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World Wide Abbreviations only, please

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

I'm currently reading a story where the author frequently uses abbreviations where the meanings he uses them for are used only in the USA, and some even have another meaning elsewhere. The normal thing in written documents is to have the full meaning with something the first time you use it as an abbreviation or acronym or slang, so people will know what it is when they see it later. There's a few in International language where they're known the world over, but not many - BTW (by the way) is one International abbreviation that comes immediately to mind.

What caused the rant was in the story the author refers to USA states with only two letters, and it hit a nerve when I totally lost the plot trying to work out where he was talking about Ks and MO in the same sentence. A reader shouldn't have to have an intimate knowledge of USA Abbreviations or have to go digging through Google or Wikipedia searches to work out something that simple because the author is too damn lazy to write the full state name.

I'm sure some people will say it's obvious what they are, but can you honestly say a system that uses the first two letters for some names, the initials for some others, the first and last for still more has them all as obvious. Then there's the alternate abbreviations shown on the Wikipedia list at

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._state_abbreviations

Like Kansas can be abbreviated as - KS, KA, Kan, Kans, Ks, Ka. North Dakota = ND, D.Dak, N.D., NoDak.

I only mention the states because it threw me out of the story to work out what the hell he was talking about. Then I only managed it because the military base mentioned had its own Wikipedia page.

Please think of your readers and tell them what the abbreviations, acronyms, and slang mean.

typo edit

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

Since the whole world doesn't even use the same character set, world wide abbreviations are an impossibility.

As to two letter US state name abbreviations, there are standard two letter abbreviations for the states established by the US Post Office. http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0110468.html

I have never seen a US based author use two letter state names other than the standard postal codes.

Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

Since the whole world doesn't even use the same character set, world wide abbreviations are an impossibility.


Which makes the use of the full name more important, doesn't it.

According the Wikipedia the USPS abbreviation for Kansas is KS, the story I was reading that triggered this post has Ks, and MO in the same sentence while referring to two places. I've seen other US authors use two capital letters for a state abbreviation, so the Ks with the small 's' was very confusing.

However, readers should not have to conduct research to know where you're talking about, you should use the full name. The same applies to all the slang, abbreviations, acronyms, and localised short cuts. To me The Gap is a well known spot where a major road crosses a difficult mountain range, and not a clothing store - thus just saying The Gap doesn't let me know you mean clothes.

samuelmichaels

@Dominions Son

I often think Ernest's position about local slang goes overboard, but in this case I will agree.

There are, indeed, extremely common US Post Office abbreviations that almost everybody in the US uses (two letters, no periods), but even then there are occasions for confusion -- LA (Louisiana or Los Angeles), NY (city or state). There was even one time where CA was not obvious -- the author is Canadian and uses Canadian conventions, but he meant California (CA is the ISO code for Canada, and yes, I've been in places where people use ISO country codes in conversation).

Since very few people use state codes in conversation, I think it would be fitting to spell the names out (or use appropriate regional terms).

Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

You shouldn't use abbreviations in fiction anyway.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

According the Wikipedia the USPS abbreviation for Kansas is KS, the story I was reading that triggered this post has Ks, and MO in the same sentence while referring to two places. I've seen other US authors use two capital letters for a state abbreviation, so the Ks with the small 's' was very confusing.


Wikipedia is not a definitive source. (though it is often convenient on-line.

The postal codes for the states can be uses in either format, AA or Aa, both are acceptable to the post office.

That said, I will agree that authors should generally identify the full name for abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms, the first time they are used.

The state postal codes are used so much in print news reporting and other text based media that we are so used to seing them, we likely use them without even thinking about it.

ustourist

@Switch Blayde

I would tend to agree for almost all cases, but where you get abbreviations that are better known than the proper name, like CIA or Washington DC, the shorter form is less cumbersome. It is up to others to argue whether the periods should be used in those cases. I would say 'yes', but excluded them in the above.

With the USA states, I am sure a lot of people worldwide know that Alaska is AL, Minnesota is MI and Maine is MA. :) In cases like that using the abbreviations can actually cause confusion. In fact that arose in a recent discussion when NT was used as it has different meanings depending if someone is Canadian or Australian.

Replies:   Switch Blayde  graybyrd
Switch Blayde

@ustourist

I don't consider those abbreviations. The only abbreviations I can see using are ones like Mr. and Dr. And of course IBM, CIA, FBI, etc. Aren't the latter acronyms?

Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

The state postal codes are used so much in print news reporting and other text based media that we are so used to seing them, we likely use them without even thinking about it.


That may be so within the USA, but not so outside of the USA. Which is why I threw me. I've seen other authors use the two capitals, and this author did so for some, but not all, and that just caused confusion.

It's on my mind at the moment because a work in progress mentions a lot of US towns and cities, and when one editor looked at part of it there was some confusion - the story starts in Lexington, and he wanted to know why the people were going from Lexington to Harrisburg so quickly. It turned out the only Lexington he knew of was in Kentucky, while I was talking of Lexington, Virginia, and he'd not realised the Lexington of the War of Independence importance wasn't Lexington, Kentucky. Thus all narrative work in the story includes the state. Which is good, because we had another WTF moment when the people got to West Point, Nebraska Territory - he confused it with the one with the military academy.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

You shouldn't use abbreviations in fiction anyway.


In general I agree, but there are some times when it's appropriate to do so. In which case a note as to what it means is relevant. The same way it is with slang etc.

ustourist

@Switch Blayde

Aren't the latter acronyms

Yes, but so are SD, ND and other states. I believe acronyms like that are a sub-species of abbreviations, but it - to my mind - comes down to how people 'think' them. I 'think' FBI (and I believe IBM is their trademark now, not just an acronym), but would never think FL or OH. Though oddly I would think TX.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

Mr. and Dr.


Mr - Dr - Mrs - are ones I'd see as being Internationally recognised in English in narrative, like NB and BTW and WTF. However, the first time I saw someone use ChiTown in a story I wondered which China Town in what city was being reference. The same with the first time they mentioned The Windy City because it was a nickname new to me. I'm sure the author knew it all, but that doesn't mean all the readers do.

Most people from New South Wales, Australia would know if I said a character was going to the Gong, but I doubt everyone else would get Wollongong out that.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ernest Bywater

@ustourist

oddly I would think TX.


which some text-speak people sue to mean thanks. juts for some extra confusion.

Replies:   ustourist
ustourist

@Ernest Bywater

Thinking back to the abbreviation Dr. (which I agree with), would either you or Switch us that abbreviation when referencing a German? I only mention it because that usually seems to be written in full as Doktor, presumably to add some sort of menace.

richardshagrin

@Ernest Bywater

North Dakota = ND, D.Dak, N.D., NoDak.

"D.Dak"? Must be a misprint, I have never seen D.Dak for North Dakota. NoDak is also one I haven't seen but at least I understand No is the first letters of North. ND is somewhat more likely to be Notre Dame University, at least for fans of American Football.

I agree there are places where spelling what you mean is a good idea. Although you may not have to write out "District of Columbia" when you mean Washington, DC. I live in the state of Washington, the other Washington.

I want to suggest players of the card game, Bridge, or maybe Bridge-Whist?, will at least in the USA have to live with rules changes. Now that he is president there will be an executive order banning the bid "No-Trump."

Dominions Son

@samuelmichaels

but even then there are occasions for confusion -- LA (Louisiana or Los Angeles), NY (city or state).


I'm not aware of anyone in the US who uses NY for the city, when they mean the city, most use NYC.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp  PotomacBob
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

I have never seen a US based author use two letter state names other than the standard postal codes.

Rubbish! You JUST SAW one! EB just mentioned an example where an author used "Ks" instead of "KS"!

Even if you are correct that the standard two-capital-letter codes are (for practical purposes) used universally within the US, that is NOT the point EB was making!

His quite valid point was a plea to writers:

Please think of your readers and tell them what the abbreviations, acronyms, and slang mean.


EB cited an example which MANY READERS would certainly not know. How many readers from outside the US (approximately one-third of SoL readers) would know what state was meant by 'MO'? My guess is about the same percentage as for the residents of Montana.

EB puts it down to authors being "too damn lazy to write the full state name." I think it's just another typical example of mindless arrogance by imperialist Yankee dogs.

richardshagrin

@Ross at Play

I think it's just another typical example of mindless arrogance by imperialist Yankee dogs.

What breed of dog is that? Boston Terrier?

Replies:   Ross at Play
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

Aren't the latter acronyms?


No, technically they are initialisms. Generally an acronym has to be pronounced as a word. If you say the letters, as is done with IBM, CIA and FBI, that's just an initialism.

Dominions Son

@ustourist

and I believe IBM is their trademark now, not just an acronym


It's not just their trade mark, it's the official company name now. There was a trend for a while where older companies with well known initialisms re-incorporated with the initialisms as the official company name. Kentucky Fried Chicken no longer exists, it's just KFC, The company that used to be British Petroleum is now just BP.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Ross at Play


Rubbish! You JUST SAW one! EB just mentioned an example where an author used "Ks" instead of "KS"!


Nope. Ks is an accepted form for the Kansas postal code. As I said, all the postal codes are accepted in both all caps (AA) and mixed case (Aa).

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater


From : @Switch Blayde
Mr. and Dr.
Reply: @EB
Mr - Dr - Mrs - are ones I'd see as being Internationally recognised in English in narrative

There is a difference in British and American styles for abbreviations of titles like this.
American English continues using periods as with other abbreviations.
British English drops the full stop when the final letter of the abbreviation is the same as the final letter of the full word.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

How many readers from outside the US (approximately one-third of SoL readers) would know what state was meant by 'MO'? My guess is about the same percentage as for the residents of Montana.


MO is Missouri, Montana would be MT. Most of the US population, and certainly anyone who regularly sends mail to Missouri addresses would know this.

docholladay

Heck why not just keep it simple. Whenever an abbreviation is used in a story. The first occurrence of that abbreviation should have the full meaning as used in the story in some kind of brackets like () or {} for example. Those brackets will set it apart from the sentence as a whole while informing readers as to the meaning applied in the story. Just don't change that meaning later on in the story.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  REP
Capt. Zapp

@Ernest Bywater

However, readers should not have to conduct research to know where you're talking about, you should use the full name.


Just because the full name is used does not guarantee the reader will know what you are talking about. 'The Gap' is a good example. While I agree that use of full names is better than abbreviations, I do not have problems with abbreviations if I can figure out their meaning from the rest of the text.

Ross at Play

@richardshagrin

What breed of dog is that? Boston Terrier?

The native breeds have been all but wiped out. They are all mongrels now.

Capt. Zapp

@samuelmichaels

ISO country codes in conversation).


What is an ISO country code?

Capt. Zapp

@Dominions Son

I'm not aware of anyone in the US who uses NY for the city, when they mean the city, most use NYC.


The only time I would use NY for the city is in the form NY, NY. Otherwise I would use NYC.

Replies:   REP
Dominions Son

@Capt. Zapp

What is an ISO country code?


I think it's the two letter codes that are used for the country domains on the internet.

MarissaHorne

A two or three letter code for countries as defined by the ISO.

See here.

http://www.worldatlas.com/aatlas/ctycodes.htm

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Oyster

@Capt. Zapp

What is an ISO country code?


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_3166-1

US for the USA
FR for France
GB for the whole of the UK
DE for Germany
etc.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Capt. Zapp

@MarissaHorne

A two or three letter code for countries as defined by the ISO.


In other words, someone's idea of how to simplify things that does nothing but cause confusion for the common person.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

MO is Missouri, Montana would be MT.

That whooshing sound is what was very obviously a joke going straight over your head.
I KNOW that MO is the code for Missouri, but my guess is many who live in Montana would not!

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Dominions Son
Not_a_ID

@Capt. Zapp

What is an ISO country code?


The ones used by the internet. when you go to a .co.uk or co.ca or co.us domain for example. :)

Replies:   MarissaHorne
Not_a_ID

@Ross at Play

That whooshing sound is what was very obviously a joke going straight over your head.
I KNOW that MO is the code for Missouri, but my guess is many who live in Montana would not!


No, the people in Montana would clearly know their state codes as "MT" it is the people from outside of their state who are likely to make that mistake.

Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

I KNOW that MO is the code for Missouri, but my guess is many who live in Montana would not!


Perhaps, but I doubt that it would be more than 10% of the population of Montana. After all, everyone in Montana would know that Montana is MT.

Replies:   Ross at Play
MarissaHorne

@Not_a_ID

That's not correct. The ISO code for the United Kingdom is GB, but you don't get .co.gb, for example, as a domain.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

After all, everyone in Montana would know that Montana is MT.

I very much doubt that. Your opinion of the American education system is obviously much higher than mine.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Oyster

GB for the whole of the UK


That doesn't make any sense, Great Brittan is only a subset of the United Kingdom.

Replies:   Oyster
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

I very much doubt that. Your opinion of the American education system is obviously much higher than mine.


It has nothing to do with the education system, it has to do with the postal system.

MT is neither an acronym or an abbreviation, it is a Postal Code. Everyone in Montana that uses the mail (everyone except very young children) has to know that the postal code for Montana is MT.

Ernest Bywater

@ustourist

Thinking back to the abbreviation Dr. (which I agree with), would either you or Switch us that abbreviation when referencing a German? I only mention it because that usually seems to be written in full as Doktor, presumably to add some sort of menace.


If Doktor Wagner was visiting from Berlin I would call him by his title, Doktor Wagner - not Doctor Wagner. But his Australian born grandson who is a surgeon would be Dr Wagner. Because I use their native title where I can, but if it was Japanese I'd probably end up calling him Takedosan.

Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

Nope. Ks is an accepted form for the Kansas postal code. As I said, all the postal codes are accepted in both all caps (AA) and mixed case (Aa).


According to the wikipedia article which is citing the USPS they only use capitals for their two letter code. They may let people get away with lower case, but the list is only capitals for both letter - thus KS is the code and Ks isn't the code.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._state_abbreviations

Mind you, I couldn't find a list on the USPS.com website

Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

certainly anyone who regularly sends mail to Missouri addresses would know this.


true, but the point is not everyone would know this.

Ernest Bywater

@Capt. Zapp


What is an ISO country code?


International Standards Organisation Country Code -

Also there are two major US federal organisatiosn that use different codes for some states the USPS and the USCG - which one should be used for what situation without causing confusion? Check the list.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._state_abbreviations

Oyster

@Dominions Son

That doesn't make any sense, Great Brittan is only a subset of the United Kingdom.


Copy+Paste from the link I provided:

The codes are chosen, according to the ISO 3166/MA, "to reflect the significant, unique component of the country name in order to allow a visual association between country name and country code". For this reason, common components of country names like "Republic", "Kingdom", "United", "Federal" or "Democratic" are normally not used for deriving the code elements. As a consequence, for example, the United Kingdom is officially assigned the alpha-2 code GB rather than UK, based on its official name "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" (although UK is reserved on the request of the United Kingdom). Some codes are chosen based on the native names of the countries. For example, Germany is assigned the alpha-2 code DE, based on its native name "Deutschland".

And on topic:
Every author should ask themselves: Would I know that abbreviation if I was not from here?
What's the abbreviation for Bavaria? Bourgogne? Silesia?
If the answer is "I don't know" or "no" then do not use that abbreviation.

Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

Everyone in Montana ... has to know that the postal code for Montana is MT.

You may be right. Perhaps all the uneducated complete morons who used to live in Montana fell over, landed in an envelope, and ended up living in Missouri.

Replies:   Dominions Son
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

British English drops the full stop when the final letter of the abbreviation is the same as the final letter of the full word.


Written properly, English English requires a full stop after Dr. and Mr. but most English folk now omit such full stops because the meaning is obvious without them.

AJ

Grant

@Oyster

Every author should ask themselves: Would I know that abbreviation if I was not from here?

What's the abbreviation for Bavaria? Bourgogne? Silesia?

If the answer is "I don't know" or "no" then do not use that abbreviation.


Or do as suggested and the first time it is used put the full words in brackets to let people know what it is, then you can continue to use the abbreviation/code/acronym throughout the rest of the story.

Replies:   Oyster  Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

Mind you, I couldn't find a list on the USPS.com website

I DID FIND their list at http://pe.usps.gov/text/pub28/28apb.htm.
Their standard codes only use capitals.

Like postal services everywhere, they do not refuse to attempt to deliver mail that is incorrectly addressed, and they would start with the most likely mistake when someone used an invalid code. If they found an invalid code like "Ks", their first guess would probably be that the correct code is "KS".

Switch Blayde

@samuelmichaels

then there are occasions for confusion -- LA (Louisiana or Los Angeles), NY (city or state).


Only when people do it wrong.

LA = Louisiana
L.A. = Los Angeles

NY = state
NYC = city

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

According to the wikipedia article which is citing the USPS they only use capitals for their two letter code.


Wikipedia is not a definitive source.

The USPS can refuse to deliver mail that is addressed incorrectly.

They will deliver mail with the state code in a Aa format. As far as I am concerned, that is definitive and anything that says otherwise (except an official USPS document) is mistaken.

pcbondsman

@richardshagrin

NoDak is also one I haven't seen but at least I understand No is the first letters of North.

I haven't seen No Dak used as an abbreviation but I have heard it used (pronounced as one word) as a somewhat derogatory term for people who live or come from there. I'll narrow that usage a bit, I've only heard it used in the military or by former military people, and though derogatory it's usually in a joking manner.

Switch Blayde

@ustourist

Aren't the latter acronyms

Yes, but so are SD, ND and other states.


SD is not an acronym. When you see SD you say South Dakota. When you see FBI you say the letters (because it's an acronym). I think that's why Washington DC is DC because you would typically say Washington DC (not Washington District of Columbia).

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Oyster

For this reason, common components of country names like "Republic", "Kingdom", "United", "Federal" or "Democratic" are normally not used for deriving the code elements.


Then why is their code for the United States of America US? U=United S=State. Both of which violate the above rule.

Replies:   Oyster
Dominions Son

@Ross at Play

Perhaps all the uneducated complete morons who used to live in Montana fell over, landed in an envelope, and ended up living in Missouri.


More likely:

1. Even they know the correct postal code for their own state.

OR

2. They never existed outside of your fevered imagination.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

SD is not an acronym. When you see SD you say South Dakota. When you see FBI you say the letters (because it's an acronym).


If you say the letter rather than pronouncing it as a word, it's an initialism, not an acronym.

Replies:   Switch Blayde  REP  PotomacBob
Switch Blayde

@ustourist

Thinking back to the abbreviation Dr. (which I agree with), would either you or Switch us that abbreviation when referencing a German?


I don't know about German, but Dr. Smith is similar to Mr. Smith. I've always read that Mr./Mrs./Ms. are not spelled out (both in dialogue and narrative when preceding the person's name), but some people say Dr. and military titles are and some say they are not. Lately I've been spelling out military titles in both dialogue and narrative (e.g., Captain Jones rather than Capt Jones). However, Dr. Smith looks better to me than Doctor Smith in both dialogue and narrative.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Oyster

@Grant

If it is posted in one go or in a relatively small time frame I'd agree IF the word is really that long and complicated that it needs abbreviating, otherwise I'd say forgo the abbreviation.
My thinking behind it is is simple: Why make a story harder to read/understand? Just to shave off a few characters?

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde


Only when people do it wrong.

LA = Louisiana
L.A. = Los Angeles

NY = state
NYC = city


Depends LA is the official postcode for Lancaster County in England.

All those t-shirts with I love NY means they love the state and not the city - good to know this.

BTW there's a Los Angeles newspaper whose official name is LA Weekly - no spaces or dots. The Los Angeles Times is often referred to simply as LA Times, two other now defunct papers were the LA Youth and the New Times LA - so it seems the people in Los Angeles don't all know it should have dots in it.

It also appears LA is sometimes used to refer to Lower Alabama.

All this does is show how the initials by themselves don't convey the exact meaning to everyone all the time.

Yes, sometimes it does, but not always, and thus the need to be clear in what you say.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

Wikipedia is not a definitive source.


when you track the wikipedia source back to it's origin it is a definitive answer. it's a good reference,.

Switch Blayde

@Dominions Son

If you say the letter rather than pronouncing it as a word, it's an initialism, not an acronym.


You're right. Wac and OPEC would be acronyms. So I guess if it's an initialism or an acronym then you use the letters. But you don't use abbreviations in fiction (other than Mr. and maybe Dr.).

Replies:   PotomacBob
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son


The USPS can refuse to deliver mail that is addressed incorrectly.

They will deliver mail with the state code in a Aa format. As far as I am concerned, that is definitive and anything that says otherwise (except an official USPS document) is mistaken.


Yes, they can refuse, but they do try to deliver misaddressed mail. Another poster found the official list and posted a link, and it shows capitals only. The fact the USPS are good guys doesn't make the faulty code valid.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Written properly, English English requires a full stop after Dr. and Mr. but most English folk now omit such full stops because the meaning is obvious without them.

Not according to either the Hart's or Fowler's Guide.
As I understand it, both have always made a distinction between abbreviations (the ending of the word is dropped), and contractions (the middle of the word is dropped), and they both recommend full stop for abbreviations, but not for contractions.
See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbreviation#Periods_.28full_stops.29_and_spaces
See also your email inbox.

Replies:   Grant  awnlee jawking
Grant

@Ross at Play

and they both recommend full stop for abbreviations, but not for contractions.

So things have changed.
Dr. Mr. Mrs. is what I was taught (a rather long time ago). Miss doesn't have a full stop as it wasn't a contraction.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Ernest, the KS and MO aren't abbreviations, per se. Instead they're postal codes, so there's really little logic applied to how they're composed. Even though I've lived here all my life, and have used them semi-regularly (how often does one compose a letter to Montana?), I'm continually befuddled whenever I run across one.

