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I am creating a business card, and I need to put the address of the company on it. What is the proper way to write this address?

  • 555 14th St NW, Atlanta, GA 55555
  • 555 14th St NW., Atlanta, GA 55555

Or should "14th St" be spelled out or "NW" be "N.W." or should "St" be "St." or should I spell out "Street"?

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This is mostly a matter of style on a business card. I would go with either your first one (with no periods) or with this: 555 14th St. N.W., Atlanta, GA 55555. (Note: the US Postal Service actually prefers no periods and that you don't spell out Street.) –  JLG Sep 21 '12 at 2:26
    
This is a matter of writing style, not English as such, and should be closed "off topic". –  MετάEd Sep 21 '12 at 2:55
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Regarding the quadrant designation, see page 25 of “Street Addressing Standards and Guidelines for the State of Georgia” (by Georgia Spatial Data Infrastructure GIS Coordinating Committee, August 2000): “There are only four acceptable values for this element (NW, NE, SW, SE).” Ie, don't put any periods into or after NW. (The document mostly is about GIS stuff, but briefly mentions some addressing issues like the above.) –  jwpat7 Sep 21 '12 at 4:35
    
-1 I would never expect to see a period after these abbreviations. This is a hypothetical question and will lead to unwarranted doubts in the minds of people. –  Kris Sep 21 '12 at 12:12
    
@Kris It is not hypothetical for me, and the doubts are already in my mind, but thank you for your valuable input partaining to your opinions into MY motivation behind the question. In addition, as to your logic that a question would lead to unwarrented doubts are you saying that we should not ask questions, or that simply we should only ask question that are common logic. In either case this website should be shut down imediatly because is could cause mass confusion! –  Reid Sep 22 '12 at 23:46
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1 Answer

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Business cards are not English tests. They are meant to convey essential information and are subject to both space and stylistic limitations. We do things on cards we would not do in the classroom or in our other communications.

St with or without a period is a standard abbreviation for Street. Technically, a period (in American English) is the more correct, formal rendition. But it appears without the period everywhere, perhaps more often than with the period (at least on cards).

The directional expression NW is most commonly used without periods. Again, directionality traditionally used periods following the E., W., N. and S., but as a city locator, it has followed the state abbreviation pattern of capital letters without periods (e.g., FL, NY).

As to spelling out Street, I do it all the time, because I think it looks better, not because it is needed.

Back to Point One. Business cards have an important graphic component. They are a first impression and, unless the representation is confusing, distracting or ugly, do what you wanna do. Think different.

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Fantastically gracious answer. Well done. –  marc cenedella Sep 21 '12 at 3:36
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