Which is my zip code: What is my Zip Code — Zip Code Finder
3 Different Ways to Style ‘ZIP Code’ (or Is That ‘ZIP code’ or ‘zip code’?)
Today, we’re going to start with rules but go heavy on history at the end because what I thought would be an easy question to answer took me down an interesting rabbit hole and finally to an interview. It all started with this voicemail message.
“Hi, Grammar Girl. I actually work for the Federal Government, and I have a good enough command of writing and grammar that I am humorously referred to as the Grammar Guru. Recently we were writing a report and something came up. Some of the people on the committee thought we should capitalize ‘ZIP Code’ . . . and my take on that is that would be correct if you are referring to the specific thing — the postal system, that specific system — but if you’re talking about ‘zip code,’ it has become kind of a generic, like kleenex. I don’t listen to your podcast, so if you decide to use this, could you please answer it in your column. Thanks very much, Grammar Girl. I remain a faithful reader. Thanks again. Bye bye.”
Well, first, you should listen to the podcast, but the answer will be on the website as an article too. It’s extremely rare that material isn’t on both. But thank you for submitting the question as a voicemail so I can use in the podcast!
As I said, I thought this would be a quick answer: I’d look it up in a couple of style guides and bing-bam-boom, the end. But it wasn’t so simple, and I started finding interesting tidbits.
What Are ZIP Codes?
For our international readers, ZIP codes are an American thing. They’re the five digit codes at the very end of a mailing address (and if you want to be really detailed, you can add four more numbers to the end, and in my experience, doing that does help the post office deliver your mail a little faster). Other countries sometimes call the address codes “postal codes,” and some countries don’t have them at all. In the United States, we use just numbers, but some other countries also use letters.
Since our caller works for the U.S. government, and ZIP codes are a government thing, I checked guide first. It recommends “ZIP Code.”
Associated Press style is similar: “ZIP code”—two words with “ZIP” in all caps—but it uses a lowercase C, and I was surprised it would deviate.
I looked a little deeper, and this made me laugh: Someone asked in the AP Stylebook Q&A section why AP style lowercases the word “code” when the source, the US Postal Service, capitalizes it, and the reply from the AP editors was “The U.S. Postal Service likes capitalization more than we do. We have different styles.” So there you go! They just like it better lowercase. That’s how styles work.
‘ZIP Code’ Was Trademarked
I didn’t know “ZIP” stands for “Zone Improvement Plan,” and the US Postal Service originally trademarked the phrase “ZIP Code.”
When I look at the listing on the US Patent and Trademark Office website, it looks like that trademark expired in 1997. On the other hand, the US Postal Service website still puts a “™” after “ZIP Code. ” So maybe I missed something, or maybe whoever writes their website didn’t get the memo.
The AP Stylebook doesn’t put a trademark symbol after “ZIP code,” but it doesn’t recommend doing it for any trademark, so that doesn’t tell us anything about the trademark status.
I also found that the home furnishing company Wayfair holds the trademark for use of the term “zipcode” (all one word) on items like lamps, carpets, bedding, and furniture. How weird is that? So I searched the site to see if they had products with the word “zipcode” on them, but they don’t. Instead they have what looks like a house brand called Zipcode Design. So that makes more sense.
Check 3 Style Guides and Find 3 Different Ways to Write ‘ZIP Code’
The three style guides I checked each have a different way of writing “ZIP code.”
? The US Government Publishing Office uses “ZIP Code.”
? The AP Stylebook uses “ZIP code. ”
? The Chicago Manual of Style uses “zip code.”
‘Zip-code’ Is a Verb
You thought we were finished, but “zip-code” can also be a verb! Both, Dictionary.com and Merriam-Webster list “zip-code” as a verb, and they keep it all lowercase and use a hyphen. It means to mark something with a ZIP code, as in “Be sure to zip-code that letter.”
The History of ZIP Codes
ZIP codes are much newer than I thought they would be.