Why an author would use postal abbreviations when referring to a physical location is beyond me, as there's really no rational reason for doing so other than saving a couple extra keys (though, in the case of Mississippi, it can be intimidating to remember which letters come in which order). ;)

It's also not as simple for an author to explain what "the Gap" is in a story, as a dry explanation will seem out of place. Instead, authors need to provide context without providing a definition directly, so it takes some care. Usually this is done in dialogue, or while unfolding a new sweater.

As for the "Ks", that can only be the result of the non-editing of the story. ANY editor (or even a casual rereading) should alert a writer to that particular typo.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  REP
Ross at Play

@Dominions Son

Life's too short to be bothered with anyone who ALWAYS insists on having the last word.
I am returning to my practice of responding to EVERYTHING you post quoting me with, "I refuse to respond to ANYTHING you post that quotes me".

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I don't consider those abbreviations. The only abbreviations I can see using are ones like Mr. and Dr. And of course IBM, CIA, FBI, etc. Aren't the latter acronyms?

Not only aren't they abbreviations, but they are also pronounced in conversation by spelling out the letters. No one ever refers to the CIA as the "see-ya". Most people would just use those as they are, since they're used as the foil is so many books, movies and TV shows they're universally understood to be the bad guys (like the KBG), but again, authors should provide reasonable context for the occasional readers who may not be familiar with them.

Replies:   richardshagrin
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

That may be so within the USA, but not so outside of the USA. Which is why I threw me.

Ha-ha. Great mental image. "I was so thrown by the distraction in the story, I picked myself up and threw myself against the wall. I chipped a tooth because of those acronyms!"

Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

Now that he is president there will be an executive order banning the bid "No-Trump."

Now that there are protests in all 50 U.S. states (and around the world seemingly everywhere other than Russia (who were the ones who elected him), that expression is seen on protest signs frequently.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

EB puts it down to authors being "too damn lazy to write the full state name." I think it's just another typical example of mindless arrogance by imperialist Yankee dogs.

As a non-imperialist Yankee dog (and thus often in the minority), I whole-heartedly agree!

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ross at Play

@Grant

So things have changed.

Not "changed", but perhaps never universal.
It has always been that way in the "Style Guides" published by UOP (or for EB's benefit, the University of Oxford Press :-)

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

everywhere other than Russia (who were the ones who elected him)


Note: The alleged interference by Russia was that they were the ones who hacked the DNC email servers resulting in the release of information by Wikileaks that was embarrassing to Hillary and cost her the election.

No real evidence that the Russian government was involved has been put forward and the leader of Wikileaks says it wasn't the Russians.

There hasn't even been any accusation that the Russians even attempted to compromise our election systems.

Plus: It's not like the US has never attempted to influence elections in other countries.

awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

Depends LA is the official postcode for Lancaster County in England.


The county is named Lancashire.

The city of Lancaster is the county town of Lancashire! Don't you just love English :)

AJ

Replies:   zebra69347
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Ernest, the KS and MO aren't abbreviations, per se. Instead they're postal codes,


The author was clearly using the postal code as a state abbreviation. I've been avoiding naming the story so I wouldn't prejudice anyone about it, because it's a good story, otherwise. However, when he mentioned going from Ft. Riley, Ks to Place, MO (I've left the name out as it will clearly identify the story) it confused me. Partly because I don't know the US postal codes, but more because one is mixed case and the other is all uppercase. I did think MO was Montana because all the other US state abbreviations I've seen have always been first and second letter (ID=Idaho), or first and last letter (KY=Kentucky), or initials if 2 words (WV=West Virginia). None were ever mixed case.

As to Th Gap, instead of saying ' ... they went to The Gap ...' they could have had '... they went to the clothing store called The Gap ...' and let everyone know what's going on with just a few extra words.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Oyster

@Dominions Son

Then why is their code for the United States of America US? U=United S=State. Both of which violate the above rule.


You did read and understand the qualifier "normally", right?
Now as to your example: Take away "United", take away "States" and all that remains is "of America". Since America (or the Americas) is quite a bit larger than just the USA and US/USA is already a commonly used abbreviation it became the exception that proves the rule or the ISO creators were too lazy to come up with something else.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Hart's is a style guide, and one I hadn't heard of before. I don't understand Wikipedia's mention of Fowler - supposedly it claims full stops are used yet recommends omitting them. I suspect it's necessary to go back to the source to find out what Fowler really says. I've been meaning to get my own copy but academic friends recommend I don't buy either of the latest two editions because there's been a radical change of style and consequent loss of authority.

I was taught that Dr. and Mr. require full stops and all grammar textbooks I have consulted since leaving school (the majority in the last five years) concur. However, being a lazy so-and-so, I will continue to omit them and trust readers to understand me.

AJ

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

UOP (or for EB's benefit, the University of Oxford Press :-)


And my benefit too. I have a publication by Oxford University Press in the bookshelf next to me and they themselves abbreviate their name to OUP.

AJ

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


all the other US state abbreviations I've seen have always been first and second letter (ID=Idaho), or first and last letter (KY=Kentucky), or initials if 2 words (WV=West Virginia). None were ever mixed case.


But there are 8 US States that start with the letter M.

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Using first/second or first/last, or even a mix of the two (Mississippi,Missouri) will leave you with duplicates.

For Missouri, MI (Michigan) MS(Mississippi) were already taken. That left MO, MU, or MR.

The US Post office Was created in 1775.

Missouri was admitted as a state more than 60 years ahead of Montana, so Missouri got MO and Montana was left with MT (MO, MN, and MA were all taken already).

awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

Please think of your readers and tell them what the abbreviations, acronyms, and slang mean.


I screwed up in one of my stories. I am familiar with the term and I believe most English English speakers are too, so when I saw 'Poets Day' used by an American author on SOL I assumed it was common throughout the English-speaking world. WRONG! I got several e-mails from readers complaining they had to look it up, mostly from the US.

(It's a vernacular expression for Friday, derived from Piss Off Early, Tomorrow's Saturday.)

AJ

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Ks is an accepted form for the Kansas postal code. As I said, all the postal codes are accepted in both all caps (AA) and mixed case (Aa).

Not according to the U.S. Postal Service it isn't. However, the Post Office rarely depends on state codes, depending on the more specific zip codes instead. In the cases of an incorrect zip, they're more likely to return the letter rather than decipher the state code or address.

Replies:   graybyrd
Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

Heck why not just keep it simple. Whenever an abbreviation is used in a story. The first occurrence of that abbreviation should have the full meaning as used in the story in some kind of brackets like () or {} for example. Those brackets will set it apart from the sentence as a whole while informing readers as to the meaning applied in the story. Just don't change that meaning later on in the story.

Mainly because bracketed text is rarely used in fiction. It's mainly relegated to non-fiction, news reports and emails. In my example before, you don't need to list "The GAP" as a retail story:

"I'm going to the GAP (a U.S. retail store)"

You could easily provide context by providing context:

"I'm heading to the GAP. I just love their new sweater collections."

Replies:   docholladay
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

It has nothing to do with the education system, it has to do with the postal system.

MT is neither an acronym or an abbreviation, it is a Postal Code. Everyone in Montana that uses the mail (everyone except very young children) has to know that the postal code for Montana is MT.

You're revealing your age. Aside from bills, the U.S. Postal service only delivers junk mail (physical spam messages). Few Americans send personal letters anymore, and they use online bank accounts to send virtual checks (shipped by the bank's main office, rather than the state the account holder resides in).

For shipping packages, anyone with an ounce of sense uses UPS.

Crumbly Writer

@Oyster

Some codes are chosen based on the native names of the countries. For example, Germany is assigned the alpha-2 code DE, based on its native name "Deutschland".

TO show how often any postal code gets confusing, every time Amazon.de sends me earning statements, I think "Wow, someone in Denmark really likes my books!" It always takes a while for me to remember it actually refers to Germany, despite my having spent a lot of time in Germany.

Replies:   Grant
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Few Americans send personal letters anymore, and they use online bank accounts to send virtual checks


Most of the poor and uneducated (and even a lot of people who aren't poor or uneducated) don't have bank accounts , so no on-line banking, and no virtual checks.

Now you know why dedicated check cashing store front operations are so popular/ubiquitous. They generally won't cash personal checks, most of their business is cashing paychecks for people who don't have bank accounts.

Replies:   Grant
Crumbly Writer

@Grant

What's the abbreviation for Bavaria? Bourgogne? Silesia?

BA, BOO and SILI? ;D

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

For shipping packages, anyone with an ounce of sense uses UPS.


UPS and FEDEX generally require addresses in the same format as required by the Post Office.

Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

Written properly, English English requires a full stop after Dr. and Mr. but most English folk now omit such full stops because the meaning is obvious without them.


It's one of the differences between British and American English (did you mean British English when you said English English?).

In American English, the full stop is always there.

In British English, if the last letter of the abbreviation is the same as the last letter of the word being abbreviated, they don't use the full stop. Otherwise they do.

Mister = Mr (both end with "r")
Captain = Capt. (one ends with "n", the other "t"

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I've always read that Mr./Mrs./Ms. are not spelled out (both in dialogue and narrative when preceding the person's name), but some people say Dr. and military titles are and some say they are not.

The current tendency is to use Dr. Smith in both dialogue and narrative, but if you don't specify their name, you'd say "doctor" (small d). I wouldn't use "Doctor Smith" any more than I'd specify "Federal Bureau of Investigation Agent Smith".

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Yes, they can refuse, but they do try to deliver misaddressed mail.

I've recently been fumbling with the local Post Office since I volunteered (got drafted) into serving as Treasurer for my church and our local Lions Club. If you use the street address of the business instead of the P.O. Box, they'll return the letter. Our checks and thank you cards are routinely returned, even though two of the businesses are on the same street as the Post Office (and there are only 3 buildings on that street too!).

Replies:   Dominions Son  Grant
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

UPS and FEDEX generally require addresses in the same format as required by the Post Office.

Yes, but they're fully staffed and well-funded, which the USPS isn't. Thus any attempts to figure out mistaken addresses are done purely by machine. The only exception is generally Christmas letters to Santa, because of the blow back when they (the postal service) sends them back to children with "Undeliverable Address: No such address exists" stamped on them.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

I've recently been fumbling with the local Post Office


I can't find a good reference for it, but I recall a story from either the 90s or the 00s where a half dozen or more postal employees were caught with years worth of undelivered mail stacked up in their houses and garages. This wasn't one or two addresses either, it was mail bags with all the mail for a given route/day undelivered.

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

In American English, the full stop is always there.

In British English, if the last letter of the abbreviation is the same as the last letter of the word being abbreviated, they don't use the full stop. Otherwise they do.

I agree, but it's not so clear-cut in British English. That has never been blessed with an accepted standard for such things.
Writers in American English are blessed with a de-facto accepted standard, so naturally, many writers there damn their blessing vehemently and often.

Capt. Zapp

@Dominions Son

UPS and FEDEX generally require addresses in the same format as required by the Post Office.


I've had things shipped by both UPS and FEDEX which were delivered to the local USPS. My first encounter with this method of 'delivery' resulted in the packages being returned as 'address unknown' since it did not have a PO Box number and we do not have home delivery. Now anything I order online gets both mailing and physical addresses.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  REP
Not_a_ID

@Crumbly Writer

For shipping packages, anyone with an ounce of sense uses UPS.


Where they're going to need their postal mailing address in order to take delivery. Which would include knowing what the abbreviation code is for their state. :)

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Not_a_ID

@Crumbly Writer

Yes, but they're fully staffed and well-funded, which the USPS isn't. Thus any attempts to figure out mistaken addresses are done purely by machine


Not always, if it makes it out the door for delivery, it is possible a residential carrier on a regular route in particular will often catch and correct an addressing error(across the street, next door). But it has to get to them first.

Not_a_ID

@Capt. Zapp

I've had things shipped by both UPS and FEDEX which were delivered to the local USPS.


Yeah, I've started seeing that too, where certain packages will travel via FedEx or UPS until it gets into my home town, then instead of going to FedEx or UPS, it goes to the USPS and the mailman then turns up with the package later on.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Grant

@Crumbly Writer

TO show how often any postal code gets confusing, every time Amazon.de sends me earning statements, I think "Wow, someone in Denmark really likes my books!"

That isn't a Postal Code, it's an Internet Country code Top Level domain.

Grant

@Dominions Son

Most of the poor and uneducated (and even a lot of people who aren't poor or uneducated) don't have bank accounts , so no on-line banking, and no virtual checks.

Here in Australia the only way to receive any money from the Government is to a bank account.
Even for Medicare (public health care) which used to allow you to go to the office & get cash for small amounts or cheques (or post out cheques) for larger amounts will now only pay money to a bank account.
There are very few checks used these days.

Grant

@Crumbly Writer

If you use the street address of the business instead of the P.O. Box, they'll return the letter. Our checks and thank you cards are routinely returned, even though two of the businesses are on the same street as the Post Office (and there are only 3 buildings on that street too!).

The US postal service haemorrhages billions of dollars a year.
Like all other postal services they are no longer considered a service, but a business, and businesses have to be profitable.

For many years the Posties at Australia Post would re-direct incorrectly addressed mail, and the fact is it soaks up a lot of time to do so. Which is why it costs so much for an official mail redirection.

If people want their mail, they need to advise people what their correct postal address is. The other option is they can pay for a redirection to their postal address if there is no delivery to their street address.
People want their Postal service to be efficient, but they don't want to pay for it.

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

I was taught that Dr. and Mr. require full stops and all grammar textbooks I have consulted since leaving school (the majority in the last five years) concur.


So we get to what type of document is being prepared. In formal English, yes the full stop is the preferred option, but you shouldn't be writing stories in formal English. Thus you now move along the scale to something much less formal. However, the great majority, if not all, English style manuals are prepared for writing formal English documents and academic works, which means a great deal of their content isn't relevant to fictional works.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ernest Bywater

@Grant

If people want their mail, they need to advise people what their correct postal address is.


It's odd how real mail with a slightly faulty address gets returned to sender while spam and junk mail with really bad addresses always get delivered to you. The difference is the bulk posting of junk pays the post office more for the service than a stamp does.

Replies:   Grant  Crumbly Writer
Grant

@Ernest Bywater

The difference is the bulk posting of junk pays the post office more for the service than a stamp does.

The difference is in the sorting and lodgement. Generally if it makes it to the Delivery Centre slightly off addresses can still be sorted to the correct address by the Postie.
A really incorrect address might actually have the correct address barcode, so it will be machine sorted to the correct address.
Wrong postcode, suburb, state without a correct machine readable barcode will end up at the incorrect Delivery Centre will usually be returned as undeliverable.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Grant

The difference is in the sorting and lodgement.


That doesn't explain the times I got junk mail with no state or postcode on it delivered while real mail with the suburb and state but no postcode gets returned to sender. Also, the junk mail sent out without any address, just a note to put one in each mailbox, is always delivered because the post office says they're required by law to deliver it. Even when I had all mail going to a post office box both the house mailbox and the post office box had a copy of the junk mail in it.

At one post office I got so fed up with the crap local junk mail I started throwing it back through the mail box to fall on the sorting room floor - eventually most of the mailbox owners did the same. A few months later the mailboxes all had a mesh over the back of them to stop that, so we just tossed it all in the far back corner of the mailbox access area, then signs started appears bitching about leaving the rubbish at the post office. For almost a year we had a nice little 'war' going until the post office put in a large garbage bin at the entrance for us to toss the crap into. Never once did they bother telling the companies sending the junk it was all being tossed in the bin unread, because they didn't want to lose the income from it.

Replies:   Grant  Capt. Zapp
docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

Mainly because bracketed text is rarely used in fiction.

You could easily provide context by providing context:


The brackets were just one possibility there are too many options to list them all in one sentence.

The context solution works for many things but not always. Its just one of many potential identifiers for the reader's understanding.

If a reader can't understand what you are saying in the story. They might just stop reading it and find another story instead, not always. The identifiers can help readers understand what is being referenced.

I know after a while I will say to hell with this story if I can't figure out what is being said. And all the dictionaries or search engines will not save it if its too regular.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Grant

@Ernest Bywater

That doesn't explain the times I got junk mail with no state or postcode on it delivered while real mail with the suburb and state but no postcode gets returned to sender.

Without seeing the mail I can't know, or the mail centre, but the fact is the machines are better at sorting machine coded mail than human readable mail. If it doesn't make it to the correct mail centre there's a good chance it will be returned to sender by the centre that does get it. If the address is correct, missorts are usually re-directed to the correct centre.

Also, the junk mail sent out without any address, just a note to put one in each mailbox, is always delivered because the post office says they're required by law to deliver it.

Yep.
If you don't want it, put a "No Junk" or No Advertising Material" sign on the letterbox. It won't stop Political or Religious junk, but it will stop the usual rubbish.
Posties hate delivering junk- if they don't have to they won't.

...the post office box had a copy of the junk mail in it.

That can be stopped, but I think you have to pay extra for that to occur. Once again Political/ Religious junk is exempt.

At one post office I got so fed up with the crap local junk mail I started throwing it back through the mail box to fall on the sorting room floor

I can understand them getting pissed off a you dumping mail they didn't deliver back at their offices.
Australia Post generally only delivers standard letter & sometimes large letter junk. There are some catalogues (eg Alltools), but that's it.
90% of all junk is delivered by letter box stuffers. ie people paid to walk around a shove handfuls of catalogues in letter boxes by marketing companies. It's a pain in the arse when you can't get letters in a letterbox because it's full of crap.

Never once did they bother telling the companies sending the junk it was all being tossed in the bin unread, because they didn't want to lose the income from it.

As I mentioned above, most junk isn't delivered by Australia Post- you need to take it up with the company that produces the catalogue.
Most delivery centres get the Posties to update their rounds every 6 months or so that the number of No junk/Advertising points is fairly close to accurate.

Capt. Zapp

@Not_a_ID

it goes to the USPS and the mailman then turns up with the package later on.


The problem where I live is that unless you have home delivery (which is only available if you do not live in-town) the USPS returns any package without your PO box number.

Capt. Zapp

@Ernest Bywater

Never once did they bother telling the companies sending the junk it was all being tossed in the bin unread...


Mark it "Return to sender - Refused" and drop it in the outbound mail slot. Then it is officially posted and is supposed to be processed.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Grant


As I mentioned above, most junk isn't delivered by Australia Post- you need to take it up with the company that produces the catalogue.


It is delivered by the post office in the US. In fact, it is illegal for anyone to place anything other than post marked mail or stamped outgoing mail in a residential mail box. There is one exception, for Sunday newspapers (because USPS does not deliver on Sundays).

https://about.usps.com/news/state-releases/tx/2010/tx_2010_0909.htm

Most people in the US with rural (curbside) mailboxes who get newspapers delivered install a separate box on their mail box post for newspapers.

Replies:   Grant  Capt. Zapp
Grant

@Dominions Son

In fact, it is illegal for anyone to place anything other than post marked mail or stamped outgoing mail in a residential mail box.

If only that were the case here.
Especially with banks of letterboxes for blocks of units- jam packed with junk mail, and piles of it all over the ground.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Grant

If only that were the case here.
Especially with banks of letterboxes for blocks of units-


It wouldn't help you. Our post office has special rates for bulk mail addressed to resident. The advertisers deliver tuck-loads of one item and the post office sees to it that everyone gets one.

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@Dominions Son

It wouldn't help you. Our post office has special rates for bulk mail addressed to resident.

We get the same here, but luckily it's mostly just letter sized with the (very) occasional catalogue.

The letter box stuffer rubbish though...
When my parents lived in Wellington in New Zealand for a few years they had a couple of wood fired heaters. They bought a brick sized mold- you put in wet paper and compressed it down to get a block of paper the size of a large house brick.
They used to get so much junk mail that they just about halved their wood use by making these bricks out of junk mail.

Crumbly Writer

@Not_a_ID

Where they're going to need their postal mailing address in order to take delivery. Which would include knowing what the abbreviation code is for their state. :)

You got me there. I meant: UPS = United Parcel service, not United Postal Service.

Replies:   StarFleet Carl  Not_a_ID
Crumbly Writer

@Grant

If people want their mail, they need to advise people what their correct postal address is.

Few local companies list P.O. box numbers, as they're advertising to bring in customers, not to get spam. The only way to get the P.O. box is to call them up, but most employees, and even several owners, have no clue what P.O. box they use.

Replies:   Grant
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

The difference is the bulk posting of junk pays the post office more for the service than a stamp does.

Actually, the postage on span is MUCH lower than what retail customers pay, but they purchase in bulk. The postal service is terrified at pissing off the few companies keeping them afloat, which few individuals will complain about mail to their congressmen.

Replies:   Grant
Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

The brackets were just one possibility there are too many options to list them all in one sentence.

Understood, but there aren't many non-fiction authors here on SOL. The reason why I appreciate these discussions about considering international (non-resident) readers is that it provides ideas for how to process such topics (and when to recognize them).

I prefer putting in the extra work figuring out how to make the added text efficient, rather than simply including a definition in a footnote. Thus references to grabbing a burger at Micky D's or buying a blouse at the GAP doesn't detract from the story while providing enough context for readers everywhere to grasp what you're discussing.

Crumbly Writer

@Grant

Without seeing the mail I can't know, or the mail centre, but the fact is the machines are better at sorting machine coded mail than human readable mail. If it doesn't make it to the correct mail centre there's a good chance it will be returned to sender by the centre that does get it. If the address is correct, missorts are usually re-directed to the correct centre.

We started having problems with requiring P.O. boxes for businesses when they started shipping local mail to the 'regional office' (3 hours away) just to be shipped back again for delivery. I'm sure the mail gets rejected by the regional office, rather than the local office, but considering they ship it to the regional office but cut down on expenses, I figure they deserve the added expenses they incur from undelivered mail. They dug their own hole, so now they get to lie in it. As the old saying say: penny wise and billions in debt each year!

Grant

@Crumbly Writer

Few local companies list P.O. box numbers, as they're advertising to bring in customers, not to get spam. The only way to get the P.O. box is to call them up, but most employees, and even several owners, have no clue what P.O. box they use.

