Posts tagged ‘address’
By Chad Upton | Editor
I love books and magazines and I mean real books and real magazines, printed on paper.
Sure, I love their digital counterparts too. They have snazzy interactive layouts, rich multimedia and they’re always in your pocket. But, sometimes less is more.
There is something powerful and irreplaceable about ink and paper. The experience is linear and there are few distractions along the way. Most importantly, there are no instant notifications, no batteries and you have to actually see one of your real friends to “share” it with them. On paper, you’re alone with your thoughts. Ten percent of that is because the medium consumes you, the remaining ninety percent is because there are no stupid comments at the bottom of each page.
That’s not to say all comments are stupid, there are plenty of useful and thought provoking comments on the internet. But when there are no comments at all, there can’t be any stupid ones either. Comments should be consumed for dessert; people should think for themselves before eating honey from the hive.
That’s where pages beat pixels.
It is why I have books and magazine subscriptions. But, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. First of all, there are at least three subscription cards in each magazine. They should do a print run for subscribers that is exempt from the inserts. That would be a significant incentive for readers to actually subscribe! In the meantime, I’ll keep shaking them over the recycling bin.
Publishers also suggest renewing your annual subscription on what seems like a bimonthly basis. So, it’s helpful to know when your subscription really expires.
Thankfully, they put the expiration date right on the address label.
By Chad Upton | Editor
The U2 song, “Where the Streets Have No Name” refers to the city of Belfast, Northern Ireland, where the streets actually do have names. Bono wishes they didn’t have names because they can be used to determine the class and religion of some people.
In Japan; however, a majority of the streets do not have names.
So, how do you find a location? Instead of the streets being named, the blocks between the streets are numbered.
The houses and units inside a block are also numbered. The blocks are inside a named district, the district is within a city or town. So, other than the block numbers and street names, it’s quite similar to the Western address system.
In Japan, directions to a location often include references to visual landmarks or subway stations. The block numbers could also be good for driving directions; if someone told you to turn right at the end of block 4, you’d see block 4 on a utility pole and know that the next turn is yours. In the Western system, you rarely know when your street is next, unless you’re in one of the few cities that are built on a perfect grid and have incrementally named streets.
Whether it’s a personal or business letter, every piece of mail I receive has the address formatted differently. Some even have the return and destination addresses formatted differently.
Since the post office has very strict requirements for addressing a letter, they should all be exactly the same. The post office guidelines are recommended for fastest delivery and I’ve compiled a list of rules that are the most surprising or commonly abused.
Since most of my readers are in North America, I’ve compared the requirements from the US Postal Service and Canada Post — they’re very similar and they contain good practices that are applicable to sending mail in most places.
Mail is typically sorted by a machine, but if the machine can’t determine the address then it will be dropped in a bin for a human to sort it. Most of the requirements are design to make it easy for the machine to understand where you’re trying to send your letter.
No Punctuation Allowed
One rule that will surprise most people: no punctuation is allowed. I know your third grade teacher said you should put a comma between the city and the state, and maybe she was right at the time, but that’s not right anymore. Don’t use periods either, using punctuation will only slow the mail down. It’s going to be a tough habit to break, I know. There is one exception, and that is when the name of the City, Street or Town contains punctuation, such as an apostrophe (for example: St John’s). (more…)