, by people who get the mail from the physical post office and bring it to the locations.  To get the mail to the correct post office, the ZIP code was used.

Some codes have been divided.  Some place names most likely have changed to keep up with changing political boundary changes or especially name changes.  But they can't keep up with every consolidation, division, annexation, incorporation, etc.

Well, if post office allowed addresses of ActualTown, NY, ZIP things would be easier.
What actually makes things difficult is USPS's desire to correct address to PostalTown, NY, ZIP even if there is no ambiguity. Maybe mail piece would still be delivered, but address checking tools do correct it; and certain types of mass mail require checked adress.
 That makes sense if manual sorting is used - but I believe mail is sorted down to ZIP mostly automatically. I doubt there will be many overlaps; strict use of PostalTown may be reserved for those instances if needed.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: KEVIN_224 on August 24, 2018, 06:49:57 PM
USPS for me. I've always used "CT" over "CONN". Bad enough "CONN" appears on an I-95 entry sign in New Rochelle, NY. I believe it's at Exit 16, closer to the northbound toll plaza.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: 1 on August 24, 2018, 07:01:41 PM
USPS for me. I've always used "CT" over "CONN". Bad enough "CONN" appears on an I-95 entry sign in New Rochelle, NY. I believe it's at Exit 16, closer to the northbound toll plaza.

GSV confirms it's at Exit 16, entering northbound (I was making sure it actually meant "Connecticut" and not "connector").
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: jp the roadgeek on August 24, 2018, 08:19:33 PM
Connecticut still uses Mass on a couple BGS's.  Exit 49 on I-91 NB reads "US 5 Longmeadow Mass"

https://goo.gl/maps/rELGKoGiPDm

And on I-84 EB Exit 74, it reads "CT 171 Union Holland Mass" (although 171 ends at I-84 short of the border)

https://goo.gl/maps/HGqgd2vfSgT2


Also used on LGS's (interesting here is the 2 CDP's have the state after them, but the town does not)

https://goo.gl/maps/SMmtq9nMXRo
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: jon daly on August 24, 2018, 08:40:11 PM
I consider myself a rookie of sorts here still. I should've turned this into a poll. My other online haunts don't have that function; so I forget about it.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: jon daly on August 24, 2018, 09:54:27 PM
I didn't realize I could add it this late in the game. Done.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: Duke87 on August 26, 2018, 01:04:46 AM
Or the USPS 'city' names for places in NYC that are not in Manhattan or places in the San Fernando Valley and the other outer neighborhoods in the City of Los Angeles?  Why not 'New York, NY' instead of 'Flushing, NY' or 'Bronx, NY' or 'Los Angeles, CA' instead of 'Chatsworth, CA' or 'San Pedro, CA', for example?

Can't speak to the Los Angeles example, but for New York City this is necessitated by street names being reused in different boroughs. There are four distinct and unrelated streets named "Broadway" within New York City, for example - the famous one in Manhattan which also extends into The Bronx and beyond, and then Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island each have their own.

So, "100 Broadway, New York, NY" would be ambiguous if addresses throughout the entire city were written as such.

Of course, this doesn't explain why Queens continues to use the names of the independent towns it consisted of before it joined New York City in 1898 rather than simply "Queens". That can't really be attributed to anything other than old habit which the post office has helped perpetuate.


Well, if post office allowed addresses of ActualTown, NY, ZIP things would be easier.
What actually makes things difficult is USPS's desire to correct address to PostalTown, NY, ZIP even if there is no ambiguity. Maybe mail piece would still be delivered, but address checking tools do correct it; and certain types of mass mail require checked adress.

That would correct half of the problem. The other half, however, where ZIP codes do not follow political boundaries, remains. From a data analytics perspective, this is agonizing.

A few years ago I used to maintain a spreadsheet for work that had a list of locations we needed to have someone go pay a visit to. These locations needed to be sorted by county in order to assign who went where. I had initially started doing so manually, but it quickly occurred to me "hey, I have the address, I can probably write a lookup formula for this"... I then started collecting data to try and build this and realized it was impossible since, nope, you can't singularly tell what county an address is in based on its ZIP code - some ZIP codes contain parts of more than one county. So I had to keep looking up and typing the county names in manually for each site.

