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CHAT: postcodes

From:bnathyuw <bnathyuw@...>
Date:Friday, September 20, 2002, 14:25
( a propos nothing in particular, and not really
directly related to conlanging, altho as this is an
international and well informed group i may get some
helpful answers )

i'm interested to know what sort of post codes
different countries use, in particular to find out
whether anywhere else has anything remotely similar (
either in form or in function ) to the british system

our system here, for those who don't know it, is
alphanumberic, in the form ( L standing for letter, D
for digit and parentheses marking optionalness ) :

* the first half can in one or two cases have a final

the first letter(s) are related to the name of the
place they refer to :

E East london
EH EdinburgH
G Glasgow
TW TWickenham
WC West Central london
BF BelFast

these are followed by a number that indicates which
subdivision you're in. 1 usually represents the
central subdivision of the area, but the rest are
allocated in different ways. in london, the allocation
is alphabetical, so you find SE10 ( Greenwich ) next
to SE3 (Blackheath)

this first half of the post code can be found on
street signs in some places, particularly london (
indeed the london system dates back a long way )

the second half of the code is always in the form DLL
and indicates to within what in america would be
called a block where the address is. odd and even
numbers have alphabetically adjacent codes, reflecting
the need for one code for each side of the road. this
falls down when roads aren't numbered with odds on one
side and evens on the other, but for some reason is
stuck to

because of this, the system is pretty accurate. this
means that when you phone up to order something (
tickets, whatever ) the person on the other end will
frequently ask your postcode before any of your other
address details. the rest will then pop up on their
screen and they just need to confirm your house number

so, questions :

is the uk really odd in using this system ? does
anything similar exist elsewhere ? i haven't seen it
in the places i've been to, but that's not saying much

secondly ( desperately trying to bring this back to
conlanging, or at least conculturing ), has anyone
addressed this issue in any of their concultures ?
i've always thought it really wasteful that each
person has a street address, a phone number, and an
email address here. why not have something that could
be used for everything ?

anyway, i'm wittering on. i'll stop


bnathyuw | landan | arR
stamp the sunshine out | angelfish
your tears came like anaesthesia | phèdre

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