So obviously they don't want to receive mail.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Grant

So obviously they don't want to receive mail.

They don't receive many private emails, and few train their employees in how to manage the USPS. (See prior comments about how their reliance on regional sorting centers to save money end up costing them more than ever.)

Grant

@Crumbly Writer

Actually, the postage on span is MUCH lower than what retail customers pay, but they purchase in bulk.

Here in Australia the amount of postage is reduced for bulk mailouts. That's the case for any customer- those mailing out rubbish don't get better rates than anyone else mailing out the same quantity of items of the same size & weight.
Addressed bulk mail carries a higher premium than unaddressed bulk mail, due to the greater amount of processing involved.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Grant

Here in Australia the amount of postage is reduced for bulk mailouts. That's the case for any customer- those mailing out rubbish don't get better rates than anyone else mailing out the same quantity of items of the same size & weight.

Here in the States, residential consumers are not allowed to purchase bulk rates. It's reserved for companies. My ex-wife and I were looking to start a business and were considering local mailings, but needed to pay full retail postage no matter how many we sent.

Capt. Zapp

@Dominions Son

There is one exception, for Sunday newspapers (because USPS does not deliver on Sundays


Back when I delivered newspapers I was instructed to never put anything into a customer's mail box. The newspaper provided a post mounted box for any customer that did not want the paper left on the porch.
When I delivered phone books, I was told that the company could be fined if we put the book in the mailboxes.
This is in the USA.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Capt. Zapp

Back when I delivered newspapers I was instructed to never put anything into a customer's mail box.


Makes sense, it would be a nightmare to try to take advantage of the exception. The risk of mistakes is large and the benefit is small.

Ernest Bywater

@Grant

If you don't want it, put a "No Junk" or No Advertising Material" sign on the letterbox. It won't stop Political or Religious junk, but it will stop the usual rubbish.


I've tried that route, and it never stopped any of the junk, I still got as much as everyone else.

Also, the junk I dumped at the office was the crap they stuffed in the mailbox, so it was their fault it was there. And the mailbox stuffers only get employed in the cities, not in the rural towns, but the boxes get stuffed by the posties, usually contractors who AP threaten to take their contract away if they don't stuff the boxes.

Ernest Bywater

@Capt. Zapp

Mark it "Return to sender - Refused" and drop it in the outbound mail slot. Then it is officially posted and is supposed to be processed.


only works when there's an external return address, most junk down here doesn't have one.

awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

I'd put the full stops in if writing, say, a dissertation. But writing for SOL and elsewhere, I leave them out.

When editing or proofreading, I'd let the author decide what convention to use then check for consistency.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

did you mean British English when you said English English?


No, I'm not familiar with 'British English'. However I am familiar with what has been taught in schools in England and is present in grammar textbooks.

AJ

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

I'm not familiar with 'British English'. However I am familiar with what has been taught in schools in England

The usual term for what is taught in England is 'British English'.
It's exactly the same as what is taught in Australia, New Zealand ...

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

It's exactly the same as what is taught in Australia, New Zealand


I very much doubt that, although Australian English and English English probably have rather more in common than with American English.

I'm reading a tabloid newspaper while running some maths stuff. So far no abbreviations have full stops, no matter what their last letter. I suspect the authors of those style guides are living in a vacuum :(

AJ

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

No, I'm not familiar with 'British English'. However I am familiar with what has been taught in schools in England and is present in grammar textbooks.

What, precisely, is the difference between British English and the English taught in schools teaching the same English?

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


I very much doubt that, although Australian English and English English probably have rather more in common than with American English.


The term "English English" implies that all other forms of English are somehow inferior derrivatives. If you insist on differentiating, why not just say Australian English? Why is Australian the only 'true' English when neither American or British versions qualify?

This is in keeping with my early observations that there's a tendency from you Aussies, that anything not taught in your schools is somehow 'improper English' (i.e. the whole dropped quotation mark discussion). Regional variations are perfectly valid, but don't insist that what you were taught is the ONLY option for everyone else!

I believe that's caused 'Aussie Imperialism'. You can't talk about American Imperialism if you do the exact same thing whenever you get the opportunity.

Replies:   Zom  Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

The official language of Australia is the same as in Great Britain. The term usually used for that is 'British English'.
See the Wiki article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_American_and_British_English.
There does seem to be much more variability in styles by various users of British English than American English.
Newspapers everywhere often use in-house styles, and minimum possible punctuation, to save on costs. It's not surprising they don't use full stops.
I have always treated the Oxford Dictionary as a reliable resource for what is "correct" for British English, but it appears it is not as widely accepted as I thought. It states "You do not need to use a full stop at the end of contractions, because the last letter of the original word is still present." [Source: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/spelling/contractions

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

I very much doubt that, although Australian English and English English probably have rather more in common than with American English.


When i went through school in the 1960s the English being taught in New South Wales was done using the same text books and curriculum as that taught in UK schools, and that was the case for most of the 20th Century. Thus thee was no difference between the English being taught in the UK and Australia. However, the English being spoken on the streets in Australia was different to that spoken on the street in the UK due to differences in colloquialisms and slang. Then we had an ALP government who commissioned an Australian Dictionary, but had it written by to New Zealanders, so it's full of a lot of NZ slang and a lot of Aussie stuff is missing, thus it's more an NZ dictionary.

REP

@docholladay

The first occurrence of that abbreviation should have the full meaning as used in the story in some kind of brackets like () or {} for example.


Convention for first usage is to spell it out and put the abbreviation in parenthesis. Then use just the abbreviation.

I agree with you on not using the same abbreviation to mean different things.

Replies:   docholladay
Zom

@Crumbly Writer

but don't insist that what you were taught is the ONLY option for everyone else!

Hell no! To do that you would need to be in the US :-)

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP

@Capt. Zapp

NY, NY


I thought that was a casino in Las Vegas. :)

Argon

@ustourist


Nope, we use the abbreviation Dr. as well. It is a legal part of your name if you have earned a doctorate. Same in Austria and Switzerland. That includes everybody with a doctorate, not just the Dr. med. (MD), with the notable exception of the Dr. honoris causa (Dr. h.c.) which does not entitle the bearer to the honorific (pun intended).
The Dr. med. is not awarded automatically by passing the final state exams, but requires the writing of a thesis and a defence of it before the faculty. That's why many physicians who go into private practice skip the doctorate entirely. Still, in everyday language, people mean physicians when they say "Dr.", regardless of whether the physician even holds a doctorate.
In truth, you only need the title for an academic career. Well, some people need it for their ego as well :o)

REP

@Switch Blayde

LA = Louisiana
L.A. = Los Angeles


I sincerely doubt that if someone saw Shreveport, L.A. that they would think it meant Shreveport, Los Angles.

REP

@Dominions Son

acronym


Apparently some people are not understanding what you are saying.

Acronym - an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word (e.g., ASCII, NASA).

Replies:   Switch Blayde
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Is that the same team responsible for the Oxford English Dictionary? I scoured the site but couldn't find it explicitly stated.

The Oxford English Dictionary is probably the most respected authority on English English vocabulary. Their step towards an English style guide looks less impressive.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
REP

@Crumbly Writer

ANY editor (or even a casual rereading) should alert a writer to that particular typo.


Yesterday, I provided feedback to a writer about the unusually high number to typos, dropped words, and other grammatical error that I observed in his story. I recommended that he use an editor. It was a very good story if you ignored the grammatical errors.

A few moments after sending the feedback, I noticed that his endnote gave credit to his editor.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

I have to admit I'm mildly surprised. I would have thought that Australian English would have diverged sufficiently from English English to justify its own language textbooks. But I keep forgetting, despite its physical size, just how small the population of Australia is. So I guess that codifying the unique aspects of its vocabulary and grammar represents a more onerous overhead.

Side note - amusing story in the paper recently about a New Zealander refused entry to an Asia Pacific country because they didn't have an Australian passport: immigration insisted that New Zealand was a part of Australia.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
StarFleet Carl

@Crumbly Writer

UPS - United Parcel Service
USPS - United State Postal Service

Just FWIW ... :)

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
richardshagrin

@Crumbly Writer

"(like the KBG)"
Probably the KGB.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

You have misunderstood our discussion.
We were discussing what is "correct" for English - as it is taught in England.
Awnlee used the term 'English English'.
I suggested the term others use is 'British English'.
I noted that Australians use exactly the same language.

REP

@Capt. Zapp

since it did not have a PO Box number


It is my understanding that UPS and FEDEX will not deliver to a P.O. Box address.

richardshagrin

I tried pronouncing M. T. (the Montana postal code.) I got "empty". There is a lot of unfilled space in the big sky country (motto of Montana, or maybe their advertising slogan for tourists.)

richardshagrin

@Crumbly Writer

Few Americans send personal letters anymore

In December there are a lot of Christmas Cards, sometimes called holiday cards to be politically correct, sent that sometimes have hand written messages, or at least a real signature in ink. Do those count as personal letters?

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Is that the same team responsible for the Oxford English Dictionary? I scoured the site but couldn't find it explicitly stated.

YES.
From: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/spelling/contractions

You do not need to use a full stop at the end of contractions, because the last letter of the original word is still present.

It appears that is one of several different acceptable styles, and there is no accepted standard style.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
richardshagrin

I realized today is named for a ballerina costume, the tutu. Sometimes it is written with the postal code for North Dakota. January 22ND. Maybe she wears her two two in Billings?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Capt. Zapp

@REP

since it did not have a PO Box number

It is my understanding that UPS and FEDEX will not deliver to a P.O. Box address.


They won't, but they have no problem with dropping the package at the post office for final delivery. Unfortunately, not every post office offers delivery to a street address and if the only delivery address is the street address, the post office will mark it 'undeliverable - address unknown' and return it to the sender.

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer  graybyrd
Switch Blayde

@REP

Acronym - an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word (e.g., ASCII, NASA).


I think the difference is, an acronym forms a word. You say NASA, not N-A-S-A (saying the letters) so it's an acronym. But with an initialism, you say the letters as in F-B-I.

In fact, some acronyms aren't even all capitals, like Wac.

Replies:   REP  Ross at Play
REP

@Capt. Zapp

While I understand what you are saying, I've never run into that situation personally.

REP

@Switch Blayde

I think the difference is, an acronym forms a word.


I think that is what the definition I quoted says.

Does Wac mean Womens Air Corp, if so do you know why ac is lower case?

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@REP

Does Wac mean Womens Air Corp, if so do you know why ac is lower case?


Women's Army Corps.

I don't know why Wac is not all caps but NASA is.

ETA: From Wikipedia:

The most common capitalization scheme seen with acronyms is all-uppercase (all-caps), except for those few that have linguistically taken on an identity as regular words, with the acronymous etymology of the words fading into the background of common knowledge, such as has occurred with the words scuba, laser, and radar—these are known as anacronyms.

and

Some publications choose to capitalize only the first letter of acronyms, reserving all-caps styling for initialisms. Thus the pronounced acronyms "Nato" and "Aids" are mixed-case, but the initialisms "USA" and "FBI" are capital-only.

Some style manuals also base the letters' case on their number. The New York Times, for example, keeps NATO in all capitals (while several guides in the British press may render it Nato), but uses lower case in UNICEF (from "United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund") because it is more than four letters, and to style it in caps might look ungainly (flirting with the appearance of "shouting capitals").

Replies:   REP  REP
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

I did a search on that page for 'Oxford English Dictionary' but my browser reported no occurrences.

I think 'style' is the operative word. Grammarians should catalogue the current and historic usage of language but I don't think it's within their purview to create new rules. Such a restriction doesn't apply to style guides, where tidying up and making things consistent is highly desirable.

Still, I like the simplicity of the old regime where all abbreviations merited a full stop.

I disagree with their assertion about apostrophes for the contraction of two words. Mediaeval English formed possessives by adding 'es' to each word. That's the origin of the apostrophe we use today to show possession - it actually represents a contraction. So I would say that apostrophes can apply to single word contractions too.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
awnlee jawking

@REP

No, it means women's Air Conditioning, a euphemism for going commando :)

AJ

Replies:   REP
awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

LA = Louisiana
L.A. = Los Angeles


Where is Lah, birthplace of Al-Lah? ;)

AJ

Ross at Play

@Switch Blayde

I think the difference is, an acronym forms a word. You say NASA, not N-A-S-A (saying the letters) so it's an acronym. But with an initialism, you say the letters as in F-B-I.

That's EXACTLY how the Oxford Dictionary defines them:
* An 'acronym' may be spoken as if a word
* An 'initialism' can only be spelled out

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Then we had an ALP government who commissioned an Australian Dictionary, but had it written by to New Zealanders, so it's full of a lot of NZ slang and a lot of Aussie stuff is missing, thus it's more an NZ dictionary.

That's why we can never agree with anything, we need a new Porno dictionary! ;D (and maybe a PORNO SOL Style Guide as well)

REP

@Switch Blayde

Women's Army Corps.


My original comment was intended as humorous comment.

However it is interesting that the organization started out as the Womens Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC). Congress passed a bill creating the WAACs in May 1943 as an organization that worked with the Army (i.e. not part of the Army). The Army Air Forces wanted WAACs assigned to them to support their efforts. In 1943, a bill was introduced to Congress and passed to form the Women's Army Corps (WAC), but the organization was still separate from the Army. In 1948, another bill made them a separate Corp of the Army. It wasn't until 1978 that another bill made them a part of the Regular Army.

Crumbly Writer

@Zom

Hell no! To do that you would need to be in the US :-)

My point was, that tendency to stretch one's local expectations to everyone else isn't American or Russian imperialism, it's simply human nature, writ large with a more extensive voice by the larger world powers. Soon it'll be Chinese Imperialism.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

A few moments after sending the feedback, I noticed that his endnote gave credit to his editor.

In that case, it's not so much sharing credit as spreading the blame. However, before we blame either one, that's why I typically have a team (generally 3 to 5 amateur authors) editing any given book, because each of us miss too many typos. Even with that many eyes on each book, readers continually point out items we overlooked (mainly because I encourage them to. If you don't, they generally won't volunteer the things they note).

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

I have to admit I'm mildly surprised. I would have thought that Australian English would have diverged sufficiently from English English to justify its own language textbooks.

With the exception of the discussion about the dropped quote, I've never noticed any difference between Australian English and BRITISH English. I'm assuming the main differences are regional slang, which typically doesn't make it into stories (i.e. there aren't many differences in punctuation, style or structure other than different slang expressions).

Crumbly Writer

@StarFleet Carl

UPS - United Parcel Service
USPS - United State Postal Service

Just FWIW ... :)

I recognized it for a joke when I saw it (thus the included "ha-ha").

Sometimes a smiley just doesn't get the message across, but then neither does explicit text! :( (Show, Don't Tell my ass!)

zebra69347

@awnlee jawking

The ancient county is Lancashire. However, the postal code LA is used for an area based on the city of Lancaster.
Postal codes take no notice of county boundaries.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

You have misunderstood our discussion.
We were discussing what is "correct" for English - as it is taught in England.
Awnlee used the term 'English English'.
I suggested the term others use is 'British English'.
I noted that Australians use exactly the same language.

We were both arguing the same point, in that we were both objecting to Awnlee's use of "English English" to refer to what Australians use. I don't object to using British English, but I'm not crazy about there only being a single "English" language.

Replies:   richardshagrin
Crumbly Writer

@REP

It is my understanding that UPS and FEDEX will not deliver to a P.O. Box address.

That was my point. The demand to use P.O. Boxes for businesses seems to occur strictly because of the increased use of Regional USPS processing centers (thus there's no one to recognize the correct address). Fedex and UPS sometimes offload their shipments to USPS, but both use the street addresses. Only USPS insists on the idiotic P.O. boxes for businesses with physical addresses.

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Still, I like the simplicity of the old regime where all abbreviations merited a full stop.

I am grateful to have learnt that is an acceptable style for British English.

I doubt it's an old vs new thing. I suspect the idea of dropping full stops has been re-invented many times by people trying to cut costs.

Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

Maybe she wears her two two in Billings?

If she wears two "2s", she'll never appear in an SOL story (which typically include Double "Ds" or "GGs")!

REP

@Switch Blayde

The most common capitalization scheme seen with acronyms is all-uppercase (all-caps),


That is probably due to many (most?) acronyms being formed from titles, and the first letter of words making up the key words of a title are capitalized. The acronyms scuba, laser, and radar were not formed from titles, so lower case is appropriate.

An anacronym is an acronym that is so old that people have generally forgotten what the letters stand for. As far as scuba, laser, and radar being considered anacronyms,I must be really old. :)

REP

@awnlee jawking

women's Air Conditioning


That would be wAC. :)

Crumbly Writer

@Capt. Zapp

They won't, but they have no problem with dropping the package at the post office for final delivery. Unfortunately, not every post office offers delivery to a street address and if the only delivery address is the street address, the post office will mark it 'undeliverable - address unknown' and return it to the sender.

My understanding is UPS and FedEx only use the final USPS delivery for residential mail. They aren't allowed to transfer mail to businesses, since the USPS can't deliver to them WITHOUT P.O. box numbers in many cases.

Replies:   REP
Crumbly Writer

@REP

Does Wac mean Womens Air Corp, if so do you know why ac is lower case?

In the U.S. at least, the Women's Air Corp is always spelled WAC, not Wac. Another Britishism?

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

That's EXACTLY how the Oxford Dictionary defines them:
* An 'acronym' may be spoken as if a word
* An 'initialism' can only be spelled out

What about those of us who call everyone in the FBI "fibbers" (fibbiers?), especially after the shenanigans at the close of the last U.S. election.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I doubt it's an old vs new thing. I suspect the idea of dropping full stops has been re-invented many times by people trying to cut costs.

Alas, dropping a handful of periods (full stops) won't save any printing presses much money. All they did was to make the manual letter-setters job easier in the days of the ancient block presses (letters on wood and metal blocks).

REP
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

Now you really confused me.

UPS and FedEx only use the final USPS delivery for residential mail.


Do you mean a street address? If not, please explain what "final USPS delivery" means.

They aren't allowed to transfer mail to businesses, since the USPS can't deliver to them WITHOUT P.O. box numbers in many cases.


I have seen UPS, FEDEX, and the USPS delivering mail/packages to businesses that were addressed to a street address.

REP

Every time I have gone into a FEDEX or UPS office to ship a package/letter, they insisted on a street address. Given a street address, the regional centers should not have a problem distributing the packages/letters. Although there are a few areas that are not serviced by UPS and FEDEX, so perhaps those packages/letters are sent to USPS.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@REP


Every time I have gone into a FEDEX or UPS office to ship a package/letter, they insisted on a street address. Given a street address, the regional centers should not have a problem distributing the packages/letters. Although there are a few areas that are not serviced by UPS and FEDEX, so perhaps those packages/letters are sent to USPS.


You aren't getting my point (which as been spread out over several separate posts): for months now, I've been wrestling with numerous mailing being lost because our local Post Office won't accept street addresses for any business mailings! They'll only accept street addresses for residential mailings, all businesses are required to use a P.O. box in the post office, and come pick up the mail themselves.

The problem is, no one other than those sending bills to those companies KNOW what their damn P.O. box is, so it becomes extremely difficult to send them anything (like thanks, contributions (to non-profit organizations) or offers to volunteer items for auctions.

FedEx and UPS aren't the problem. The problem is strictly with the USPS refusing to deliver to the businesses in question.

ustourist

There is a secondary problem which also arises with the PO Box/Physical address aspect.
When I moved from a remote area (only 200 in the whole zip code, only 12 issued PO Boxes at the USPS office) the mail forwarding was restricted to letters to the PO Box only. Letters to my physical address - state documents, property taxes, utilities etc. - were not forwarded. OK, I was fortunate that the postmistress warned me beforehand and we made a private arrangement for her to forward my home address mail (which she had always put in the PO Box anyway), but that was done from friendship and was not permitted. A community that size looks after it's own, but that is a rarity in today's times.

With the FedEx and UPS forwarding, the USPS was closed by the time they delivered, so they had to drive 27 miles - past my house - and up a few miles of dirt road to give her the parcels at home for me to collect at the USPS the following morning. If they weren't logged in, the USPS didn't get their payment for the service.

graybyrd

@Switch Blayde

You shouldn't use abbreviations in fiction anyway.


Lest one experience the pain of SNAFU.

Replies:   REP  Dominions Son
REP

@graybyrd

SNAFU.


Sort of like this thread. :)

graybyrd

@ustourist

With the USA states, I am sure a lot of people worldwide know that Alaska is AL,


AL = Alabama; AK = Alaska

Replies:   ustourist  Dominions Son
graybyrd

@Crumbly Writer

In the cases of an incorrect zip, they're more likely to return the letter rather than decipher the state code or address.


Mechanized postal sorting machines depend on the zip code; increasingly the 5 + 4 code is preferred, to the extent that business/mass mailers are required to use the 5 + 4 code. (IE, 98277-2364) If the optical scanner cannot read the zip code (missing, illegible, or incorrect) the piece is rejected for possible hand sorting.)

graybyrd

@Grant

The US postal service haemorrhages billions of dollars a year.


USPS is actually a profitable service, if one discounts the politically vindictive burden imposed upon them by a Congressional vendetta: USPS is the ONLY 'business' in the US that was ordered to pre-pay its employee pension plan 75 years in advance within a very short time span, a crushing burden that--on the books--shows the USPS as always in the red.

Replies:   ustourist
ustourist

@graybyrd

They were all wrong, and with a smiley. The point is that non US residents won't necessarily know.

ustourist

@graybyrd

USPS is the ONLY 'business' in the US that was ordered to pre-pay its employee pension plan


Weren't they also tasked with paying any federal pension that an employee had previously earned but not yet drawn, such as ex-military or epa, which increased the burden....but of course freed up federal money.

graybyrd

@Capt. Zapp

Unfortunately, not every post office offers delivery to a street address and if the only delivery address is the street address, the post office will mark it 'undeliverable - address unknown' and return it to the sender.


