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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 3699 times)

jon daly

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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2018, 11:56:51 AM »

No.
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2018, 12:06:51 PM »

Not me, either.
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #3 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:
  • 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".
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jon daly

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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #4 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.
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SP Cook

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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #5 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.
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corco

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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2018, 02:06:10 PM »

Yes.

oscar

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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #7 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.
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1995hoo

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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #8 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.
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—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

abefroman329

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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #9 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.
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SP Cook

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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #10 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.
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Beltway

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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #11 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.
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #12 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.
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #13 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
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abefroman329

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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #14 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?
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US 89

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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #15 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.
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2018, 07:50:53 PM »

I prefer the USPS abbreviations, too.
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #17 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)'.

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mgk920

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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #18 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
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #19 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.
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #20 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."
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #21 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.
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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #22 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.
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jon daly

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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2018, 06:23:47 AM »

^This was the best verbalization of my sentiments.
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jon daly

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Re: Does anyone else prefer the AP style over USPS state abbreviations?
« Reply #24 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
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