The main 5-digit codes we use today in the United States were only introduced in 1963, and at first they were optional. I’m pretty sure that even today, some people don’t have one, and that’s when I realized that I know someone who knows all kinds of interesting things about the history of addresses. She’s Deirdre Mask, the author of the new book “The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal about Identity, Race, Wealth & Power.” Click the player at the top of the page to listen to the interview with Deirdre Mask (it starts around the 7:15 mark) or read a transcript of the interview.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Does My Zip Code Affect My Medicare Coverage?
WebMD Connect to Care helps you find services to manage your health. When you purchase any of these services, WebMD may receive a fee. WebMD does not endorse any product, service or treatment referred to on this page. XBy John McGuire
You might be surprised to know that your zip code can affect your Medicare coverage. Here’s how the availability of certain Medicare programs can change based on where you live.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reports that, with Original Medicare (Parts A and B), you can use any doctor or hospital that takes Medicare, anywhere in the U.S. Medicare plans like Medigap and Medicare Advantage are a different story, though. The pricing, rules, and availability of these plans vary by state, and even sometimes by zip code. Here, we cover what you need to know about Medicare coverage based on where you live, using the official U. S. government website for Medicare as a guide.
Is Medicare Different In Each State?
Before we begin our discussion of Medicare coverage by state, let’s consider basic eligibility for Medicare. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reports that the following factors make you eligible for Medicare:
- Age. If you are 65 or older, you qualify.
- Disability. If you get disability income from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), you’ll gain eligibility for Medicare once you’ve recieved your Social Security or RRB disbursements for 24 months. There are also special qualifying criteria for those with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) which can eliminate waiting periods.
Assuming now that you are eligible, let’s address the question—is Medicare different in each state? Since Original Medicare is a completely federal program, it’s equally available to residents in all U. S. states.
However, certain programs within Medicare vary from state to state in terms of rules, availability, and pricing. Two such Medicare plans are Medigap and Medicare Advantage. The coverage and features of these Medicare plans will vary depending on where you live.
Medigap, sometimes called Medicare Supplement, is available to Original Medicare beneficiaries. It works like an insurance policy to cover the “gap” between what Original Medicare pays and what you owe in out-of-pocket expenses (like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles).
Medigap plans must follow Medicare rules, but because they are run by private insurance companies, their availability and pricing will vary from state to state. You can compare the plans available in your region using the official U.S. government website for Medicare.
In addition, your State Health Insurance Assistance Program or State Insurance Department are good resources for more information about local Medigap availability and pricing.
Medicare Advantage takes the place of Original Medicare and is a form of managed care. It relies on the use of pooled resources as well as networks of caregivers to provide you with low out-of-pocket expenses. Medicare Advantage Plans come in several forms, including:
- Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Plans
- Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plans
- Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) Plans
- Special Needs Plans (SNPs)
Like Medigap, Medicare Advantage Plans are offered by private insurers who must follow Medicare’s rules. Medicare Advantage Plans must offer the same coverage as Original Medicare, with the exception of hospice care.
Because Medicare Advantage networks of care are dependent upon the private insurer supplying each individual plan, the availability of Medicare Advantage Plans will vary according to region. This is where your zip code matters in terms of Medicare eligibility. You will always be eligible for Original Medicare, but eligibility for specific Medicare Advantage plans require you to live in that plan’s service area.
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Postal codes of Tajikistan by cities and districts
The postal code system of Belarus has a 6-digit code. The first 2 digits are always 73, the second 2 digits indicate the district, and the last 2 digits indicate the specific branch in that district.
What to do if the index, address or surname on the parcel (letter) is incorrectly indicated
Publication date: 01/25/2018
The correct shipping address and postal index is one of the guarantees that the recipient of the parcel will receive it exactly within the delivery deadlines. Otherwise, if the recipient’s index or address is incorrect, then most likely the package will be delayed or not delivered to the final recipient at all. And in this case, it is not worth shifting responsibility to the employees of the Russian Post.
It is necessary to correctly understand the scheme for forwarding postal items: parcels and letters in Russia are initially delivered not to a specific address of the recipient (city, street, house), but to an index, which is conditionally the address of one or another post office (OPS). The index is necessary to facilitate the sorting of correspondence, including automatic.
