Sunday, January 16, 2011

Abbreviations Now Even Briefer

April 1967
  Stop the presses! The dictionary presses, that is.
  Seems as though when we were in school, the abbreviation for Michigan was Mich. and for Minnesota it was Minn.
  But the Post Office Department has changed all of that for every state in one fell swoop. Like all the other mini-stuff that has come along, the department is in the process of switching to its own mini-abbreviations.
  You may have noticed the new postmark on the mail you have received. Michigan is now MI and Minnesota is— you’ll never guess— is MN. (And be sure you capitalize both of the two-letters.)
  You may think that MS stands for Massachusetts. It doesn’t. That’s now the mini-abbreviation for Mississippi. You will also find that Calif. is now CA. Kans. is KS, Tenn. is trimmed to TN and Ariz. is now a mere AZ. 
  One theory about the mini-abbreviations says it will cut down on ink expenditures in the canceling machines. But the federal government has never worried about costs before so that shoots this hypothesis. It’s therefore assumed that the inclusion of zip codes within the postmark has taken up the extra space. (Most people don’t even realize that the zip codes are now included in the post mark.)
  We wonder if the government now expects the dictionary people to revise their state abbreviation listings. And we wonder what would happen if our friends started addressing mail to us at Rochester, MI. Would it end up in Rochester, MN
  As for me, all credit departments and junk mail distributors are welcome to use Rochester, MI. Always cautious, I’m sticking to the old fashioned Rochester, Mich. for now, just in case the Post Office folks change their minds.
* * *
  THERE’S MORE than one way to lick a problem. At least that was the lesson demonstrated at last week’s Rochester Board of Education meeting.
  A number of the Rochester Jaycees had appeared to request the use of a school piano during a banquet April 8 when the local group hosts around 1,000 Michigan Jaycees at the annual bowling tournament. No piano is available at the hall the Jaycees had rented.
  Supt. Douglas Lund explained that school policy does not seem to cover loans or rentals of pianos, obviously because of the damage that might be incurred by inexperienced movers. At the very least, the piano could easily go out of tune. After five minutes of discussion, Board President Jim Ludwick offered the solution. He had a piano at home that he would be glad to loan to the Jaycees. All they had to do is pick it up and bring it back.
  The offer was accepted and the meeting continued.
* * *
  IF ANYONE should ever have the opportunity to lose their contact lenses, they might try staging an Easter egg hunt. When the signal was given starting the egg hunt at Avon Park last Sunday, some 700 youngsters combed about every square inch of several acres. Nothing could have escaped their view.
  “This is what you call the scorched earth policy,” one observer noted as he watched in amazement.
  Except for a few trampled into the ground, all 3,000 of the candy eggs were claimed within two minutes and all 36 “special eggs” worth prize money were found. Next year, the Jaycees say, twice as many eggs may be used.