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AP or style other than USPS --- Yea or Nay?

Yea
- 3 (21.4%)
Nay
- 11 (78.6%)

Total Members Voted: 14


Author Topic: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?  (Read 2933 times)

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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #25 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.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2018, 08:54:57 AM by 1 »
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #26 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.
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #27 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.
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #28 on: August 22, 2018, 09:21:09 AM »

I'm all for the USPS system too!
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #29 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.
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #30 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.
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #31 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. 
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #32 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
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #33 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. 
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #34 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
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #35 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.
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #36 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.
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #37 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.
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #38 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.
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #39 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.
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #40 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.
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #41 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.
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #42 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
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #43 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. 
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #44 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 :).
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #45 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.
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #46 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.
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #47 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)
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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
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Every day is a winding road, you just got to get used to it.

Sheryl Crowe

GaryV

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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #48 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.
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jp the roadgeek

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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #49 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.
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Interstates I've clinched: 97, 290 (MA), 291 (CT), 291 (MA), 293, 295 (DE-NJ-PA), 295 (RI-MA), 384, 391, 395 (CT-MA), 395 (MD), 495 (DE), 610 (LA), 684, 691, 695 (MD), 695 (NY), 795 (MD)

 


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