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Old 01-26-2009, 08:00 AM
 
519 posts, read 1,704,000 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterRabbit View Post
P.A. has never been a post office abbreviation for Pennsylvania. There was a time when it was common to see Penna., Penn., then Pa., but never P.A. Where is the link proving that the post office does this or has ever done it?
When I send a letter to a place in Pennsylvania, I abbreviate the state as PA and I think 99% of everybody else also does this. Not positive that it's official, though I tend to think it is
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
5,346 posts, read 6,664,764 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny C View Post
How many other states do that? Immagine people saying "I'm from F.L.", or "I'm heading to C.A, or I'm from T.N.
When the abbreviation for Florida was "FLA" my relatives from Florida used to call it "Fla" (not the letters F.L.A. but as a word: "Fla"). My aunt was always saying "When are you coming to Fla to see us?!". When they changed it to FL, she was very disappointed, lol. She still calls it Fla, but sometimes jokes and just calls it "FL" (if you can sound that out, lol).

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterRabbit View Post
P.A. has never been a post office abbreviation for Pennsylvania. There was a time when it was common to see Penna., Penn., then Pa., but never P.A. Where is the link proving that the post office does this or has ever done it?
Sorry to tell you but it is indeed the official Post Office abbreviation. Several years ago, the US Postal Service changed all official abbreviations to 2 letters to make it all consistant since there were so many different ways to abbreviate different states.

Here they are, straight from the United States Postal Service:
United States Postal Service - Abbreviations (http://www.usps.com/ncsc/lookups/usps_abbreviations.html - broken link)

You're right that there was a time when Penn. or Penna. was common but the official abbreviation is now PA and has been for something like 5-10 years. I can't remember exactly when they implimented the 2 letter abbreviations for all states but I do remember it happening because of my above story about Florida/FLA/FL.
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Old 01-26-2009, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Harrisburg, PA
160 posts, read 403,187 times
Reputation: 69
The post office made all the 2 letter state abbreviations official when they started using digital tech to sort mail. I know we all had state abbreviation charts in our cubicles as far back as the 80s when I was a programmer/analyst for one of the regional phone companies. Any abbreviation longer than 2 letters was flagged as bad data. Of course, there are always mix-ups with the abbreviations for Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, and Arizona. At least everyone knows PA is Pennsylvania.
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:05 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,757 times
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It starts with a "" and ends with an "A".
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:33 PM
 
Location: Ohio
2,178 posts, read 5,111,493 times
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A lot of people can't spell Pencilvainya.
So they just say what they are used to writing.
Pa.
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:31 AM
 
Location: PA
888 posts, read 1,619,375 times
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I refer to it as hell?
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Newport, NC
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And lots of people in eastern PA refer to New Jersey just as Jersey. As in "those Jersey drivers have to be the worst in the world"
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Old 01-28-2009, 05:17 PM
 
11 posts, read 25,742 times
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They say PA for the same reason people refer to Los Angeles as L.A. They are lazy. But then, if you go to england they abbreviate just about everything. Here in america you go to a pub to drink, but most people dont know they were called public houses but in england with their abbreviating everything, it went from public house to pubby, then to pub. It stuck.
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Millville, PA (Middle of nowhere)
4 posts, read 9,355 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by renlouis View Post
People from other parts of the country don't say PA - they say Pennsylvania. Only if they are from PA or the surrounding states. I've lived in TX for the past 17 years (grew up in PA) and when I tell people where I'm from I say Pennsylvania because I think if I said PA, they would say "Huh????"
I spent 18 years in the military...anyone from the states would understand me when I said I was from PA. It's the other nationals that say, "Huh?" Then I would say Pennsylvania, and they would say, "Transylvania?!" and I would say, "No, Penn-sylvania...Penn's woods..." Then their eyes glaze over until I would say, "USA...?"
Anyway, I think it's just the way people shorten everything they say. The military uses acronyms for everthing, e.g. S.N.A.F.U. instead of Situation Normal, All Fed Up, or F.U.B.A.R. instead of Fed Up Beyond All Recognition. These are from way before my time, though, as is "PA". I do a bit of genealogy and history research, and I've seen documents from the 19th Century listing Pennsylvania as "PA" (although not many). In fact, I wonder if the Postal Service decided to go with 2-letter abbreviations for all states because we already were so used to it here.
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Hampton, VA
287 posts, read 353,240 times
Reputation: 166
I can't remember the last time I actually said "Virginia". I always say VA.
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