I really think these comments need to specify whether you're referring to USPS, or a different country.
In the USPS system, postal boxes (a P.O. Box number) are OPTIONAL, are physically located in a Post Office facility, and are RENTED on an annual basis. Failure to pay/renew the rental charge results in loss of the post office box, and loss of the address. All US residents are entitled to a physical street or rural free delivery (RFD) address. This may include additional "numbers" such as an apartment number as part of the address, or a box number as part of the address in a residential subdivision which provides outside mail deposit structures containing multible key-lock boxes for mail delivery convenience.

ustourist

@graybyrd

Incorrect.
The ONLY option where I used to live was to a PO Box. It was free of charge, but there was no roadside/household delivery available for those within a certain distance of the USPS office. My next door neighbors who were 10 miles away didn't have an option either.

Crumbly Writer

@graybyrd

I really think these comments need to specify whether you're referring to USPS, or a different country.
In the USPS system, postal boxes (a P.O. Box number) are OPTIONAL, are physically located in a Post Office facility, and are RENTED on an annual basis.

You haven't been paying attention. That's the base for the majority of Post Offices, but for select regions, you can't mail anything to a business unless you list a P.O. box, and the USPS won't deliver to a businesses physical address.

That's what I've been ranting about all this time, yet no one seems willing to believe it. (And I've been chasing one returned check after another, each with a separate reason for being returned, but each was because I listed the street address of the business (i.e. their 'business address'). And this is IN the good 'ol U.S. of A.

These seems restricted to areas where the local mail delivery is rerouted to 'regional processing centers'. Were I live, a letter sent within the same town as I live gets routed to a city 3 hours away, and rerouted back before it gets delivered. These 'regional' centers have no clue how to process addresses, so they impose this artificial restriction on businesses (why, I don't understand).

Replies:   REP  Dominions Son
Capt. Zapp

@graybyrd

I really think these comments need to specify whether you're referring to USPS, or a different country.


All of my comments have been in reference to the USPS. We have a rented box and my family has had the same one for almost 50 years. Before UPS and FEDEX started using the USPS for final delivery I never had a problem with packages being delivered to my street address by either carrier. It was only after the new final delivery by the USPS that I began having problems.

I think I need to go have a talk with our local P.O. folks.

richardshagrin

@Crumbly Writer

I don't object to using British English, but I'm not crazy about there only being a single "English" language.


Its pretty clear English is married.

If you think we have problems with multiple nations divided by a single language, think about Portuguese as spoken in Europe and several variants in Brazil.

Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

If you think we have problems with multiple nations divided by a single language, think about Portuguese as spoken in Europe and several variants in Brazil.

And then tack on all the software, websites and services which don't support the alternate font characters. It ain't always a pretty sight.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

In the U.S. at least, the Women's Air Corp is always spelled WAC, not Wac. Another Britishism?


First, it's "corps" not "corp" (corporation).
Second, it's "Army."

And, third, it's not a Britishism. Dictionary.com has it as Wac.

Replies:   REP
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Not just cutting costs. 'Unnecessary' full stops look really crap when they take up a whole character position on a computer screen.

AJ

docholladay

@REP

Convention for first usage is to spell it out and put the abbreviation in parenthesis. Then use just the abbreviation.


That works as well. I did not know the correct method so tried to think of a method that might work. Fun when thanks to being in that darn hospital, I only managed to go through the 9th grade as far as education went. All the rest has been self-taught.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Correct. I'm familiar with English as taught in England. Despite claims to the contrary, I think Australian English and English English have diverged sufficiently to justify recognition of their differences.

Lumping all non-American variants of English together as British English wrongly suggests the British have some sort of control over the language and that regional differences are minimal. In reality it's hard enough for people from different parts of England to hold a conversation, let alone with those from eg Scotland, Australia and Canada.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

In reality it's hard enough for people from different parts of England to hold a conversation, let alone with those from eg Scotland, Australia and Canada.

Difficulty holding conversations, perhaps, but the written forms are virtually identical.
The only significant regional differences I see between Australian, Canadian, and "BBC English" are slang expressions, and tendencies to choose particular synonyms.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

"BBC English"


Even the BBC doesn't use BBC English any more. Too white and middle class.

AJ

REP

@Crumbly Writer

That's what I've been ranting about all this time,


Part of why people aren't understanding you is, as you said to me - this is only true in a few isolated areas of the US, not all areas. When I and others read your comments, it sounds as if you are talking about the entire country.

Furthermore, you mention regional processing centers. If I recall correctly your prior mention of these centers was linked to UPS/FEDEX, not the USPS, which is what you seem to be addressing in this post.

REP

@Switch Blayde

Dictionary.com has it as Wac.


I wouldn't trust what that site says.

The bill passed by Congress in 1943 created an organization called the Women's Army Corps and used the acronym WAC.

http://www.history.army.mil/brochures/WAC/WAC.HTM

Ross at Play

@REP

Even the BBC doesn't use BBC English any more. Too white and middle class.

Okay, so I meant the Southern English accent.
I would accept 'Australian English' is different, but only if your list of different versions of English already includes about a dozen regional variations within the British Isles.
I am asked quite frequently by Asians if I am English. My accent is very typically Australian. It seems Asians tend not to notice my elongated vowels, but do notice the correctness of my grammar.
My point is 'Australian English' is far closer to the predominant Southern English accent than most northerners from within Britain. If you don't classify what they speak as being different from 'English English', it does not make sense to classify Australian English as anything more than just another regional variation of British English.

Replies:   awnlee jawking  madnige
Crumbly Writer

@REP

Furthermore, you mention regional processing centers. If I recall correctly your prior mention of these centers was linked to UPS/FEDEX, not the USPS, which is what you seem to be addressing in this post.

Sorry, but those were two separate conversations (based on questions based on the initial post). The first was about what my regional issue is, then I broached WHY the switch to a "Regional Processing Center" screwed us up, and then I responded to comments about how UPS and FedEx use the USPS to ship packages counters what I said (to which I replied I was reasonably sure that was limited to residential addresses).

But, we've been a minor point about my own personal headaches to death. Since most people don't have these issues, it doesn't really benefit anyone to debate them indefinitely.

Dominions Son

@graybyrd

Lest one experience the pain of SNAFU.


It is by will alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of SNAFU that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning. It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.

Dominions Son

@graybyrd

AL = Alabama; AK = Alaska


Again, Alabama is one of the original 13 states while Alaska is the one of the last two states admitted. Thus Alabama had dibs on AL. Don't know why Alaska didn't end up as AA.

Replies:   richardshagrin  aubie56
Dominions Son

@graybyrd

In the USPS system, postal boxes (a P.O. Box number) are OPTIONAL, are physically located in a Post Office facility, and are RENTED on an annual basis. Failure to


You are wrong, there are some US Zip Codes in the US where home delivery is not available. You have to rent a Post Office box or you can't get mail at all.

I lived in a zip code like that for a while in the state of Wisconsin. And while it was in a mostly rural county, the zip code I was in was the County Seat and the largest municipality in the county.

Replies:   graybyrd
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

That's what I've been ranting about all this time, yet no one seems willing to believe it.


It's not something I had heard about, but I believe it.

There are some areas in the US where residential home delivery is not available, everyone has to have a post office box. And, no, they aren't free even in the areas where they are the only way to get mail at all.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Dominions Son

@richardshagrin

If you think we have problems with multiple nations divided by a single language, think about Portuguese as spoken in Europe and several variants in Brazil.


Or Spanish in Mexico or any of the Caribbean Islands vs Spanish as it is spoken in Spain.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

There are some areas in the US where residential home delivery is not available, everyone has to have a post office box. And, no, they aren't free even in the areas where they are the only way to get mail at all.


So, if you don't pay for a PO box, how does the government get their official mail to you?

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

So, if you don't pay for a PO box, how does the government get their official mail to you?

By heavily armed bounty hunters :)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

By heavily armed bounty hunters :)


Last I heard they can't send out the bounty hunters until after they delivered a legal notice to you, and a Returned Unable to Deliver on an envelope doesn't qualify as a legal delivery attempt.

Replies:   ustourist
richardshagrin

@Dominions Son

Don't know why Alaska didn't end up as AA.

It was already taken by Alcoholics Anonymous.

ustourist

@Ernest Bywater

If they only have your PO Box number they can't serve it anyway. I don't know if it is the same in all states, but where I have lived it has always been the job of a sheriff, and divorce documents or service of a court notification were hand delivered.
I am unsure on this point, but I believe a driving license should have a physical address on it as well, so I wonder how those are delivered. I was fortunate that the USPS did (incorrectly) put physical address items in my PO Box (which was free, despite comments above that they aren't). In an adjacent county there were compounds in the area that didn't have PO Boxes or mail delivery, so I don't know how some of them got their welfare, but kids were home schooled, nobody cared about driving legalities, and quite a few probably 'didn't exist' as far as the system was concerned.
This was in one of the lower 48 states, with a senator known as 'whorehouse harry'.

aubie56
Updated:

@Dominions Son

Again, Alabama is one of the original 13 states while Alaska is the one of the last two states admitted. Thus Alabama had dibs on AL. Don't know why Alaska didn't end up as AA.


Sorry, but Alabama was not one of the original 13 states, unless you consider being originally part of Georgia as counting. I am not sure of the exact number, but I think that Alabama was state #22, or maybe it was #26. Oh, well...

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@aubie56

Sorry, but Alabama was not one of the original 13 states, unless you consider being originally part of Georgia as counting.


My bad, you are correct, Alabama was #22. That still puts it ahead of Alaska at #49.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_date_of_admission_to_the_Union

boydpercy

@ustourist

You can get your mail delivered to General Delivery. The USPS will hold your mail for 30 days. If the town or city has multiple postal stations, you must have it send to the main post office Zip Code. Before 1896 citizens in rural areas of the US had to go to the post office to pick up their mail or hire a private delivery service to pick it up for them. In 1896 Rural Free Delivery came into existence. Hawaii didn't get RFD until 1918.

I believe that Supai, Arizona 86435 still has their mail delivered by mule train. It is 8 miles below the rim of the Grand Canyon and may be the most remote populated area in the contiguous US.

Replies:   pcbondsman
Ernest Bywater

@ustourist

If they only have your PO Box number they can't serve it anyway.


That was my point in response to another post about some areas where the USPS refuses to deliver to the premises and insists you have a PO box which they charge for.

In that situation if you refuse to pay for the box how do they make you have one, and how does the government send out things like tax notices and the like?

I looked all over the USPS.COM website (redirected from USPS.GOV) and couldn't find any links to legislation or anything about what they're required to do for the mail recipient. Lots of stuff on what you have to do when mailing something and what the various charges are, but not on what they have to do with it once you hand it over.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I looked all over the USPS.COM website (redirected from USPS.GOV) and couldn't find any links to legislation or anything about what they're required to do for the mail recipient. Lots of stuff on what you have to do when mailing something and what the various charges are, but not on what they have to do with it once you hand it over.

Uh, anyone planning to write a story about a mailman, wrestling someone to the ground to force deliver a divorce notice on him? You could call it "Mikey the Mighty Mailman Mauls Milktoast Marvin in Mapletown, Main".

All this research outta benefit someone here. :(

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


All this research outta benefit someone here. :(


Well, after the problems you, and others, brought up I was considering a short story based around the bureaucratic conflicts associated with a few government departments not being able to get mail to someone because they don't get roadside deliveries and don't have a post office mailbox. Lots of scope. Of course the sort of things that need to be certified as being delivered by an officer of the court would have to be excluded, because they won't go by mail. But some things the government send are by registered post and have to be signed for, with no roadside delivery and no post office mailbox to stick it in the alert card to come and sign for it can't be delivered, and thus it's undeliverable. If this happened with a draft call-up notice or some such, it could get interesting. You could even include formal documents from other countries where the person has dual nationality - both Greece and Israel go for national service of the overseas born children of their emigrants as dual citizenship holders.

edit to add 'post office' in two places

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
pcbondsman

@boydpercy

Sorry Boyd the canyon is deep but not quite that deep.

It is 8 miles below the rim of the Grand Canyon

It is 8 miles from the nearest road though.

awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

Spanish as it is spoken in Spain.


The various regions of Spain speak different dialects of Spanish. UK schools teach Castilian.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

The Oxford English Dictionary principally bases its updates on reader submissions, since staffing reductions plus the proliferation of sources means comprehensive scrutinisation for new words is beyond their limited means. Solicitations for suggestions occur regularly in the UK media. As a consequence, a significant number of new additions are what I'd term 'transient teenspeak', destined to be forgotten within a decade or so, as demonstrated by a newspaper feature on terms from 10-20 years ago which have already been forgotten.

I don't think the OED can claim to be a custodian of British English since it doesn't extend its solicitations to other countries which are considered to belong under the British English umbrella. Furthermore, I think it's racist and discriminatory to dismiss vocabulary which has been part of mainstream Australian for decades as merely slang.

When are you Aussies going to man up and become a republic? :)

AJ

madnige

@Ross at Play

Okay, so I meant the Southern English accent.


Could you mean Received Pronunciation?

I am asked quite frequently by Asians if I am English.


Whereas I've been asked if I'm Australian when I was in Atlanta, Georgia. I've never been to Australia, born and raised about 40 miles west of London but moved north at age 13ish, so my accent shifted slightly from southern England but didn't get to be the typical northern English.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@madnige

Could you mean Received Pronunciation?

I was trying to avoid using that term. It is usually understood to be a very posh-sounding voice, like the BBC insisted newscasters use for a long time, but they have since relaxed that policy.
I may have the wrong term, but I'm thinking of an "ordinary" English accent that is neither distinctively from some region, or sounds like the speaker has a stick shoved up their arse.

Your experience of being mistaken for an Australian kind of confirms my hypothesis. There really is not that much difference between "ordinary" English and Australian accents. They are close enough to be mistaken by someone who does not notice the longer vowel sounds of Australians use.
Our vocabulary is quite different, but I consider that is a regional dialect of the same language, rather than a different variety of the language, as American English certainly is.

My point was starting this was frustration at the widespread belief that the WRITTEN FORM of Australian is unique. It is not! We use standard British English when writing. When Australians express differences of opinion here it is not because we are Australian, it is because either:
(a) We think the British style is correct, and do not recognise the American style is different; or
(b) We are mistaken about what the correct British style is.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Do Australian kids still use textbooks from the UK when learning 'English'?

AJ

PS have you been reading Island Delight by rlfj? He makes fun of uniquely Australian vocabulary.

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

Do Australian kids still use textbooks from the UK when learning 'English'?


The ones in use in the 1980s were still written by UK authors but printed in Australia from a UK manuscript. Not sure if that's still the case or not. Because, since then, we've had the commonwealth government insist everyone use the Macquarie Dictionary they paid to have written by some Kiwis teaching English at Macquarie University, and there's been some shake ups of the whole educational system.

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

When are you Aussies going to man up and become a republic? :)

OUCH!
The difficulty is not a lack of support for becoming a republic, it is a lack of consensus for how to select the new Head of State.
There are advantages to having a Head of State who is seen as being above politics - a figurehead who only acts in very rare situations where an "impartial" umpire is needed to resolve a deadlock. None of the alternatives seriously suggested so far have been able to replicate that.
It is also very difficult to get changes to Australia's Constitution approved. It requires a referendum with a majority of the entire country, plus a majority in a majority of states, meaning majorities in at least 4 of 6 states.
The majority of Australians do not think the current system is ideal, but it has not been fixed because they do not think it's broken either.
Many republican supporters anxiously await the reign of King Fruit-Loops, and are hoping for a change then.

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Do Australian kids still use textbooks from the UK when learning 'English'?

Where textbooks are printed is not relevant. The grammar, etc. are the same as in the UK.
All governments, businesses, schools, publishers in Australia use standard British-style English.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking


When are you Aussies going to man up and become a republic? :)


Technically we sort of are. We no longer have a link with the British government, it's just we share the same Queen. I hope she splits the Crown of Australia off to a different heir when she dies. Thus we get a final split off. One of Fergies kids would be ideal, since she's an Aussie.

However, if we did away with the queen our current constitution would leave us wide open to the sort of abuses used by Adolph and a few others to take over control of the country after winning one election. We've already had one PM try that, and it was only the Royal Prerogative that forced him back to the electorate where the people jumped all over him and his party of thieves. If that hadn't happened then, another two months and he would've finished a deal that was an act of treason.

ustourist

@Ernest Bywater

One of Fergies kids would be ideal, since she's an Aussie


I never knew she was an Aussie. That explains a lot - and saves the Brits for having to apologise for her!
Seriously, one of her kids? That would lower the IQ of the whole continent by several points. On the other hand, you may receive a donation from the country for taking one of them. Ever thought about both?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@ustourist

That would lower the IQ of the whole continent by several points.


It may do that, but it means we can keep all the current protections within the constitution without having to make any changes to it, and it kills off all the arguments about a foreign head of government.

A few decades back an ALP government paid many millions to have a constitutional reform committee spend many months coming up with recommendations for changes to the constitution. They ended up with a list of hundreds of changes they felt would be good. Only a few were put to the people, and then none, I repeat, none of them were as recommended by the committee. The closest they got was a recommendation to move from a 3 year term when called by the PM to a 4 year term on a set date every four years - what got put up was a suggestion to extend the term to a possible 4 years but no set date. In short, instead of going for a set date election the ALP just wanted to extend the length of the current system, despite them never running the full 3 years before calling an election, anyway.

BTW The ALP is where all the Aussie socialist, communists, and our equivalent of the US Democrats hang out, and they're the political arm of the ACTU which is the peak union body, thus they must do as the union tells them to as regards policy.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

One of Fergies kids would be ideal, since she's an Aussie.

NOPE! She is Endglish, and always has been.
I suspect he's confused her with Princess Mary of Denmark, who was born and raised an Australian

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

NOPE! She is Endglish, and always has been.
I suspect he's confused her with Princess Mary of Denmark, who was born and raised an Australian


Sorry, I thought it was her who had the Aussie connection, one of them does. Anyway, what we need is to have the crowns split up and the one who gets the Aussie crown to come here to live.

Replies:   ustourist  Ross at Play
ustourist

@Ernest Bywater

Would you accept Harry ? - though I am not sure if he has any 'royal blood' in him. The English need to get rid of some of the useless buggers....and I approve of the royalist / parliamentary system there.

It will be interesting to see if the UK tries to re-open commonwealth trade now it is parting ways with the EU, though I am not sure why any would want them back after the way they appeared to be summarily dumped because of EU rules. That is the impression I got as a Brit at the time, so while it may not be accurate, it is certainly the perception that the commonwealth was just dumped.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Even if Australians are straitjacketed into learning English English grammar, it doesn't stop Australian English from evolving in more subtle ways. For example, linguists can allegedly distinguish speakers of English English from speakers of American English from adverb positionality and comma usage (over and above the Oxford comma).

AJ

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

The difficulty is not a lack of support for becoming a republic, it is a lack of consensus for how to select the new Head of State.


Yes, you had a bit of a crap choice last time you got a vote - Herr Maj or an unelected head.

AJ

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

The ALP is where all the Aussie socialist, communists, and our equivalent of the US Democrats hang out, and they're the political arm of the ACTU which is the peak union body, thus they must do as the union tells them to as regards policy.

For the benefit of Non-Australians ...
The ALP is a slightly left-of-centre party with a history going back over a hundred years. It is so well trusted by voters that in the recent past, in EVERY Parliament in the country, it has been both voted into office as the government, and then returned to office by satisfied electorates at following election(s).

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

One of Fergies kids would be ideal


What???? They're bigger spongers than their dad. They're always on holiday. At least Andrew works on his golf handicap during his holidays.

AJ

Replies:   ustourist
ustourist

@awnlee jawking

Shhh
He is giving an opening to export that line of the family to an unsuspecting colony....

Ernest Bywater

@ustourist

Would you accept Harry ? - though I am not sure if he has any 'royal blood' in him. The English need to get rid of some of the useless buggers....and I approve of the royalist / parliamentary system there.


I'd accept any prepared to move down here and live here while getting involved in the running of the country in a way similar to how Elizabeth is involved in England. My fear is we get a Hitler, Franco, Amin, Sadam, or Kaddafi type if we don't have the Royal check on the elected pains in the rectum.

awnlee jawking

@ustourist

Yes, we joined the Common Market under very iniquitous conditions. The French kept all their trading links with their former colonies, we were forced to jettison ours. If Brexit goes ahead (and I hope it does), Australia and New Zealand will be high in the queue for trading deals, although I'm not too sure they'd want us back after the shabby way we treated them. Australia has moved on from the era of aging copies of British Leyland cars.

AJ

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

The ALP is a slightly left-of-centre party with a history going back over a hundred years. It is so well trusted by voters that in the recent past, in EVERY Parliament in the country, it has been both voted into office as the government, and then returned to office by satisfied electorates at following election(s).


Ross, the ALP is the political arm of the ACTU, just look at their Constitution, it's also the only party to have a Prime Minister who was in the middle of committing treason when he got voted out - and is now seen as the great leading light of the party. It's also the same party that wasted ten billion dollars of Defence budget so the then Minister of Defence could look good in a photo opportunity for gear we didn't want and couldn't use. They're also the ones who want us to take in more migrants while also reducing out carbon footprint - but haven't found a way of building more houses homes or shipping food to cities without increasing the carbon footprint.

The fact they can get re-elected shows how good they are at spreading BS around.

Replies:   Ross at Play  Grant
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

Sorry, I thought it was her who had the Aussie connection, one of them does.

Sarah Ferguson has a sister who now lives in Australia, but their family is English.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


By: @Ross at Play

For the benefit of Non-Australians
The ALP is a slightly left-of-centre party with a history going back over a hundred years. It is so well trusted by voters that in the recent past, in EVERY Parliament in the country, it has been both voted into office as the government, and then returned to office by satisfied electorates at following election(s).