I suppose I could have fudged it and assigned ZIP codes which straddled the line to whichever county it looked like the majority of it was in and called it good, but that's just not tidy.

When you consider municipal boundaries, there are thousands of examples of little tentacles of cities that jut into the gut of a another city. Should those tentacles be served by their actual city's post office, who might be five or six miles away, or by the closest post office, who might only be one or two miles away, albeit in a different municipality? There are examples near me of streets that have houses in multiple cities - houses on the same block, on the same side of the street. Should we send two different mail trucks in, each serving the handful of houses in their own city? Wouldn't that become a shining example of government inefficiency and waste?

That would be wasteful, but deviations of ZIP code boundaries from municipal/county boundaries do not typically appear to exist for this reason. Rather they exist simply because the postal system was set up ignoring the political boundaries when it could have been done in a just as effective way that respects them. Take a look right next door to my West Harrison example in Greenwich and Stamford, Connecticut and you will note that the ZIP codes there follow the town lines. It's not rocket science to do this, the person setting it up just has to give a sufficient quantity of shits.

Meanwhile if you really have a case where the most efficient way of getting the mail where it needs to go involves pieces of two towns getting their mail from the same post office, this could be handled simply by allowing that post office to serve two zip codes (one for the piece of its service territory in each town).

Some codes have been divided.  Some place names most likely have changed to keep up with changing political boundary changes or especially name changes.  But they can't keep up with every consolidation, division, annexation, incorporation, etc.

I will grant you this - my own perspective on this matter is colored by having grown up in a part of the country where municipal boundaries are for all intents and purposes static. I am aware that in much of the country they are more subject to change. I do think the parts of the country where annexations, incorporations, etc. are common occurrences really ought to reign these practices in. But if that is not going to happen then yes, this does present a logistical challenge to maintaining ZIP code alignment with municipal boundaries. Especially when municipalities start drawing non-compact, gerrymandered borders for themselves and taking on ridiculous shapes by doing so.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: english si on August 26, 2018, 04:49:53 AM
Area codes are interesting, too. By design, they have nearly equal population (about 1.5 million), and they're not gerrymandered.
Oddly, the near-equal population (surely equal phone lines - a more prosperous area would have more used for business, internet devices that use the phone network on top of wifi, etc) isn't the case in the UK - partially as 11 digits don't all need filling so some codes can have loads spare, and partially as codes can be different lengths. Tom Scott wanted to have a rant about that last bit, but ended up being unable to criticise much as it all makes sense when you follow the history.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: CNGL-Leudimin on August 26, 2018, 06:40:14 AM
Can't speak to the Los Angeles example, but for New York City this is necessitated by street names being reused in different boroughs. There are four distinct and unrelated streets named "Broadway" within New York City, for example - the famous one in Manhattan which also extends into The Bronx and beyond, and then Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island each have their own.

So, "100 Broadway, New York, NY" would be ambiguous if addresses throughout the entire city were written as such.

Of course, this doesn't explain why Queens continues to use the names of the independent towns it consisted of before it joined New York City in 1898 rather than simply "Queens". That can't really be attributed to anything other than old habit which the post office has helped perpetuate.

That's what postcodes (ZIP codes) are for. They should pinpoint which one of the Broadways the address refers to. I know one example near me in Zaragoza, Spain, where the city growth has swallowed up a village, resulting in two streets named Calle Mayor (Main St), one in the city center, the other in the former village in the outskirts of the city. Fortunately they are on different postcodes, so they can be disambiguated by that: an address of "Calle Mayor, 1, 50001 Zaragoza" (note that in Spain the number comes after the street) refers to the Calle Mayor in the city center, while an address of "Calle Mayor, 1, 50011 Zaragoza" refers to the one in the former village. There are other four streets named Calle Mayor in the municipality, but in these cases they are in separate villages, and since addreses in Spain are always Postcode ActualTown (Province) without that post town crap, they are already disambiguated from each other.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: 1995hoo on August 26, 2018, 01:52:07 PM
Going back to state abbreviations, for those who think the old-fashioned abbreviations are less confusing or easier to remember, today's Washington Post Travel section might suggests otherwise. Note the photo caption. The article is about the capital of Alaska, yet the abbreviation they used refers to Alabama.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180826/faa77c67a0503e61af6715c1ca14a845.jpg)
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: J N Winkler on August 26, 2018, 03:22:36 PM
I didn't vote on the question posed in the OP because I am still sitting on the fence on this issue.  Some factors to consider:

*  Abbreviations without fixed character count (a superset of AP style) are often not uniform across multiple times and contexts (e.g. "Pa." versus "Penna."), but the two-letter abbreviations (superset of USPS abbreviations) have also changed over time--e.g. NB became NE at the request of Canada Post, PQ is now QC, and NF is now NL.

*  Early in the noughties, when admission of Mexican-registered trucks to US highways was deemed imminent, FMCSA tried to promote the use of two-letter abbreviations for Mexican states.  Some of the abbreviations were quite weird and nonintuitive--e.g., I think NU was used for Nuevo León to avoid conflict with NL (Newfoundland & Labrador).  This had to be abandoned in favor of using USPS/Canada Post two-letter abbreviations for US states and Canadian provinces, and the traditional Mexican abbreviations (Chih., Ags., etc.--all part of an AP style superset) for Mexican states.  This is why I do not minimize complaints that two-letter abbreviations are Procrustes' friend, even as I use such acronyms myself.

*  "Caltrans" is idiomatic and "CADOT" grates.  Meanwhile, "INDOT" is idiomatic, but grates (I usually finesse the issue by writing "Indiana DOT").

*  I know of no wholly satisfactory strategy for giving state/province names next to city names on guide signs.  I've seen the following:

Trail B.C.  --> Are the periods really necessary?
Washington Pa --> Not a lot of visual distinction between city and state/province
Hebron NEB,  Alva OK -->  Looks kind of pretentious
Toledo OH -->  Why are you screaming?
Columbus OH. --> Kill this with fire

Other jurisdictions that also use all-caps two-letter abbreviations for first-level subdivisions on signs (e.g., Switzerland) enclose them in parentheses.  I don't think I have ever seen this approach tried in North America.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: vdeane on August 26, 2018, 08:35:50 PM
Regarding signing out of state cities, I'd just as soon sign it the same as an in-state city unless doing so would cause confusion (as Vancouver would in Washington, for example).
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: Road Hog on August 26, 2018, 09:19:45 PM
AP style has largely gotten rid of state abbreviations in print nowadays and specifies spelling out the state (i.e. Lancaster, Pennsylvania). The exception is in datelines.
Title: Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
Post by: kalvado on August 26, 2018, 10:10:29 PM
Well, if post office allowed addresses of ActualTown, NY, ZIP things would be easier.
What actually makes things difficult is USPS's desire to correct address to PostalTown, NY, ZIP even if there is no ambiguity. Maybe mail piece would still be delivered, but address checking tools do correct it; and certain types of mass mail require checked adress.

That would correct half of the problem. The other half, however, where ZIP codes do not follow political boundaries, remains. From a data analytics perspective, this is agonizing.

A few years ago I used to maintain a spreadsheet for work that had a list of locations we needed to have someone go pay a visit to. These locations needed to be sorted by county in order to assign who went where. I had initially started doing so manually, but it quickly occurred to me "hey, I have the address, I can probably write a lookup formula for this"... I then started collecting data to try and build this and realized it was impossible since, nope, you can't singularly tell what county an address is in based on its ZIP code - some ZIP codes contain parts of more than one county. So I had to keep looking up and typing the county names in manually for each site.

I suppose I could have fudged it and assigned ZIP codes which straddled the line to whichever county it looked like the majority of it was in and called it good, but that's just not tidy.
If ActualTown is used as part of an address, then you would be able to use that for political sorting... Also not fully immune to issues with preferred/acceptable addressing, but political towns tend to be entirely within a county. Although there are examples of deeper mess as well.