At the very first stage of acceptance of the mail item and its initial processing, the postal employee does not check the correspondence of the full address and index. The maximum that an employee of the sorting point can pay for during manual processing is the discrepancy between the OPS index and the city in which this OPS should be located. In this case, the parcel will most likely be immediately returned to the sender.
Below we will consider each case separately and try to figure out what to do if the index or address is incorrectly indicated. Will the package arrive in this case? And also we will analyze the moment when the last name or first name of the recipient is incorrectly indicated.
Incorrect index specified or an index error. Will the package arrive?
Perhaps the most common mistake when filling in the accompanying address for a parcel or letter is the wrong index. The index, as I have already mentioned above, is the conditional digital address of the post office where the parcel should be sent. If an error in the index was not detected at the initial stages of processing and sorting the postal item, then the parcel (letter) will be sent to the OPS, the index of which was erroneously indicated by the sender. And already at the final post office, where the shipment will arrive, if it is revealed that the recipient’s address does not fall within the service area of this office, the parcel will be sent. Delivery is made to the branch that serves the address (house) of the recipient.
The main thing that the recipient loses if the index was incorrectly specified is time. That is, the parcel will reach the addressee much later than it would be under favorable conditions. And it should be understood that the delivery of a parcel from a neighboring OPS will be made much faster than from a branch of another city.
True, sometimes the parcel may be left to wait for its recipient at the post office by index, that is, resending is not performed!
If the index was not specified at all, and this can happen, for example, with a simple letter, then the processing of such a mailing is done manually. Correspondence is sent to the address.
It should be understood that in reality things do not always happen as described above. At any time, at some stage of processing, your mailing may be returned back to the sender. Therefore, knowing for sure that the index is written incorrectly on the parcel, try to track the shipment by the track number and act according to the situation.
An incorrect address has been entered or an error has been made in the address (street, house, apartment).
In this case, three types of errors are possible:
- In the address, that is, in the name of the city, district, street / avenue / lane, only a typo or spelling mistake was made.
- If some part of the address is illegible or not specified at all
- The address is specified with an error (the wrong street, house or apartment is specified).
In the first case, most likely there should be no problems at all. The post office employs people who are well acquainted with the territory they serve. Therefore, if there is some kind of typo in the address, then it will not be difficult for them to guess where the letter or parcel should ultimately be delivered.
In the second case, if the postal employee cannot make out the house or apartment number, and in some cases the street name, the parcel will most likely remain waiting for the recipient at the post office. The postal item will be stored for 15-30 days (depending on the type of item), and then it will be sent back. In this case, the main assistant of the recipient will be the track number, with which you can track the shipment. In this case, the status of the parcel will most likely be «Arrived at the place of delivery» .
Occasionally, a shipment may be returned to the sender marked «Incomplete Address» .
If the apartment number is illegible on the parcel, the postmen sometimes improvise: they put the notice of the parcel in no one specific box, but put it on the windowsill or in another prominent place in the entrance.
The third option is the most difficult. After all, if at least the wrong apartment number is indicated, then the parcel (small package), notice or letter can be dropped into someone else’s mailbox. The postman’s fault in this case will not be. Therefore, in this case, it is worth «arming yourself» with the number of the postal identifier of the parcel and constantly tracking it. After her arrival at the post office, you need to immediately go to the post office and explain the whole situation to the employee. Ordinary normal people work at the post office, so most likely you will receive your package. Otherwise, the sender will need to go to his mail with a check and passport and write application for changing the addressee’s data .
The surname is incorrect (the surname or first name is misspelled)
It is not uncommon for a recipient to have a mistake in their surname or first name. There may be options, as with the address, when there is only some minor typo (a letter is missing or another is written instead of one letter) or the surname (first name) is completely different.
In the first option, the parcel will most likely be issued.
In the second case, according to the rules, an employee of the Russian Post should not issue a parcel, although, of course, you can try to negotiate with the employee. At the same time, the chance to negotiate will be much higher if the address of your registration matches the address indicated on the parcel.