By: @Ernest Bywater

Ross, the ALP is the political arm of the ACTU, just look at their Constitution, it's also the only party to have a Prime Minister who was in the middle of committing treason when he got voted out - and is now seen as the great leading light of the party. It's also the same party that wasted ten billion dollars of Defence budget so the then Minister of Defence could look good in a photo opportunity for gear we didn't want and couldn't use. They're also the ones who want us to take in more migrants while also reducing out carbon footprint - but haven't found a way of building more houses homes or shipping food to cities without increasing the carbon footprint.
The fact they can get re-elected shows how good they are at spreading BS around.


Can we agree that at least one of us is a raving lunatic, seeing only what they want to see, and anyone who reads our latest posts (quoted in full here) will know who, or they, are?

ustourist

@Ross at Play

Support equality.
Why can't both of you be raving lunatics?

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@ustourist

Why can't both of you be raving lunatics?

I EXPLICITLY stated that others WOULD recognise that if it were so.

Not_a_ID

@Crumbly Writer

You got me there. I meant: UPS = United Parcel service, not United Postal Service.


You missed what I was saying though. UPS and FedEx both use the postal codes as well. So even the guy buying things on Amazon would have to know what their local mailing address is, including the State code. At least until they enter it into the shipper's database.

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

Can we agree that at least one of us is a raving lunatic,


Well, since I stated proven and provable facts, I'll have to leave it up to you to decide where you stand on the sanity line.

Oh, should I mention my current problem with the Gestapo is due solely to the last ALP state government making significant changes to the law which not only didn't allow a time of grace to comply, but also made the application of the law retroactive (both of which are not supposed to happen) and never publicised the changes to the law just so they can go out and cause people trouble for not complying with the changed law.

Can I also mention the Rudd and Gillard NBN program spent the first 90% of the funds providing high speed Internet access to people in physical locations that already had high speed Internet access while delaying the provision of high speed Internet to those who needed it most - rural Australia.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Grant

@Ernest Bywater

The fact they can get re-elected shows how good they are at spreading BS around.

The fact they get elected shows the other side is even worse & the electorate here isn't quite as stupid as elsewhere, however the nutter groups are gaining in popularity.
Stupidity is on the rise.

Ernest Bywater

@Grant

Stupidity is on the rise.


What to do you expect with the serious cuts in the education system, and the government support for institutionalized stupidity over the last 40 years.

sejintenej
Updated:

@Dominions Son


The USPS can refuse to deliver mail that is addressed incorrectly.

They will deliver mail with the state code in a Aa format. As far as I am concerned, that is definitive and anything that says otherwise (except an official USPS document) is mistaken.


You are saying that they will bin any letter being sent to the UK? From the look of it we cannot use Ldn, Bhm, S Devon, Bfst, and how about UKP and DEM and EU and UE and (from memory) SID which are legally enforceable abbreviations. How about USM? that's close to home

I think that there are two people here who would immediately translate osv into etc. but there are tens of millions who would immediately recognise that very common abbreviation

OK so you don't know those don't use American abbreviations.

Dominions Son

@sejintenej

You are saying that they will bin any letter being sent to the UK?


They have specific addressing specifications for international mail than are used for domestic mail.

http://pe.usps.com/text/imm/immc1_008.htm

If the address isn't written to their standards, they can bin it and you don't have any recourse.

Replies:   sejintenej
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

Quote shown with my minor alterations in bold font
My : Can we agree that at least one of us is a raving lunatic,
Your: Well, since I stated proven and provable facts, We'll have to leave it up to others to decide where we (both) stand on the sanity line.

I only need to state one simple fact, which may be easily verified by anyone - wikipedia has results of all recent Australian elections.
In the last TWENTY YEARS there have been FIFTY ELECTIONS held in Australia for the one federal, six state, and two territory parliaments.
The leader of the ALP was sworn in to head the government after THIRTY-FIVE of those elections.
That is NOT a misprint! 70% of all elections in the country over the last 20 years have been won by the ALP.
The very sensible citizens of our fair land trust the ALP to govern sensibly - MOST of the time.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Dominions Son

@sejintenej

which are legally enforceable abbreviations.


By whom? Certainly not by any body with authority over the USPS.

Replies:   sejintenej
Capt. Zapp

@sejintenej

You are saying that they will bin any letter being sent to the UK? From the look of it we cannot use Ldn, Bhm, S Devon, Bfst, and how about UKP and DEM and EU and UE and (from memory) SID which are legally enforceable abbreviations. How about USM? that's close to home

OK so you don't know those don't use American abbreviations.


Personally, I don't mind unknown abbreviations because when I look them up, I learn something new. The same can be said for any terminology that the reader is unfamiliar with, not just abbreviations.

sejintenej

@Dominions Son

You are saying that they will bin any letter being sent to the UK?

They have specific addressing specifications for international mail than are used for domestic mail.

http://pe.usps.com/text/imm/immc1_008.htm

If the address isn't written to their standards, they can bin it and you don't have any recourse.

and how does a holidaymaker know it is UK and not GB or should it be the other way round - I don't know? OK so I am being pernickety but the other abbreviations I used? Several of them are officially and internationally recognised but you would need to be in that business to automatically recognise them. Of course MXN you should guess but an ILS (not instrument landing system!)?

Dominions Son
Updated:

@sejintenej


and how does a holidaymaker know it is UK and not GB or should it be the other way round - I don't know?


Ask the local postal service what their requirements are?

Certainly, if I were on a trip to the UK and needed to send mail back to the US I would check with the UK postal service for their requirements for sending international mail. I would not expect there to be universal standards for such things.

sejintenej

@Dominions Son

sejintenej

which are legally enforceable abbreviations.

By whom? Certainly not by any body with authority over the USPS.

Donald Trump might like the USPS to run heaven but it ain't necessarily so - we have to live with (at least) the English reading population on this site.

We are discussing abbreviations (by implication) in stories on SOL and someone was moaning about the American habit of using two capital letters. I repeat my last line (below the bit you quoted)

OK so you don't know those don't use American abbreviations.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@sejintenej

OK so you don't know those don't use American abbreviations.


And I don't particularly care, since what I was replying to was about USPS address requirements.

If you bother to go all the way back to the top of the thread you will see that I commented that

1. The abbreviations complained of are standard postal codes for the US states
2. These postal codes are used fairly ubiquitously in the US in non postal test based media as a short form of the state names, so a US based author may have used them without realizing it, or without thinking about the fact that they are abbreviations.

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

I only need to state one simple fact, which may be easily verified by anyone - wikipedia has results of all recent Australian elections.


Please total up the number of years they were in office and see how many of them were called way too early because they felt they had a chance of being reelected at that time? Mind you winning an election often means you have a better PR team and aren't the best people. It can also show how dumb voters can be.

Hawke was elected in 1983, 1984, 1987, and 1990 four elections in the time he should have only had two, but hey, it gets the numbers up to call the early. He also paid out millions of tax dollars for a constitutional review committee and never put up a single recommendation to the people the way the committee wrote it up.

The best idea the ALP came up with was the GST, but when the Libs said they'd implement it the ALP went out of their way to destroy any real financial savings the economy would get out of it. Great way to help the country.

I notice you don't address the fact the ALP is a wholly owned subsidiary of the ACTU - proven fact, so it can't be argued.

Nor did you argue about the NBN waste of money.

All the politicians are liars and thieves, it's just the ALP a bigger liars and thieves than the others, and they get people to believe them due to how well they lie.

Now, can we agree to disagree about Australian politics and leave it out of this thread, so we can go back to talking about how to write better?

Replies:   Ross at Play  Grant
Ross at Play

@Grant

The fact they get elected shows the other side is even worse & the electorate here isn't quite as stupid as elsewhere, however the nutter groups are gaining in popularity.

One of the things I love most about our fair country is how savvy its voters are. They almost always a new government a second chance. By the next election one party has been in power for about 10 years. That's when governments from BOTH sides begin running out of constructive ideas, start getting lazy, losing touch with the electorate, and sometimes even corrupt. It doesn't take long for the electorate to figure out their government has become incompetent, and once the electorate sees that they throw them out, usually in a landslide.
I think this results in the ideal state for any democracy - both sides get the opportunity to introduce the programs most important to them, but neither stays in long enough to move onto the crazy ideas further down their wish list.

I think our preferential voting system is largely responsible for allowing this to happen. Unlike first-past-the-post systems which tend to completely entrench two parties, this system allows independents to occasionally win seats from the major parties. The major parties CANNOT JUST concern themselves with the left vs right battle. If their policies drift too far from what their natural supporters want, they risk loosing seats to independents. The result is BOTH sides never stray very far from the 'centre'.

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

Now, can we agree to disagree about Australian politics and leave it out of this thread, so we can go back to talking about how to write better?

NOT YET!
If you were as interested in talking about writing as you are about making sure you get the last word then YOU would not have made that last post.
I HAD BEEN prepared to drop it after stating one simple fact, but YOU were the one who chose to continue.

It can also show how dumb voters can be.

WELL? What alternative do you suggest instead of democracy? Communism? Fascism? Bywaterism?
If you think Australian voters are so dumb and the ALP are a force for evil, where else would you prefer to live? Make sure you check out the level of payments for the invalidity pension and carers' benefits before answering that one!
Democracy is not perfect, but it generally works (as good as you could hope for) PROVIDED one party never becomes entrenched in power.
Australian voters are not dumb, they are VERY SMART. They regularly throw out governments of either side once they start becoming incompetent. That usually happens about ten or so years after they come to power. The voters consistently do that in every parliament in the country.
I would agree our governments (both state and federal) are often awful, but also I feel blessed to come from a country which I think has consistently had (in my lifetime) governments that are usually moderate, and among the most competent and clean in the world.

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

If you think Australian voters are so dumb


Since you want to keep this going, let's look at some of these great election results you mention. The two party preferred House of Reps figures for the elections as a percentage of the total vote.

Alp wins:

Aug 2010 50.1%
Nov 2007 52.7 %
Oct 1998 51.0%
Mar 1993 51.4%
July 1987 50.8%
Dec 1984 51.8% (held after in office 21 months)
Mar 1983 53.2%
May 1974 51.7% (held after in office 18 months)
Dec 1972 52.7%
Oct 1969 50.2%
Dec 1961 50.5%

Libs
Jul 2016 50.4%
Sep 2013 53.5%
Oct 2004 52.7%
Nov 2001 51.0%
Mar 1996 53.6%
Mar 1990 50.1%
Oct 1980 50.4%
Dec 1977 54.6% (held after being in 24 months)
Dec 1975 55.7% (double dissolution election after 12 months)
Nov 1966 56.9%
Nov 1963 52.6% (held by ALP being in office 22 months)

All are low percentage variations to change party, but the ALP rarely gets 52% (3 times in 55 years) while the Libs usually get better than 52% (7 times in the same period). Also the ALP called an election very early 3 times (18, 21, 22 months) while the Libs only did it once at 24 months, longer than the ALP did.

Each has won 11 elections in the 55 years, however, if the ALP called two elections within the time period of what should have been only one election, during the 1980s.

Want to get into how many billions of dollars the ALP has wasted as against how many the Libs have wasted. Care to guess which party had a Prime Minister who was in the process of committing treason when he got voted out of office. Guess which party has it's major leaders who belong to an organisation whose very constitution includes the aim of destroying the existing Australian Government to bring about a socialist revolution (check the Fabian Society and its top members for the last 50 years).

Mt dad was a truck driver and I grew up in a blue collar worker family, but I recognise the current and recent major ALP leaders for the thieving liars they are, and know they're worse than the thieving liars in the Libs - that's why I usually vote for an Independent.

BTW, most voters are too dumb to poor water out of a boot with the instructions written on the sole of the boot, because so many vote my party right or wrong because that's what daddy voted.

Ernest Bywater

Now that we've bored everyone with Aussie politics, can we get back to talking about writing?

Replies:   Ross at Play
richardshagrin
Updated:

@Not_a_ID


UPS and FedEx both use the postal codes


When they merge the combined operation will be called "Fed UP."

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin


When they merge the combined operation will be called "Fed UP."


which is about where most people are right now.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

I can't be bothered with anyone who manages to find conspiracies, which hunts, and evil-doers everywhere. They're usually doing a bang up job of causing problems for themselves.

awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

I'm sure Americans are loving the aussie politics stuff, just as we loved all the threads about the US election ;)

AJ

Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

I can't be bothered with anyone who manages to find conspiracies, which hunts, and evil-doers everywhere. They're usually doing a bang up job of causing problems for themselves.


I'll have to bow to you greater expertise in that area, since I deal with provable facts when discussing politics, simply because so many people look at politics with blinkers and rose coloured lenses.

graybyrd
Updated:

@Dominions Son


You are wrong, there are some US Zip Codes in the US where home delivery is not available. You have to rent a Post Office box or you can't get mail at all.


Perhaps I am wrong, but out here in the west we've never encountered such a situation. The USPS delivers to insanely remove areas; typically using rural mail contractors.

If that is truly the case in areas of Wisconsin, then how is your official residence listed on your driver's license? You are legally a resident of P.O. Box nnnn? Or if the state insists on a physical address for your license, how do they get state mail to you? Or does your license carry BOTH a P.O. Box number, and a street address.

Next question: is there no such thing as rural free delivery RFD addresses in certain sections of Wisconsin? In which case, how are addresses determined in remote rural areas along country roads and lanes?

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

I'm sure Americans are loving the aussie politics stuff, just as we loved all the threads about the US election ;)

I think it's all done ... or at least, I will not be one to re-start it.

Capt. Zapp

@graybyrd

If that is truly the case in areas of Wisconsin, then how is your official residence listed on your driver's license?


I don't know about Wisconsin, but my 'official address' on my driver's license is a P.O. Box. I'm sure they have my '9-1-1' address on file somewhere. I live in town and am not offered home delivery. If I lived outside of town, I could get RFD.

Replies:   Grant
Ross at Play

I am very envious of the wonderful, convenient services that USPS provides to all Americans.
I live in Indonesia. I collect my mail once a month, after a two-hour flight to Singapore!

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Not_a_ID

@graybyrd

If that is truly the case in areas of Wisconsin, then how is your official residence listed on your driver's license? You are legally a resident of P.O. Box nnnn? Or if the state insists on a physical address for your license, how do they get state mail to you? Or does your license carry BOTH a P.O. Box number, and a street address.


In New construction neighborhoods it is typical for the post office to have a P.O. Box type drop box included. This is so the postal worker can deliver to the entire neighborhood/street or block in one stop, saving time, and thus saving money for the USPS. In more extreme cases(developer doesn't comply), I could see that hitting the point that the post office then simply refuses to deliver, and they have to get a P.O. Box somewhere else.

There still should be a "911 Address" though, for city and emergency services, if nothing else.

PotomacBob

@Dominions Son

Most newspaper and wire service style books do NOT use the postal abbreviations. The majority spell out any state name with 6 letters or less, i.e., Texas or Alaska, and use the standard abbreviations that were in place before the postal service started the two-letter abbreviations. They use, for example, Tenn. for Tennessee, rather than TN. They use Calif., for California, rather than CA.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  Not_a_ID
PotomacBob

@Dominions Son

The New York City Police Department uses NY to mean the city in NYPD

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
PotomacBob

@Dominions Son

sonar or scuba are acronyms

PotomacBob

@Switch Blayde

How about Mrs. or Ms.?

Grant

@Ernest Bywater

Nor did you argue about the NBN waste of money.

The only waste of money is the Coalition gutting it to make the NBN include wireless, satellite & Fibre to the Node. It should all be Fibre to the premises.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Grant

@Capt. Zapp

I don't know about Wisconsin, but my 'official address' on my driver's license is a P.O. Box.

Here in the NT Australia (and i'm pretty sure the rest of the country) the address on your drivers license has to be your residential address.
You can have a different postal address (a lot of people do), but the address on the license has to be your residential address.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Dominions Son

@graybyrd

If that is truly the case in areas of Wisconsin, then how is your official residence listed on your driver's license?


You still have a street address, even if the local post office doesn't offer home delivery. It is the local city/county governments that determine your street address. The only parts of your mailing address that are determined by the post office are your zip code and your P.O. box number if you have one.

The if you have a P.O. box by necessity or choice, the DMV has both addresses as both must be listed on application forms, but only your physical address is printed on your driver's license.

Next question: is there no such thing as rural free delivery RFD addresses in certain sections of Wisconsin? In which case, how are addresses determined in remote rural areas along country roads and lanes?


Here's the funny thing, most of the areas in Wisconsin that don't get home delivery aren't rural. They are mostly small to mid size towns in rural areas. The people out of town on the county roads and lanes get mail delivery to rural mailboxes along the side of the road.

If you get out in really rural areas in Wisconsin, where the local government doesn't provide street addresses, you will see red metal address signs where driveways meet roads. These signs have two 3 or 4 digit number on them. I can't find a good reference for them on-line, but my dad used to call them fire service addresses.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Well, after the problems you, and others, brought up I was considering a short story based around the bureaucratic conflicts associated with a few government departments not being able to get mail to someone because they don't get roadside deliveries and don't have a post office mailbox. Lots of scope.

Well, continuing to beat the dead horse, I've been working through similar problems on another front. After they started rerouting our mail to Raleigh, many letters simply disappear never to be seen again.

I kept trying to pay Lion's Club member dues, sending check after check, the regional office getting more and more irate (after they reorganized the districts, we dropped off their map, they never sent a bill, and I had no clue where to send the dues. Even after they started screaming about being paid, they never once attempted to communicate with me (like emailing or calling me), instead always going through someone else)).

I was finally forced to send the check via certified mail (paying for it out of my own pocket), so I could track where it was getting lost.

Wonder of wonders, once they knew it was being tracked, suddenly it magically gets delivered. I still don't know whether PO employees were dumping the mail, they were being shredded in the processing center, or the recipient could not longer deny he'd received it after signing for it.

I should have done that at the very beginning of the difficulty!

And you wonder why I say that no one with an ounce of sense sends snail mail anymore.

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

I don't think the OED can claim to be a custodian of British English since it doesn't extend its solicitations to other countries which are considered to belong under the British English umbrella. Furthermore, I think it's racist and discriminatory to dismiss vocabulary which has been part of mainstream Australian for decades as merely slang.

Sorry, but that's not how slang is determined. If you speak one way, but write in another form entirely, than the speech is considered 'slang' (my own unofficial definition). That's why British English (as it's known) is so universally accepted, because most speakers use it explicitly for writing, while most Americans tend to write using whichever regional slang expressions they're used to. It's more a matter of formal vs. casual writing than anything else (IMHO).

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

It is also very difficult to get changes to Australia's Constitution approved. It requires a referendum with a majority of the entire country, plus a majority in a majority of states, meaning majorities in at least 4 of 6 states.

Sounds like how we handle Constitutional Amendments in the U.S., though we've had plenty (and repealed a couple), though we haven't passed any in a Very long time!

Many republican supporters anxiously await the reign of King Fruit-Loops, and are hoping for a change then.

We've just elected our own King Fruit-Loops (or is that wanna-be Emperor?). We're still waiting to see whether anything changes or not.

REP

@Crumbly Writer

We're still waiting to see whether anything changes or not.


From what I've read KFL is doing everything in his power to teardown everything Obama did, and truth is in hiding.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Not_a_ID

You missed what I was saying though. UPS and FedEx both use the postal codes as well. So even the guy buying things on Amazon would have to know what their local mailing address is, including the State code.

Alas, I wasn't bitching about the state codes (although that was a previous discussion). Instead, I was referring to the fact they DON'T use the same address as UPS and FedEx do (in certain circumstances, such as I faced when making official mailing to businesses).

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Crumbly Writer

@sejintenej

Of course MXN you should guess but an ILS (not instrument landing system!)?

Isn't MXN the crystal faced Superman villain who does everything backwards? ;)

Replies:   sejintenej
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

WELL? What alternative do you suggest instead of democracy? Communism? Fascism? Bywaterism?

Geez! You guys are beginning to make me appreciate our new orange-headed Emperor with the wild cat-hair combover. (Let's see if that distracts the conversation into a different political fight?)

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I can't be bothered with anyone who manages to find conspiracies, which hunts, and evil-doers everywhere.

Uh, have you read any of my stories? That's my bread and butter! (although all of mine concern the government as the bad buy, as opposed to outsiders.)

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

I'm sure Americans are loving the aussie politics stuff, just as we loved all the threads about the US election ;)

I don't know, you guys always seem to have strong opinions about our politics, although until now we had no clue about most of yours. This most recent discussion is eye-opening.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I live in Indonesia. I collect my mail once a month, after a two-hour flight to Singapore!

I'm guessing we'd have much shorter discussions if we held it using snail mail!

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@PotomacBob

Most newspaper and wire service style books do NOT use the postal abbreviations. The majority spell out any state name with 6 letters or less, i.e., Texas or Alaska, and use the standard abbreviations that were in place before the postal service started the two-letter abbreviations. They use, for example, Tenn. for Tennessee, rather than TN. They use Calif., for California, rather than CA.

That was the point of the initial conversation, that state codes are NOT abbreviations! State codes should never be used for anything other than mailing snail mail letters! Each state already has a commonly accepted abbreviation, we don't need indecipherable ones.

Crumbly Writer

@PotomacBob

The New York City Police Department uses NY to mean the city in NYPD

The exception that proves the rule.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

though we haven't passed any in a Very long time!


Because the government decided it could just make the constitution mean what it wanted without any need for amendments.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

From what I've read KFL is doing everything in his power to teardown everything Obama did, and truth is in hiding.

I meant, whether the poor working class gets jobs or the economy improves or not. But each time the Democrates or Republicans get elected, they start repealing all the changes the other side implemented. That's hardly surprising. If they didn't do that, they're supporters would have their scalps.

Whew! I think I've set a new record (broken my old record, that is) for the most consecutive replies by the same person. Please, someone tell me to shut the hell up!

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Please, someone tell me to shut the hell up!


Why, I'm finding your replies to be fascinating.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Grant


The only waste of money is the Coalition gutting it to make the NBN include wireless, satellite & Fibre to the Node. It should all be Fibre to the premises.


Grant,

The first 80% of the money spent on the NBN by Gillard and Rudd was wasted simply because all it did was duplicate existing high speed Internet services to people in the cities instead of providing any services to people who didn't already have it. However, the way the legislation was written to take over the phone services of Telstra when NBN was active in an area it meant Telstra no longer had any incentive to expand their network at all, thus rural Australia had all the network expansion plans by Telstra shutdown, which delayed the provision of decent phone and Internet services to large sections of the country. As an example of what I mean, prior to the NBN legislation Telstra had a plan in place to run a fibre optic trunk into my current town, and offer highspeed Internet in late 2013. With the NBN legislation meaning that would be a waste of money that plan got scrapped, along with all such plans Telstra had. Today, my town isn't even on the NBN 3 year forward planning list. the nearest NBN service is in a town 45 km away and is wireless.

I regards the use of tax money to duplicate of an existing service by a government owned agency as a waste of money. If they had spent all that money on upgrading the services to the areas that didn't already have good service I'd have applauded their effort - but the photo opportunities in remote rural areas aren't as good as in cities, they're harder to get to, and they don't get as many votes. Which is why the NBN rollout went the way it did.

I forgot to add: Even the original NBN plan was never going to be fibre to the premises outside of the major cities where they already had fibre in the street, the bulk of the country was always getting a wireless node service.

Replies:   Grant
Ernest Bywater

@Grant

You can have a different postal address (a lot of people do), but the address on the license has to be your residential address.


And it has to be changed whenever you move house.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee_jawking

@Ross at Play

WELL? What alternative do you suggest instead of democracy?


A parliamentary democracy isn't a true democracy - that requires the populace to be consulted via referendums. The arrival of the internet makes that feasible but you can bet your bottom dollar the political elite will oppose it until their dying breaths (which won't happen until I rule the world and line up all such sleazebags against a brick wall). Look how they're trying to undermine the Brexit referendum - even our unelected judges are using their political leanings to try to derail it.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

Just for completeness, for information about Canadian politics you need to read Jack Spratt's 'Jokes and Giggles' :)

AJ

Ernest Bywater

@awnlee_jawking

I rule the world and line up all such sleazebags against a brick wall


What a waste of a wall. There's plenty of good poisons available for such scum.

Dominions Son

@awnlee_jawking

The arrival of the internet makes that feasible


No, direct democracy still isn't feasible. People would quickly tire of all the petty little shit that they have to vote on and every single issue will get taken over by those with a vested interest.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

every single issue will get taken over by those with a vested interest.


But that's what happens at the moment.

For example, the UK's sentencing panel has just recommended increasing the fines for people caught speeding. The (unelected) judge accepted submissions from a number of (unelected) anti-speeding lobby groups.

The vast majority of drivers in the UK break speed limits. If the issue had been put to a public vote, I'm pretty sure people would have voted for the status quo. The overwhelming majority of people who break the speed limit do so safely, it's just a handful of boy racers and petrolheads who cause problems like tailgating or lane-hopping, and the withdrawal of the police from actively policing road safety, except when behind a speed camera, means there's little chance of the real culprits being punished.

Donald Trump has promised to curb lobbyists. I wish that would happen here.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  Grant
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Why, I'm finding your replies to be fascinating.

I try to make them interesting (either funny or provocative), but when I review a couple days posts, I find a LOT to respond to!

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

And it has to be changed whenever you move house.

Does that include when you spin the house 180 degrees? (Technically, that's a "move house".)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee_jawking

A parliamentary democracy isn't a true democracy - that requires the populace to be consulted via referendums.

There are no true democracies, and I'm not sure there ever has been (true meaning one person = one vote).

even our unelected judges are using their political leanings to try to derail it.

Without delving into their motives, their objection was merely that the voters don't have the legal ability to revoke laws directly, as that's the responsibility of Parliament. Once voters approve a repeal, it's up to the lawmakers to change the laws themselves.

It may have been a delaying action, but I'm not sure it was a blocking motion.

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Donald Trump has promised to curb lobbyists. I wish that would happen here.

Except, despite his claims to "drain the [Washington] swamp", he's filled his staff with Washington lobbyists, but it's doubtful he was serious (other than objecting to a few specific lobbyists he personally doesn't approve of).

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Does that include when you spin the house 180 degrees? (Technically, that's a "move house".)


Funny you should ask that. I've a friend and a cousin who did that. In the first case it was in a trailer park and turning the trailer to face the other way meant they faced onto a different street, and got a different lot number. In the other case it was a house built in the corner block and they legally had a street number in each street, but could only use one. When they decided to change where their main entrance was it changed which street was technically the front of the house, so they had to change to using the number for that street. In both cases they had to visit the authorities to change their street address on their license - despite physically being on the very same patch of dirt.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

There are no true democracies, and I'm not sure there ever has been (true meaning one person = one vote).


There have been some, but they were small local government jobs - the most recent being the Israeli kibutz set ups.

awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

There are no true democracies, and I'm not sure there ever has been (true meaning one person = one vote).


The term originated in ancient Greece, where they had exactly that system. Although voting was actually a requirement. They had enforcers carrying ropes dipped in red paint for those who were reluctant to vote.

their objection was merely that the voters don't have the legal ability to revoke laws directly


Not quite. They ruled that because parliament had a vote on joining the Common Market (there was a right wing govt at the time), there had to be a parliamentary vote on leaving the EU.

Because we don't have a constitution, UK law is a combination of common law and precedents. There is no common law and no precedents pertaining to leaving an organisation like the EU.

The closest I can see is when they ruled it didn't need a parliamentary vote to declare war or send in troops (because there was a left wing govt at the time). So if they're consistent, it would be fine for us to declare war and send troops to invade the EU without a parliamentary vote, but not to leave it peacefully.

At least two of the judges should have recused themselves because they had made their opinions clear before the case even started. We desperately need apolitical, elected judges :(

AJ

Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

We desperately need apolitical, elected judges :(


Elected judges are even more political than appointed judges.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
richardshagrin

@awnlee jawking

We desperately need apolitical, elected judges

In Washington (state, not DC) we have elected judges. To get elected you need to be political. They don't run as members of political parties, but who recommends them in the voters' pamphlet helps people figure out what party they support. There are some municipal judges who don't have people listed as supporting them in the pamphlet, so not all judges are "political" but if they live in Western Washington they are democrats or socialists and in eastern Washington, Republicans. It costs money to run for any office. To get people to help pay campaign costs, you need to support issues that attract donors. Non-political elected officials (including judges) is one of those oxymorons, like military intelligence. (Does anyone know why my spellcheck wants me to spell it as oxymoron's?)

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

If you speak one way, but write in another form Sorry, but that's not how slang is determined. If you speak one way, but write in another form entirely, than the speech is considered 'slang' (my own unofficial definition).

Perhaps AJ will accept the OED definition of the word 'slang'? :)

Very informal words and expressions that are more common in spoken language, especially used by a particular group of people, for example, children, criminals, soldiers

CW is correct that slang implies spoken, not written, language - but there is an extra requirement that its use is limited to a particular group.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Words like tinny and dunny are STILL classed as slang!!!

Come on, aussies, stand up for your language.

AJ

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Sounds like how we handle Constitutional Amendments in the U.S.

Nope.
We have one national vote.
As I understand it, the requirement in the US is an amendment requires the approval of the federal Congress plus some number of state legislatures.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

anyone who manages to find conspiracies, which hunts, and evil-doers everywhere.
Uh, have you read any of my stories? That's my bread and butter!

... and you call it 'fiction' :)

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer


By: @Ross at Play
I live in Indonesia. I collect my mail once a month, after a two-hour flight to Singapore!
By: @CrumblyWriter
I'm guessing we'd have much shorter discussions if we held it using snail mail!

NOPE.
More likely 'until death us do part'.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Please, someone tell me to shut the hell up!

Will do, but you will have to wait at the end of a very long queue. :-)

Ross at Play

@richardshagrin

Does anyone know why my spellcheck wants me to spell it as oxymoron's?

Because 'spellcheck' is itself an oxymoron, thus it is obliged to misspell that word?
I recently started using the software at speelchekk.com. It at least lives up to all its claims about what it will do.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

Possibly, but presumably they can be unelected. Here, being a judge is virtually a job for life. Although if one does something extremely heinous, they can be invited to resign.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@richardshagrin

Does anyone know why my spellcheck wants me to spell it as oxymoron's


Is your spellcheck set to Greengrocer's English?

AJ

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Perhaps we can combine two of your ideas and create a world where nothing ever goes wrong ...
1. A true democracy where everyone has the same rights.
2. Everyone has the right to choose which scumbags get lined up against the wall.

Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

Here, being a judge is virtually a job for life.


US Federal judges are appointed for life. They are vastly less political then elected state judges. Of course, if there is serious misconduct by a Federal judge, they can be impeached by Congress.

Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Or, we could create a perfect forum - where nobody ever raves on about their delusional political views ...
Give everyone here the right to ban one other person.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
richardshagrin

@Ross at Play

the requirement in the US is an amendment requires the approval of the federal Congress plus some number of state legislatures.

It is more complicated than that, although as far as I know all amendments have followed the congress plus state legislatures approach. It is constitutional to have a convention to pass amendments and then state legislatures to approve them. "Second, the Constitution might be amended by a Convention called for this purpose by two-thirds of the state legislatures, if the Convention's proposed amendments are later ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures.

sejintenej

@Crumbly Writer

sejintenej

Of course MXN you should guess but an ILS (not instrument landing system!)?

Isn't MXN the crystal faced Superman villain who does everything backwards? ;)

ROTFL Mexican pesos and Israeli shekels are the answers - international currency abbreviations like USD and AUD

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Everyone has the right to choose which scumbags get lined up against the wall.


No need, I've already decided. ;)

AJ

Not_a_ID

@Crumbly Writer

Alas, I wasn't bitching about the state codes (although that was a previous discussion). Instead, I was referring to the fact they DON'T use the same address as UPS and FedEx do (in certain circumstances, such as I faced when making official mailing to businesses).


Well, I was tangentially continuing the argument over people in Montana knowing their postal code is MT rather than MO. As it had been argued that there probably are (mostly young) people up there who don't use the USPS. Presumably because they e-Bill everything, I guess. (Although I doubt many utility providers up there support it)

As it could be argued most anything they have shipped in comes via UPS or FedEx. Which would be where the little detail of UPS and FedEx also using those same postal codes comes into play.

Not_a_ID

@PotomacBob

Most newspaper and wire service style books do NOT use the postal abbreviations. The majority spell out any state name with 6 letters or less, i.e., Texas or Alaska, and use the standard abbreviations that were in place before the postal service started the two-letter abbreviations. They use, for example, Tenn. for Tennessee, rather than TN. They use Calif., for California, rather than CA.


The AP does have a style guide for state abbreviations. And incidentally to that, the postal code for Alaska(AK) came from the first and last letter of the AP abbreviation for Alaska at the time: Alsk.

The postal code AA is currently used by the Military, and AS is now claimed by American Samoa, but I imagine both were available to Alaska at the time they picked AK.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Not_a_ID

@Crumbly Writer

The exception that proves the rule.


Except the State of New York wouldn't call a state level law enforcement agency a "Police Department" as no state does to my knowledge. (Closest they get is "State Police") Likewise there is no state level "Fire Department" so FDNY(Fire Department - New York) is New York City.

In those cases, people are simply expected "to know" that the "New York" being mentioned is the city, not the State.

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

The term originated in ancient Greece, where they had exactly that system. Although voting was actually a requirement. They had enforcers carrying ropes dipped in red paint for those who were reluctant to vote.

Except, only male landowners could vote, everyone else was excluded. There may have been other restrictions, especially if they affected property ownership, but it wouldn't qualify as a democracy according to modern standards, the same way the pre-Civil War south wasn't considered a true democracy (though the U.S. was with black's 3/5th vote!).

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

(Does anyone know why my spellcheck wants me to spell it as oxymoron's?)

'Cause they're playing the role of the Ox's moron (i.e. being moronically bull-headed)?

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

As I understand it, the requirement in the US is an amendment requires the approval of the federal Congress plus some number of state legislatures.

I believe it's 75% of all 50 states (i.e. at least 38 states have to approve it by a sizeable majority), at which point it's effectively forced on the Federal government. (It's been a while since we've had one, so I may be hazy on the details.)

Thus it's 50 state votes, as opposed to a single national vote (the national vote puts it on each states agenda to vote on).

Replies:   Dominions Son  Not_a_ID
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

... and you call it 'fiction' :)

The fiction concerns what invokes the government/military forces. It's typically paranormal abilities or aliens that trigger the governments reaction, rather than being an 'undesirable' minority (like blacks, Muslims, unnaturalized citizens or Republicans).

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I recently started using the software at speelchekk.com. It at least lives up to all its claims about what it will do.

Do tell. More details please. What kind of failure rate does it have (over or under 50%)? Also, how do they implement it? It it browser, server or device based? I've love to dump the crappy M$ spellchecker. Currently, I use a variety of semi-crappy spellcheckers to arrive at a reasonable approach to catching a few stray spelling errors.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Although if one does something extremely heinous, they can be invited to resign.

Or, more likely, if they do something 'extremely heinous', they invite others to shoot them! (Few are quite that dumb!)

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Perhaps we can combine two of your ideas and create a world where nothing ever goes wrong ...
1. A true democracy where everyone has the same rights.
2. Everyone has the right to choose which scumbags get lined up against the wall.

I've long maintained we should adapt the 'gentlemen farmer' legislature model, where one person is chosen to run the entire country for the next 4 years, and at the end of their term, they are then summarily executed for all the crimes they're assumed to have committed in the process. That way, there's little incentive for generations to continue the same atrocities and corruptions.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Or, we could create a perfect forum - where nobody ever raves on about their delusional political views ...
Give everyone here the right to ban one other person.

I'll tell you what, I'm willing to take it on the chin. Everyone can choose to ban me, that way I'll have some peace and quiet while everyone else can rant as much as they want! Meanwhile, I won't have to suffer fools quite as gladly. ;D

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Crumbly Writer

@Not_a_ID

The postal code AA is currently used by the Military

Is that short for "American Army"? I'm not sure the Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard would appreciate their appropriating their code. (Seems AM, for "American Military" would have been more fitting, which leaves FM for "Foreign Militias" for everyone else.)

Replies:   Dominions Son
awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

If it means you get to spend more time writing...

:)

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

If it means you get to spend more time writing...

I rant when I'm unable to write, hence I bitch whenever I'm either in a dry spell, or burned out from typing too much each day.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Do tell. More details please.

I thought everyone would get the joke - a spelling checker so bad it misses two spelling mistakes in its own name, 'speelchekk'.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Grant

@awnlee jawking

Donald Trump has promised to curb lobbyists.

Only those with opinions that differ from his.
Those that support him aren't lobbyists.

Grant
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

We desperately need apolitical, elected judges :(

How can someone that is elected be apolitical?

EDIT- Dominons Son beat me to it.

Replies:   awnlee jawking  REP
Grant

@Ernest Bywater

The first 80% of the money spent on the NBN by Gillard and Rudd was wasted simply because all it did was duplicate existing high speed Internet services to people in the cities instead of providing any services to people who didn't already have it.

Yep, because it couldn't just be done as a public infrastructure programme, it had to be done as a business and so it required a return on investment.
Putting in the necessary infrastructure for all the places that had no existing broadband access would have been the ideal way to go- unfortunately since the NBN is a business it was necessary to start it in places that already had higher speed internet in order to get a start on the return on investment.
It would have been so much better as a straight out government infrastructure project, but there was no chance of that ever occurring.
So they went with option B.

I forgot to add: Even the original NBN plan was never going to be fibre to the premises outside of the major cities where they already had fibre in the street, the bulk of the country was always getting a wireless node service.


Not so.
The original plan was for Fibre to the Premises for the majority of households, including many smaller towns, villages and communities that already had landline services.
Yes there were (and still are) many places that don't have such services and wireless/microwave was meant to be the main method for connecting them, then even those were wound back to satellite.

prior to the NBN legislation Telstra had a plan in place to run a fibre optic trunk into my current town, and offer highspeed Internet in late 2013.

Which would have been wonderful for you, but they had no plans for 100,000s of other people all around the country that still had little more than (occasional) dialup services.
Telstra had no desire to put in better infrastructure not just because of the NBN, but because of them having to make it available to other Telcos at rates they (Telstra) didn't consider appropriate.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I thought everyone would get the joke - a spelling checker so bad it misses two spelling mistakes in its own name, 'speelchekk'.

Sigh! I was hoping you'd discovered an entirely new spellcheck product.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

I believe it's 75% of all 50 states (i.e. at least 38 states have to approve it by a sizeable majority), at which point it's effectively forced on the Federal government.


You are correct on the 75% of states needed to ratify an amendment. However, it's still not forced on the federal government.

For an amendment to be put forward for ratification, it must first either be approved by 2/3rds of both houses of Congress or 2/3rds of the state legislatures must call for a constitutional convention to propose amendments.

While a constitutional convention could bypass Congress and force amendments on the Federal Government, the procedure has never been used before. And since the process for holding such a convention is not spelled out in the constitution, there is no telling what could happen if one ever does get called.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


That way, there's little incentive for generations to continue the same atrocities and corruptions.


Instead they are incentivized to invent new atrocities and corruptions. :)

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Is that short for "American Army"? I'm not sure the Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard would appreciate their appropriating their code.


If it is, it certainly goes back to before the Air Force, Coast Guard and Marine Corps existed. The USPS goes all the way back to 1775, It was created by the continental congress even before the original articles of confederation were adopted. I'm not sure if we even had a navy that far back.

However, that isn't the answer. There are actually three "state" abbreviations for the US Military.

AA - Armed Forces Americas (except Canada).
AE - Armed Forces Europe, Mid East & Canada.
AP - Armed Forces Pacific.

http://pe.usps.gov/text/pub28/28c2_010.htm

Ernest Bywater

@Grant

Putting in the necessary infrastructure for all the places that had no existing broadband access would have been the ideal way to go- unfortunately since the NBN is a business it was necessary to start it in places that already had higher speed internet in order to get a start on the return on investment.


That's how it finally got set up by the ALP, but it didn't have to be that way. Mind you, the majority of the infrastructure they took over was already in the ground, owned and used by Telstra, and Telstra was forced to hand it over and sell it to them on a time payment plan so the NBN Co could get money off it before they had to pay for it.

Yet getting all that service they still burned through government money at a prodigious rate while still under ALP control.

As to the wireless aspect, the first plans I saw it was still under the ALP and they had huge ares of rural Australia as being fibre to the node with wireless from the node. The only places those plans called for fibre to the premises was in the the cities where fibre to the street already existed.

As to the Telstra plans, they had multi-years plans based on what they could do with the money they had available to work with. Thus they only planned out what they knew they could afford to pay for.

The other aspect is when the NBN was first proposed nothing was said about shutting down the Telstra network, but the legislation passed by the ALP included a section where all Telstra phone services (other than cell phones) in an area had to be shut down 18 months after NBN was activated in that area. Thus your choices became cell with who you want or Telstra, and then the cell has to go over NBN cable between the towers.

The whole idea was to replace the Telstra copper network with fibre, yet most of that copper network is still there because a lot of the money was spent in duplicating existing fibre networks owned by others. Under the legislation passed by the ALP tend result of the NBN project is the NBN Co will be the only organisation to own any landline phone services within Australia and thus do awaya with all competition on landline services.

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@Ernest Bywater

The only places those plans called for fibre to the premises was in the the cities where fibre to the street already existed.

Here in Darwin the NBN Co spent the last couple of years either using existing telecom runs or digging their own throughout not only the CBD but also the suburbs and then running fibre in them. Once that was done, then they were able to run fibre to the premises.
There was no existing fibre other than the main backbone to the main & sub exchanges, and a couple of spur runs in the CBD.

As to the Telstra plans, they had multi-years plans based on what they could do with the money they had available to work with. Thus they only planned out what they knew they could afford to pay for.

Yep, and the fact is huge regions would be on little more than dial up for years to come, and others on ADLS1 with no chance of improvement for decades.

NBN Co will be the only organisation to own any landline phone services within Australia and thus do awaya with all competition on landline services.

There is no competition for landline services even now. Most people that have a landline these days only use it for Internet, not phone.

We will finally be where we should have been with the initial privatisation of Telstra (which shouldn't have been done IMHO).
There should have been the network/infrastructure portion, and then the retail portion.
The only competition these days is in Mobile, and even so that is very much only for city & larger regional centre based populations. For everyone else, it's Telstra or a provider that uses their network as the other Telcos are all about a return for their investors, not providing as much coverage for as many people as possible.

Not_a_ID

@Crumbly Writer

(though the U.S. was with black's 3/5th vote!).


Pet peeve here, as it has become a VERY popular "talking point" over the past 8 years for some reason.

When the Constitution of the United States of America was being drafted, and they came to determining representation in the House of Representatives(and later, the Electoral College), the decision was to base the representation upon population.

However, the "free states" in the north(and some of the southern delegates as well) took exception to that idea. Because if they did a "full count" on the slaves, then it would create a powerful incentive for the South to either import, or breed, more slaves so they could pad their margin as it was. Considering that everybody knew nobody in their right mind was going to give a slave the right to vote.

So they started to haggle, the slave owners wanted the slave to count fully towards the Apportionment formula. The Abolitionists, you know, those guys who felt slavery was immoral, because they viewed slaves as human beings, not property. They took the position that the slaves shouldn't be counted at all, because they were being treated as property, not people.

Needless to say, they went several rounds on the issue, and the "compromise" was that 3 out of every 5 slaves would be counted for the purpose of apportioning Seats in the House of Representatives. So thus we then end up with a slave(black) literally counting as "3/5ths of a person." Which isn't actually what the Constitution says by the way, it's more in line with how I phrased it above.

The slaves only counted as 3/5th of a person because the "SJW's" of that era made it so. And in this case, I think it was better than the alternative(full count).

Basically, people have no freaking clue as to the history behind what went on there. Most of the people who think they're expressing something profound when they bring this up only advertise their ignorance on the matter.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Instead they are incentivized to invent new atrocities and corruptions. :)

Even so, those corruptions won't continue beyond their first term, instead of continuing for generations.

Crumbly Writer

@Not_a_ID

Pet peeve here, as it has become a VERY popular "talking point" over the past 8 years for some reason.

I'm familiar with how the compromise was developed, but we were discussing whether any 'true' democracies existed, so I was pointing out that the North wasn't any more democratic than the South was before the Civil War.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@Crumbly Writer

I believe it's 75% of all 50 states (i.e. at least 38 states have to approve it by a sizeable majority), at which point it's effectively forced on the Federal government. (It's been a while since we've had one, so I may be hazy on the details.)

Thus it's 50 state votes, as opposed to a single national vote (the national vote puts it on each states agenda to vote on).


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_amendments_to_the_United_States_Constitution
26th Amendment was ratified in 1971 after just 3 months and 8 days. (Making the minimum Federal requirement for the right to vote 18 years of age... The way its worded, states could allow persons under the age of 18 to vote, if they wanted to)

27th Amendment was ratified in 1992, 202 years, 7 months, and 10 days after being proposed by Congress. (Making it so Congressional pay raises take effect AFTER the following election cycle)

The Equal Rights Amendment "failed" (expired) in 1979, and expired again in 1982 after being given an extension.

The Voting Rights Amendment for Washington D.C. failed in 1985.

There are 4 "zombie" amendments still out there. One from 1789(regarding congressional apportionment, irrelevant now even if ratified), another from 1810(stripping citizenship of anyone accepting "a title of nobility" from a foreign nation), the third from 1861(an attempt to lure the Confederate states back to the Union peacfully, would have protected slavery from what became the 13th Amendment in 1865), and the fourth from 1924(child labor; rendered moot by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 surviving a Supreme Court challenge). (Congress didn't provide an "expiration date" for the amendments, so they will remain an option for ratification until someone finds a way to kill them, and bothers to do so)

And the Tea Party is allegedly a handful of states away from Convening a "Convention of the States for the Purpose of Limiting the Power and Jurisdiction of the Federal Government"

Not_a_ID

@Crumbly Writer

I'm familiar with how the compromise was developed, but we were discussing whether any 'true' democracies existed, so I was pointing out that the North wasn't any more democratic than the South was before the Civil War.


You need go no further than the matter that up until after the Civil War, the states decided who had the right to vote. Which in many states translated into landowners. (Ironically, and contrary to popular knowledge, this did mean that Women actually did on occasion have the right to vote, typically so long as they owned land, but other provisions were made in some states that were even more liberal in this regard. Of course, property rights being as they were, if they married, it defaulted to the husband and their personal voting franchise vanished.)

But yes, the US started out with a very restricted voting franchise that slowly broadened over time. While other "historical democracies" often had a very narrow band of eligible voters, and they never grew their ranks. The US, and the UK+its territorial possessions are somewhat unique in that respect. They typically grew their voter franchise without requiring a violent government overthrow in the process, normally at least. :)

I know some of those Colonial Transitions were more violent than others. (Such as our own here in the States, or for that matter, how you consider the Civil War in all of this. It was fought over slavery, but it resulted in black men getting the right to vote if nothing else thanks to the 14th Amendment; of course, so did every Citizen of the US who was Male, over the age of 21 at that time, and hadn't done something to lose that right.)

Ernest Bywater

@Grant

Yep, and the fact is huge regions would be on little more than dial up for years to come, and others on ADLS1 with no chance of improvement for decades.


and that's still the situation under NBN several years later.

Back in 2003 I was living in another part of rural NSW and all we had was dial up, all they had in the nearest town was dial up. Then, as part of their plan, Telstra ran a fibre trunk into the town, and it picked up the various sub-exchanges between that town and the previous one. They upgraded the exchanges to handle the fibre trunk, and that gave everyone instant access to ADSL, despite being copper from the exchange. They then started laying fibre along the main routes within the town. Thus the town soon had fibre in the street and copper into the house. Telstra took the trunk line along to the next town, and did the same there. This was all part of their copper trunk replacement program and had been going on for over a decade. Which kind of made me wonder why the ALP felt the Telstra copper network needed another replacement program, but they got NBN passed and created. That meant Telstra stopped their replacement program, and some towns that were only weeks and months from getting fibre trunks and upgraded exchanged got told the whole project was at a stand still.

I know of almost new Telstra cable being replaced by NBN fibre in cities, but damn little being down outside of cities.

Replies:   Grant
Ernest Bywater

@Grant


We will finally be where we should have been with the initial privatisation of Telstra (which shouldn't have been done IMHO).
There should have been the network/infrastructure portion, and then the retail portion.


I agree, what should have happened was a total sell off of the Telstra retail services divisions of phones and Internet, and the infrastructure division should have stayed as a government entity. I said so at the time, but the sale went ahead under a plan drawn up several years earlier than when it was sold, and we got the mess it is.

Most of the people I know who insist on a landline do it for one of two reasons - cheaper Internet via ADSL than a cell phone Internet service or they need it for medical alert purposes.

Grant
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

and that's still the situation under NBN several years later.

And that all boils down to the political wrangling over the whole thing.
If it had been done the way it was initially planed before all the compromises, and was done purely as an infrastructure programme, not as a business in it's own right, those that had next to nothing would now have excellent internet & phone services, those that had poor or crappy phone lines & internet would also have (or be close to having) excellent internet & phone services, and those in the cities & larger regional areas would still have the benefits of ADSL2+

Given the scale of the project, it was always going to take a minimum of a couple of decades to roll most of it out (short of throwing a mind boggling amount of money at it & having all of the people involved unemployed & unemployable at the end of it, or having a few 100,000 people here on 457 visas).

However since the whole thing became a political issue it was either abandon the project as a lost cause, or go with the lesser & crappier option that will take longer for the benefits to reach those that need them most. But at least there is a chance of it occurring, and it will be better than what was on offer before.

Staying with what we had (regardless of Telstra's long term plans) would have resulted in the cities having great internet, smaller regional towns having OK internet, and everyone else having absolute crap internet, if any.

And over time the cities would have got 100Mb & eventually Gb internet, while remote areas would have been lucky just to be getting functional dialup.

I agree that when you're one of the places that was about to get improved internet with what was, and end up being at the end of the queue with the replacement it sucks big time.

That still doesn't alter the fact that the replacement (even as much as it has been jerked around with for political purposes) is better than what existed, and still better than what had been planned for the future for what existed for the vast majority of people (I had ADSL2+, I've got 100Mb/s NBN and it's like comparing ADSL1 with dialup).

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Grant

But at least there is a chance of it occurring, and it will be better than what was on offer before.


Grant,

I agree with most of what you have to say in the post. However, instead of setting up a commercial operation to first duplicate what existed, they could have spent half of the same amount of government money on either a special Telstra project or a new project with the initial aim at of fibre trunks to rural Australia and they would've had 99.99% of the population on ADSL 1 level or better within 5 years. Some of the projects being proposed at that time would've delivered that, but the ALP government of the day chose otherwise, and we've the mess we have now.

What we have now is better than what we had then, but it's not as good as what we would've had by now if they'd just left Telstra to continue their program. Heck, if they poured that amount of money into Telstra to expand their replacement program, the whole country would have at least fibre to the exchange by now.

Replies:   Grant
Grant
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

instead of setting up a commercial operation to first duplicate what existed, they could have spent half of the same amount of government money on either a special Telstra project or a new project with the initial aim at of fibre trunks to rural Australia and they would've had 99.99% of the population on ADSL 1 level or better within 5 years.


Money spent with Telstra wouldn't have helped that much.

With the Customer Service Obligation, other Telcos wanting to use their infrastructure, and the decline in landline use any upgrades or improvements done by Telstra were done with the utmost reluctance.

If they were a separate network/retail organisation- then yes by all means. But they're not, so it wouldn't have been a good move.

In those few areas with coax instead of fibre as the backbone, upgrading those would have improved things in the short term, but in the long term the costs would have been even greater than they already will be to eventually bring everything up to better than ADSL2+ speeds.

Copper doesn't have the bandwidth, wireless (regardless of advances in protocols) doesn't have the bandwidth, so fibre it is.

If you're going to spend a significant amount of money on a job to modernise something, you want it to last. No good spending big bucks on something that will be at the same level of maxed out capacity as what you're upgrading, in less than a decade. Ideally it should be good for 25+ years. ie able to grow to meet demand for that entire peri, not just remain serviceable even though the demand exceeded it's capacity 15 years ago.

If the new technology replaces existing technology, but can work with it, it does complicate things. Do you start from scratch, or make use of the existing technology & gradually replace it? Given the condition of the existing network (it really was very run down in many areas, regardless of what Telstra might have said on the issue) and what was intended to be the final outcome, replacing the network in it's entirety was the way to go. Using the new network to support parts of the old network would have been nice, but the cost of doing so would have been much greater than just starting from scratch. Repair, renovate or demolish & rebuild?

If cost wasn't an issue, if this was an out & out infrastructure project then they could have started with those that needed it, and made their way towards those that already had something decent in place. But cost was an issue, not just with the opposition at the time but also for the right of the ALP. So they created a business, and the project is run as a business. It's not about providing a service, it's about giving a return on investment and the fastest way to do that was to start in the areas that would cost the least to develop, and give the greatest return. ie high population density areas.

Gone are the days of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Snowy Mountains Scheme, the Murray-Darling irrigation system, the Trans-Australian Railway, the Beef Roads. Things aren't done the best way possible in order to maximise their life & usefulness. They are done down to a price in order to increase the return on investment, in the shortest time possible- even if it impacts on the overall life & usefulness of the project.

Ernest Bywater

@Grant

With the Customer Service Obligation, other Telcos wanting to use their infrastructure, and the decline in landline use any upgrades or improvements done by Telstra were done with the utmost reluctance.


Part of the delay with the telstra project was the government legislated requirement to share infrastructure at no profit, and at a loss in some areas, made them reluctant to do a great deal in some larger urban areas where the other telcos wanted the upgrades, which is why they were concentrating on the rural areas the other telcos weren't interested in.

One of the aspects the NBN legislation did was force telstra to pass over their existing fibre trunk network at cost, this could've been done regardless of what the new organisation was. To my mind it would have been better to have any new infrastructure organisation a government only one, but they chose otherwise. It's interesting that the ALP government automatically rejected any proposal with Telstra as part of the organisation. Although Telstra now has a part of the pie of NBN Co, that only happened as a deal to save on actual cash outlay to make the overall cost look lower by giving Telstra shares instead of cash for part of their fibre network. The deal only happened because of pressure about rising costs, and it made it look like the kept control of the costs.

The basic concept was good, but the implementation was more aimed at photo-shoot opportunity than quality service delivery for the dollar, and thus wasted a lot of money, while a lot of the government's friends got paid some huge salaries to manage things.

Instead of speeding up the provision of high speed Internet to rural Australia it slowed it down by stopping the funds for where the work was really needed.

The cost of a new bureaucracy to run NBN is another factor too.

awnlee jawking

@Grant

How can someone that is elected be apolitical?


I'm not sure. I have suggestions but I don't know whether they'd work in practice. But we need a method of making the judiciary accountable. Subsuming them into government strikes me as a bad idea - the independence of the judiciary is something tried in a large number of political systems and by-and-large it's proved beneficial.

It seems to me that the UK and US judiciary are more and more exceeding their legal purview and making political decisions. If a country's top judges can't come to a unanimous decision of what the law requires, they should pass the matter back to the elected representatives of government to pass clarifying legislation.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play  Grant
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Grant


Gone are the days of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Snowy Mountains Scheme, the Murray-Darling irrigation system, ...


I have returned from my daily walk to the mall for coffee. I sat there wondering if either of you two recalled all of the "controversies" during the development of "the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Snowy Mountains Scheme", and other mega-projects.

I've been out of the country since before the NBN started. From what I can see it is progressing, but by the time it is finished it will:
# Not completely achieve the original objectives, and
# Come in some multiple of time behind schedule, and some orders of magnitude over-budget.

I would consider that a great success! I look at what happens when other advanced economies attempt projects of a similar scale and feel proud to come from a country which is actually capable of getting such important things done. Once the pain of getting there is over, the ungrateful electorate will take the benefits it then enjoys for granted.

As for how well this project has been managed so far, my impression is the Rudd-Gillard governments stuffed it up so badly the voters tossed them out, and they fully deserved that.

Replies:   Grant
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

I have suggestions but I don't know whether they'd work in practice. But we need a method of making the judiciary accountable.

(To paraphrase Churchill) I think the method of judicial appointments for life is the worst way to do that, except for all the other ways that have been tried from time to time.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Not_a_ID
Updated:

@Grant

Copper doesn't have the bandwidth, wireless (regardless of advances in protocols) doesn't have the bandwidth, so fibre it is.


Not quite true. Unless you're talking Cable TV

Twisted Pair Copper wire, such as that used by the phone company, has typically been able to nearly match pace with the speed of fiber optic cables. The proof in the pudding, as it were, would be that most wired networking technology uses CAT5/CAT6/CAT6A... Which is twisted pair copper.

The "trick" here is that they only work in such capacities over increasingly short distances. The Various iterations of ADSL technology are such examples of utilizing this type of technology, typically from a mile or so away. The closer that "end point" gets to the home, the higher the potential speeds become. Or alternately, just wait for another generation of technology to come along and just swap the units at the end-point.

Of course, the problem the phone system has is that the existing twisted pair infrastructure wasn't consistently shielded, and most (older) homes are often poorly wired at best internally, which just plays further havoc on the service quality the end user will get. But typically the worst offender for them is their in-home wiring.

Edit: It could additionally be pointed out that if they're like my own phone company, most "newer" home installs(in the past 30-ish years) had a cable run to the home connection/interface box that was capable of supporting anywhere from 3 to 6 lines(IIRC, they said 6, but it was the Early 90's when they installed it, so I could be remembering wrong). It wasn't just a single strand of twisted pair running to the home. So the phone company has "other ways" to "push more signal" than trying to cram more data down a single set of twisted pair.

Unlike the Cable Company, which only has that single wire. ;)

Replies:   Ross at Play  Grant
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Not_a_ID


(to paraphrase) Copper wire can nearly match fiber optic cables


Perhaps, but not relevant in this case. Rightly or wrongly, the voters made the decision!

One party won an election with this policy as their main campaign promise. There were two things about it that seemed attractive to voters.
# One was that everyone in the country was guaranteed a top-quality service - eventually.
# The other was the infrastructure would not be controlled by one widely despised company - with a reputation for terrible service when government controlled, and monopolistic practices since being privatised.

Crumbly Writer

@Not_a_ID

It was fought over slavery, but it resulted in black men getting the right to vote if nothing else thanks to the 14th Amendment; of course, so did every Citizen of the US who was Male, over the age of 21 at that time, and hadn't done something to lose that right.

The laws restricting voting rights if convicted of a crime (felony) was only passed during Reconstruction, largely as a way of disenfranching black voters in Southern States where it was a simple matter of charging people with any number of crimes. That's why the Black Lives Matter groups are so opposed to the concept now, and keep pushing Democratic Governors (or Presidents) to grant block pardons for large numbers imprisoned (briefly) for certain drug crimes which predominately penalized blacks.

Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

(To paraphrase Churchill) I think the method of judicial appointments for life is the worst way to do that, except for all the other ways that have been tried from time to time.

The benefit, though, is that once appointed, most judges stick to legal issues in their decisions (precedents) rather than politics. In that regard, they have the Supreme Court to reign them in if they get out of line, whereas, if they're appointed (and therefore highly political), they're less likely to be restrained, even when cited by the Supreme Court, because they're trying to please their constituents, even if they know the laws are 'invalid' when they first issue them.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


The benefit, though, is


You must have misinterpreted my post to have included the word though in your comment.

There is famous quote from Churchill which means - whatever problems democracy may have, everything else ever tried has been worse.

I totally support judicial appointments until retirement. That is the only method that allows judges to be truly apolitical. Sadly, once appointed, they do not all choose to behave apolitically.

Replies:   Michael Loucks
Michael Loucks

@Ross at Play

I totally support judicial appointments until retirement. That is the only method that allows judges to be truly apolitical. Sadly, once appointed, they do not all choose to behave apolitically.


Trial judges? Certainly. But Courts of Appeal, and the Supreme Court are political bodies. They must be, as there is no single, agreed upon jurisprudence, and I'm not sure there can or should be. As such, they will always be political.

sejintenej

@Ross at Play

Very informal words and expressions that are more common in spoken language, especially used by a particular group of people, for example, children, criminals, soldiers

CW is correct that slang implies spoken, not written, language - but there is an extra requirement that its use is limited to a particular group.

That "group" can be huge! I would say "plates of meat" is (note the singular) is slang and if you agree then you have to admit that Cockney is a form of slang. Carioca (a version of Portuguese) has umpteen words spoken but not written and not generally understood 250 miles away.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Michael Loucks

But Courts of Appeal, and the Supreme Court are political bodies.

That is certainly so in US, but definitely NOT so in other countries.
It's hard to see how that happens (I see it largely as a product of the political culture of those countries), but there are countries where the decisions of courts are overwhelmingly apolitical, i.e. based on applying the facts of a case to the law, as written, and precedents.
The evidence for that is in some countries politicians very rarely bring any decisions of, and appointments to, any courts into the political debate.

Ross at Play

@sejintenej

That "group" [users of a slang expression] can be huge!

Yes, it can be.
I do NOT regard 'slang' as a derogatory term, or implying the word in not valid. I see it as a warning some audiences will not be familiar with the word.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
pcbondsman

@Not_a_ID

Not quite correct though any history text below college or university level (perhaps even advanced degree level) likely won't have the facts.

The US Civil War was fought over a number of, mostly, economic issues, slavery was one of those issues but not the principal one. Slavery was used as the rallying point for public consumption.

how you consider the Civil War in all of this. It was fought over slavery,

ustourist

@pcbondsman

It was also a proxy war, between the French (north) and English (south), with the competing countries financing, supplying munitions, troops and beneficial trade. I would agree that economic reasons were probably the underlying cause, and not slavery.
History taught in schools of the country tends to be written by the victors, but objective history tends to be written by outsiders.

Replies:   Dominions Son  Not_a_ID
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@pcbondsman


The US Civil War was fought over a number of, mostly, economic issues, slavery was one of those issues but not the principal one. Slavery was used as the rallying point for public consumption.


I've a work in progress where I make those points much clearer than i have in past works, so I expect to get a flood of emails bitching about how I got it wrong after I finish the story and post it, but the real cause was the transfer of power and economic might going from the traditional group of power mongers to the group of new power mongers. The secondary cause was the dispute about states having authority over the feds or the reverse.

edit to add: If anyone wants to make a big case of this, we should take it to a new thread.

Dominions Son

@ustourist

but objective history tends to be written by outsiders.


Objective history tends not to be written at all. Just because a given writer is an outsider, doesn't mean that the writer doesn't have an agenda or biases.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
richardshagrin

@Michael Loucks

Trial judges? Certainly. But Courts of Appeal, and the Supreme Court are political bodies.

Except trial judges mostly, based on what happens in Washington State, want to be promoted to higher courts, and often the more obvious ones who stand out to politicians who appoint them, or to voters who elect them, do get to move up. Trial judges whose impartial decisions offend don't often get to advance. Political activity outside court also helps improve visibility. Or sometimes nepotism helps judges to advance. If they don't know who you are its unlikely you will be appointed (or elected) to a higher court. Higher courts tend to come with more pay and sometimes longer tenure so it isn't unlikely that apolitical trial judges understand the way to higher court involves some politics.

Not_a_ID

@pcbondsman

The US Civil War was fought over a number of, mostly, economic issues, slavery was one of those issues but not the principal one. Slavery was used as the rallying point for public consumption.


Yes, it had major issues that were economic in nature. Such as Trade Tariffs enacted to help "protect/foster" the industrialization of the North, with the South bearing a lot of the expense due to their extensive foreign cotton/tobacco (export) trade giving them a ready means of importing foreign goods. Sometimes they suffered due to retaliatory tariffs against their goods as a consequence of the tariffs protecting the Northern Industries.

There were elements of State's Rights in the mix as well.

However, it seemed that Lincoln's personal position on Slavery was their catalyst for secession. Given that he won the Presidential election. So while the other points are valid enough, Slavery was the "triggering issue" that set off the proverbial powder keg. It wasn't the only reason, but it was the decisive one.

Grant

@awnlee jawking

It seems to me that the UK and US judiciary are more and more exceeding their legal purview and making political decisions.

Are they?
Or is it just a case of making legal decisions, based on the law as it stands, that have political ramifications?

Such as the case of a recently elected Senator here in Australia. Turns out he was an undeclared bankrupt. There were proceedings set to be taken against him to have him declared which he tried to have blocked or thrown out. They weren't.
His case was heard, and he was found to be bankrupt. Someone who is insolvent or bankrupt cannot serve in the Senate.
So now there is all sorts of carry on over who should or shouldn't replace him, should or shouldn't there be a by election held etc.

None of the decisions by the judges involved were political decisions. They were decisions based on law, that just happened to have significant political ramifications.

Maybe instead of not having judges involved in decisions that have political ramification, it would be better if politics weren't involved in the law (not possible, I know. But it's just a thought).
And the fact is there will be cases involving constitutional matters that will have significant political impacts- but their decisions should be based on the law regardless of the political fallout.
As you say, if the political effect is negative enough, maybe the law needs looking at- or maybe greater deterrents are required to deter people from involving themselves in such behaviour.

If a country's top judges can't come to a unanimous decision of what the law requires,

Seriously?
You expect different people of different backgrounds, education and upbringing to all have the same interpretation of laws that have been repeatedly amended and clarified?

they should pass the matter back to the elected representatives of government to pass clarifying legislation.

Which will just lead to even great ambiguity and confusion.

Many laws originally were quite straight forward in their intent and wording. But along come those that wish to argue about the intent and the letter of the law, so changes are made to clarify things. Which gives yet even more ammunition for those that wish to argue about the intent and the letter of the law, so more amendments are made in order to clarify things. Which results in even more opportunity for people to argue against. Rinse and repeat.

Not_a_ID

@ustourist

It was also a proxy war, between the French (north) and English (south), with the competing countries financing, supplying munitions, troops and beneficial trade.


Not so much, the British were pretty lukewarm about supporting the Confederacy from the onset. Their main interest was maintaining their ties to the cotton trade from the South. But between Operation Anaconda and the Emancipation Proclamation, they decided to largely keep clear.

The Monroe Doctrine suited their interests, and they didn't need to get themselves engaged in a Naval War with the Nation spearheading that charge.

Not_a_ID

@Grant

Are they?
Or is it just a case of making legal decisions, based on the law as it stands, that have political ramifications?


We have Supreme Court Justices who have openly talked about looking at judicial decisions made in international courts "to give guidance" on her interpretation of U.S. Law. And no, she wasn't referencing decisions that might have treaty implications.

Grant

@Ross at Play

I sat there wondering if either of you two recalled all of the "controversies" during the development of "the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Snowy Mountains Scheme", and other mega-projects.

All of them were controversial in their day, particularly the Snowy Mountains Scheme and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
But looking back over 50 or more years, even with the huge delays and cost overruns, whey were well worth every cent.

# Not completely achieve the original objectives, and
# Come in some multiple of time behind schedule, and some orders of magnitude over-budget.

Yep, just like the projects I listed before.
And given the direction economies are heading, and the requirements for people to always be connected, the NBN (or similar) is essential.

As for how well this project has been managed so far, my impression is the Rudd-Gillard governments stuffed it up so badly the voters tossed them out, and they fully deserved that.

The NBN was the only reason they didn't lose more badly than they did IMHO. There were so many other things they buggered up that pissed people off that got them voted out, but the coalition's platform of winding the NBN back, cutting back on fibre to the premises in favour of more fibre to the node probably made the support for Labor higher than it otherwise would have been.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Capt. Zapp

@Grant

Many laws originally were quite straight forward in their intent and wording. But along come those that wish to argue about the intent and the letter of the law, so changes are made to clarify things. Which gives yet even more ammunition for those that wish to argue about the intent and the letter of the law, so more amendments are made in order to clarify things. Which results in even more opportunity for people to argue against. Rinse and repeat.


Seems to me the best solution is to take them back to the original 'plain and simple' wording. No exceptions. No 'interpretations'. The 'clarifications' cause more confusion than they clear up.

Grant

@Not_a_ID

Not quite true. Unless you're talking Cable TV

Very true, regardless of the copper technology.

Twisted Pair Copper wire, such as that used by the phone company, has typically been able to nearly match pace with the speed of fiber optic cables.

Sorry, it doesn't even come close.
ADSL2+ is as good as it gets for copper phone line data, and is maxed out at 24Mb/s and you have to be right next to the exchange to get those speeds.
Coax (for exchange to premises) tops out at around 52Mb/s
Fibre, as of 10 years ago, could support 10GB/s over 80km.
2014 and a single fibre record was set of 255Tb/s (but only over 1km).

The proof in the pudding, as it were, would be that most wired networking technology uses CAT5/CAT6/CAT6A... Which is twisted pair copper.

And they are networking cables which are good (at best) for up to 100 Metres, not telephony cabling which has to be good for kilometers.

Of course, the problem the phone system has is that the existing twisted pair infrastructure wasn't consistently shielded, and most (older) homes are often poorly wired at best internally, which just plays further havoc on the service quality the end user will get. But typically the worst offender for them is their in-home wiring.

Here in Australia none of the pit to premises phone cable is shielded, it's all just unshielded twisted pair.

Edit: It could additionally be pointed out that if they're like my own phone company, most "newer" home installs(in the past 30-ish years) had a cable run to the home connection/interface box that was capable of supporting anywhere from 3 to 6 lines(IIRC, they said 6, but it was the Early 90's when they installed it, so I could be remembering wrong). It wasn't just a single strand of twisted pair running to the home.

From very vague memories, here we generally had what could be considered 2+2 (4 pairs; for 2 lines, with 2 spares). At a previous house we had 2 phone lines connected, with 2 spare pairs left.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ross at Play

@Grant

The NBN was the only reason they didn't lose more badly than they did

I would not know; they were doomed.
I think "Judy" would have done OK if "Punch" had not been constantly trying to burn the house down.

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@Ross at Play

I think "Judy" would have done OK if "Punch" had not been constantly trying to burn the house down.

Yeah, that didn't do them any favours.

Dominions Son

@Grant

ADSL2+ is as good as it gets for copper phone line data, and is maxed out at 24Mb/s and you have to be right next to the exchange to get those speeds.


That's odd, my AT&T U-verse gives me cable style TV and internet service on copper phone wire and I get 29mbps download on speed tests.

Replies:   Grant
awnlee jawking

@Michael Loucks

If true it's rather ironic because the USA has a written constitution so the law should be a simple matter of tracking down the relevant amendments and precedents and opaque to political considerations.

AJ

awnlee jawking

@Grant

You expect different people of different backgrounds, education and upbringing to all have the same interpretation of laws that have been repeatedly amended and clarified?


Yes. I would expect the five or ten or however many top legal experts in the country to each reach the same decision based on the same facts. If they can't then 1) What confidence can we have that lesser judges are capable of making correct decisions? 2) It blows 'ignorance of the law is no excuse' completely out of the water because the law ceases to be absolute and becomes entirely dependent on the judge so everyone is ignorant of the law.

AJ

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@Dominions Son

That's odd, my AT&T U-verse gives me cable style TV and internet service on copper phone wire and I get 29mbps download on speed tests.

Do you have 2 lines?
All the information I can find shows ADSL2+ being limited to 24Mb/s. ADSL2+ supports port bonding, so it's possible to have 2 ADSL2+ connections bonded to give a single connection with up to 48Mb/s.

Does your modem tell you the ITU connection type? eg G.992.5 is ADSL2+, G.992.3 is ADSL2. G.998.x is ADSL2+ with bonding.

Ah, further searching comes up with VDSL2, which apparently is supported by your provider with the appropriate hardware.

It looks like it's maximum speed is 350Mb/s right at the source, but drops to 100Mb/s at 500 Metres.
At 1.6km it's good for around 24MB/s (ADLS2+ speed, right next to the exchange). However it does drop significantly to 1-4Mb/s at 4-5km from the exchange.

Learn something new every day.

Grant

@awnlee jawking

If they can't then 1) What confidence can we have that lesser judges are capable of making correct decisions?

Lesser judges are dealing much mush lesser cases. Less facts, less laws, less fingers in the pie. Even so, people are people and no matter what the data given, not everyone will come up with the same conclusions given the same data in the same way.
Hence the ability to appeal.

And one of the reasons for cases once they have reached the High Court of Australia to be heard by (or up to) the Full Bench- 6 of the Justices of the High Court plus the Chief Justice of Australia for a total of 7 Judges.

2) It blows 'ignorance of the law is no excuse' completely out of the water because the law ceases to be absolute and becomes entirely dependent on the judge so everyone is ignorant of the law.

Since when have all laws been absolute?

Breaking in to someone's house without their consent is against the law. A criminal act.
But if you were to break in to a house that was on fire to help someone that you knew was in the house, even though they didn't call for help, it would be unlikely to result in charges of breaking and entering.

awnlee jawking

@Grant

Lesser judges are dealing much mush lesser cases.


Cases which reach the highest court have frequently worked their way up from lower courts, and all too often the verdicts alternative between the parties as the case works its way up.

it would be unlikely to result in charges of breaking and entering


How unlikely is 'unlikely'? The law shouldn't be a gamble.

AJ

Replies:   Grant
Dominions Son

@Grant

Do you have 2 lines?
All the information I can find shows ADSL2+ being limited to 24Mb/s. ADSL2+ supports port bonding, so it's possible to have 2 ADSL2+ connections bonded to give a single connection with up to 48Mb/s.


All U-verse service regardless of the bandwidth you are paying for, is delivered on 2 copper wire pairs.

Though it was also sharing one of those lines with my POTS service.

However, AT&T does not refer to U-verse as ADSL2+, and you get both the internet service and Cable style TV service over the same two phone lines.

The TV-service and internet are usable at the same time with no interference with each other So there is considerably more bandwidth than just the internet service.

Also, unlike ADSL, the U-verse service does not require filters on the phone jacks to keep the U-verse service from interfering with the POTS phone service.

Dominions Son

@Grant

All the information I can find shows ADSL2+ being limited to 24Mb/s.


PS: Just because 24mb/s is the limit for ADSL2+, don't assume that ADSL2+ is the limit for what can be achieved on copper wire.

Replies:   Grant
Dominions Son

@Grant

And one of the reasons for cases once they have reached the High Court of Australia to be heard by (or up to) the Full Bench- 6 of the Justices of the High Court plus the Chief Justice of Australia for a total of 7 Judges.


Another difference between the US and Australia, cases that go before our Supreme court are always heard and voted on by the full court, excluding the odd recusal now and then.

REP

@Grant

How can someone that is elected be apolitical?


Someone elected by a write-in campaign because they refuse to run. Probably the best possible person for the job. :)

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP


Someone elected by a write-in campaign because they refuse to run. Probably the best possible person for the job. :)


Anyone who desires the authority of elected office is unworthy of it. :)

Replies:   REP
Grant

@Dominions Son

PS: Just because 24mb/s is the limit for ADSL2+, don't assume that ADSL2+ is the limit for what can be achieved on copper wire.

However, AT&T does not refer to U-verse as ADSL2+, and you get both the internet service and Cable style TV service over the same two phone lines.

Nope.
As I mentioned in the bottom of my post, you'd be using a VDSL service if you're not using a bonded ADSL2+ service.

Also, unlike ADSL, the U-verse service does not require filters on the phone jacks to keep the U-verse service from interfering with the POTS phone service.

True- it's a fully digital connection so normal phones won't work on it even with a filter. They have to be connected to the phone port on your modem/router, or the VoIP port if it has one.

By killing off the support for a phone (fax and other analogue devices that can be used with a ADSL2+ connection) you gain the extra benefit of all that extra bandwidth.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Grant


True- it's a fully digital connection so normal phones won't work on it even with a filter. They have to be connected to the phone port on your modem/router


Wrong. I had bog standard analog POTS service on (one) of the same lines used by the U-verse service, no filters and no connection to the modem, though I recently switched to using VOIP service through U-verse to save some money.

According to AT&T, U-verse isn't any version of DSL.

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@awnlee jawking

Cases which reach the highest court have frequently worked their way up from lower courts, and all too often the verdicts alternative between the parties as the case works its way up.

Welcome to the real world.
What is it you desire? Absolute law, or Justice? Personally, i'll go for Justice.

Like many other things, you only tend to hear about the failures of the legal system, not the vast majority of the times when it works.
Could it be better, hell yes. But it could be so, so much worse.

How unlikely is 'unlikely'?

Extremely.

The law shouldn't be a gamble.

No it shouldn't. But as people are involved, there will always be the human factor involved. Variability is one of the results of that.

Grant

@Dominions Son

Wrong. I had bog standard analog POTS service on (one) of the same lines used by the U-verse service, no filters and no connection to the modem, though I recently switched to using VOIP service through U-verse to save some money.

*Shrug*
It would be a good thing if your were to update the many FAQs on the net to reflect that fact as it would appear that it's rather rare for a provider to also support POTS on a VDSL connection, and where it is mentioned (2 cases I managed to find in the end) it also says a filter is required, just like for ADSL.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Grant


It would be a good thing if your were to update the many FAQs on the net to reflect that fact as it would appear that it's rather rare for a provider to also support POTS on a VDSL connection, and where it is mentioned (2 cases I managed to find in the end) it also says a filter is required, just like for ADSL.


So, that just means that U-verse isn't VDSL, and it isn't ADSL.

ETA: Why should I need to update the FAQs for technologies that aren't AT&T U-verse? And that has been my point from the beginning, AT&T U-verse doesn't have the limitations of those technologies because it is something different.

awnlee jawking

@Grant

No it shouldn't. But as people are involved, there will always be the human factor involved. Variability is one of the results of that.


FWIW legislators can make accommodations for the uncertainty. If a first aider fractures the ribs of a patient while administering CPR, legal precedent means that they can't be prosecuted in the UK.

AJ

Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


have you been reading Island Delight by rlfj? He makes fun of uniquely Australian vocabulary.


I did not think he was "making fun of the uniquely Australian vocabulary". I thought he did bloody good job of using it.

I did make one suggestion. He had wanted a list of three things Aussie and Kiwi males could sit around and talk about endlessly. He was spot on with two of his choices, rugby and beer. The third one he tried was soccer.

I suggested that was unrealistic, and he needed to change that to cricket. He decided to make the change - as I was the second person to make that suggestion within just a few weeks of the story being first posted.

richardshagrin

@Ross at Play

Maybe Tennis? The Australian Open is going on now. Or maybe its just over. It is almost always tomorrow there.

Ross at Play

@richardshagrin

Maybe Tennis? The Australian Open is going on now. Or maybe its just over.

There was a reason TWO readers suggested the same change, from soccer to cricket.
The story needed two sports that both Australia and New Zealand are good enough at to be a natural topic of conversation between males from those countries. It could only be rugby union for the Kiwi, and that is a winter sport. The most popular summer sport in both countries is cricket.
You could think of rugby union + cricket having a similar status there as is held by (American) football + baseball in the US.

It is almost always tomorrow there.

Yes. At this moment it is still Thursday morning in the US, but already well into Friday on the Australian east coast (about 90% of the population).

Ross at Play

@richardshagrin

The Australian Open is going on now. Or maybe its just over.

It's hard to say if it's over?
It appears to be almost over ... but I'm wondering if Australia has slipped into a time-loop and is currently reliving some time from about a decade ago.
The Williams sisters are the finalists for the women's singles. They are 35 and 36 years old.
Federer (35) is through to the men's final, and Nadal (30) will play in the other semi. They were both dead and buried a couple of years ago.
Since a set of results like that is impossible, my conclusion is Australia must currently be within some sort of time-loop.

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

I did not think he was "making fun of the uniquely Australian vocabulary". I thought he did bloody good job of using it.


I thought it was unrealistic. An educated Australian would surely tone it down if having a conversation with speakers of other English dialects.

I learnt a new aussie word though - grouse.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play  Not_a_ID
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

An educated Australian would surely tone it down if having a conversation with speakers of other English dialects.

Mostly, but we are inclined to treat Kiwis like honorary Aussies when discussing anything except sports.

Replies:   sejintenej
Not_a_ID

@awnlee jawking

I learnt a new aussie word though - grouse.


Uh, it's in use in Idaho as well. Pretty rare, probably mostly from people who've been to Australia, or spent a lot of time around Aussies, but it's up here too. Of course, having the Sage Grouse up and around there there probably plays a role as well.

sejintenej
Updated:

@Grant


@awnlee jawking

Cases which reach the highest court have frequently worked their way up from lower courts, and all too often the verdicts alternative between the parties as the case works its way up..

Welcome to the real world.


As I see it there are three problems.

A)The interaction of justice and politicians;

Grant's example of a senator being thrown out because he was an undischarged bankrupt exemplifies how things SHOULD be. In the UK the Prime Minister has just been told by the courts that she is wrong - she might not like it but she is subject to law.

B) Lack of common sense. Somewhere in the early 1980's the courts proclaimed that nobody could give any form of charge, mortgage or lien on their bank balance even if that was to support an otherwise legal transaction (IATA v British Eagle). They could charge anything imaginable provided it was not cash or cash equivalent! I never really understood their thinking despite long study. Absolute consternation; we lost our security for many loans. Many many years later in BCCI n°6 (I think it was case n°6) the courts reversed that ruling and sense prevailed.

C) Poor drafting of laws. As an example in 1948 a law was passed covering all aspects of company law. Attached to it was an addendum of examples of company formation documents. For the near 40 years that that law remained there were a few court cases about the meaning of a specific few words in the addendum but the act itself was and remains a model of clarity. (I won a substantial bet on exactly those words) IMHO those cases revolved about local use of language though no doubt I will be shot down in flames. Such clarity is rarely if ever seen now..

Another example of lack of clarity is the argument that Britain's signing of the Treaty of Rome (leading to membership of the EU) was in itself illegal and contrary to the Constitution.


What is it you desire? Absolute law, or Justice? Personally, i'll go for Justice.

Like many other things, you only tend to hear about the failures of the legal system, not the vast majority of the times when it works.

Could it be better, hell yes. But it could be so, so much worse

there will always be the human factor involved. Variability is one of the results of that.


but we must keep justice and government totally separated, government not being able to control the courts save through proper decently worded legislation.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
sejintenej

@Ross at Play

Ross at Play
An educated Australian would surely tone it down if having a conversation with speakers of other English dialects.

or follow the example of one esteemed Australian judge and use French!!!!!!!!!!!

awnlee jawking

@sejintenej

but we must keep justice and government totally separated, government not being able to control the courts save through proper decently worded legislation.


More and more the judiciary are making political judgements rather than legal, in which case they should be subject to the same accountability as politicians and elected by the electorate.

Don't you think it strange how the High Court and Supreme Court came up with completely different reasons for needing a parliamentary vote on Brexit? The High Court produced 'relevant' precedents from the 1400s. The Supreme Court said we needed a parliamentary vote to get out because we had one to get in - if that was such a powerful legal argument, how come the High Court judges completely missed it?

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

Don't you think it strange how the High Court and Supreme Court came up with completely different reasons for needing a parliamentary vote on Brexit?

NO!
While I don't doubt judicial activism is increasing in the UK, this case is not an example of that.
The appeals courts were asked a political question, for which there were no precedents to guide them. The eventual answer was: the Parliament must decide; the Government cannot decide without consulting them. That seems the most apolitical judgement the courts could have found.
I share your concern, but think the Westminster model is, by far, the least bad model ever tried.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

I do NOT regard 'slang' as a derogatory term, or implying the word in not valid. I see it as a warning some audiences will not be familiar with the word.

Hence the use of the word "slang". If everyone is Australia uses particular phrases, it doesn't mean someone reading English in India will understand what you're talking about. That's why narrative is typically written in more formal English, or if you portray accents, you introduce them and then minimize their use so you don't annoy your readers.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Objective history tends not to be written at all. Just because a given writer is an outsider, doesn't mean that the writer doesn't have an agenda or biases.

That can't possibly be true! No one here has any strong opinions about anything. ::)

REP

@Dominions Son

Anyone who desires the authority of elected office is unworthy of it. :)


and incompetent. Just look at we have now. :(

awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

No. The two courts were asked to make a legal ruling.

Just as politicians should have no influence over judicial matters, the judiciary should have no influence over political matters. At least the High Court based their verdict on a couple of extremely dubious legal precedents. The Supreme Court seem to have plucked a reason out of thin air to support their political bias.

As soon as the judiciary interferes in political matters, its members should be subject to the same accountability as politicians and be elected by voters for limited terms.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

We should agree to disagree.
I would be content if superior courts always decided the Parliament must decide whenever the written law and precedents were unclear.
As for your solution of electing judges, I think experience shows that always results in much more interference in politics by the judiciary.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

I would be content if superior courts always decided the Parliament must decide whenever the written law and precedents were unclear.


The UK doesn't have a written Constitution, and nobody has written down a complete version of Common Law, so good luck with that.

The referendum had already given a mandate for Brexit. That's more democratic than leaving the decision to a bunch of 600 odd party hacks, most of whom are incapable of performing a real job.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play  sejintenej
Ross at Play

@awnlee jawking

I do not want to debate Brexit, but in general I would say the best way to make decisions is leaving them to an elected bunch of 600 odd party hacks, most of whom are incapable of performing a real job.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

;

AJ

sejintenej

@awnlee jawking

Ross at Play
I would be content if superior courts always decided the Parliament must decide whenever the written law and precedents were unclear.
Awnlee Jawking
The UK doesn't have a written Constitution, and nobody has written down a complete version of Common Law, so good luck with that.

Firstly, there are judges sitting in the House of Lords who are quite capable of drawing the attention to weaknesses in legislation; sometimes they get their way, sometimes not.

The UK suffers from too many laws which are not codified as is done in some other countries. I did a Freedom of Information enquiry and was given access to what they reckon is every parliamentary and ministerial act etc. still on the books going back to about 1150. (and each one showed where clauses had been removed subsequently!) Magna Carta is famous but only one of its many clauses has not been cancelled!

The problem is jurisprudence - decisions and interpretations given to those acts. That side of it is too immense to think about and judges employ staff fulltime to simply search previous cases for precedents.

Constitution: I don't know how and where this arises - some is law, some is custom which must have been commented upon previously.

Common law: to write this down in full would be close to impossible and irrelevant to most people. Who, apart from the few, wants to know the local "law" governing bait diggers on Pendeen Sands?????

It is parliamentary law (act) which says that the Stannary Courts can decide that laws passed in Westminster shall not apply in the Duchy of Cornwall but it is Common Law which covers the appointment of the Stannary Court; crazy!

ended; PC gone down!

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@sejintenej

PC gone down!


I recommend Alice Siebold's 'The Lovely Bones' as an example of a story in which the Principal Character is dead but still gets a sex scene.

AJ

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