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For a document I'm preparing that includes photos, each photo caption includes the approximate street intersection from which the photo was taken, e.g.:

...., Market St & Grant Ave looking east.

In cases where both streets are of the same "type" (both "St" or "Ave"), I omit the first and pluralize the second, e.g.:

...., Market & Kearny Sts looking west.

Is that an OK thing to do? (I couldn't find this addressed in The Chicago Manual of Style. If it's in there, please give the citation.)

One thing I did find in the CMOS is that I should put the period after the abbreviations, e.g.:

...., Market St. & Grant Ave. looking east.

If I do that, what is the proper plural? Still just the period after the abbreviation and no other punctuation?

...., Market & Kearny Sts. looking west.

Do the same rules apply for intersection abbreviations in the main body text? Thanks.

  • Personally I prefer 'Str.' as abbreviation for 'street'. 'St.' usually means 'Saint'. – WS2 Feb 22 '14 at 0:08
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    @WS2: I worked for decades in the UK bus industry, often dealing with route planning, timetabling, etc. I don't ever recall anyone using Str for Street. – FumbleFingers Feb 22 '14 at 0:18
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    In the US St. is the US postal service abbreviation for street. – David M Feb 22 '14 at 0:19
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    @Paul: Someone else may be able to provide a better justification (or maybe even disagree with my position), but I think it's a very bad idea to write "Market & Kearny Sts" instead of "Market St & Kearny St". – FumbleFingers Feb 22 '14 at 0:20
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    @WS2: It would appear there are quite a few places called Saint Johns Street on the Internet at large. Googling "St Johns Street" or "Saint Johns St" finds lots of references (more for the second), but I couldn't see any obviously relevant hits for "St Johns St" (there were a lot of "not relevant" hits, so I didn't plough through them all). – FumbleFingers Feb 22 '14 at 1:15
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I would say that there are several answers to this question:

The least formal approach:

Omit St. altogether.

Corner of Market and Kearney
-Or-
Market St. and Kearney

I don't think you need St. on both unless a road with the same name which is an Ave. crosses it somewhere else.

In New York City, we always go St. & Ave. as a convention.

So, you would say 60th and 2nd.

A more formal approach:

Per the AP manual of style

Write out the word Street or Avenue in any instance where an exact address is not given.

Market Street and Kearney Street
-Or-
Market Street, 700 block, facing East.

But, abbreviate when there is an exact address:

423 West Mercy St.
Chicago, IL 12345

  • The location is almost never an actual corner; it's just the closest intersection. (If it were an actual corner, I'd feel compelled to specify which corner, e.g., "NW corner of ....") If you read my question carefully, you'll see that I'm not putting "St." on both when they match. "Broadway" (at least the one in NYC) is kind of a special case since it's famous -- it doesn't need further qualification. – Paul J. Lucas Feb 22 '14 at 0:39
  • Some London thoroughfares have no street, avenue, hill or lane designation e.g. Piccadilly, Cheapside, London Wall, The Strand, Embankment, Knightsbridge, Bishopsgate, etc. – WS2 Feb 22 '14 at 0:47
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    Ordinarily, I would say to use St (period optional) on each of the choices. However, the streets you mention are in San Francisco and local practice is to omit street, avenue, etc., with a few exceptions from ambiguity or custom (e.g., Maiden Lane, once a red-light district). If you leave them out, you will look hip; put them in, you will look like out-of-towners. – Andrew Lazarus Feb 22 '14 at 1:05
  • It's a fairly formal bit of writing just like the captions you might find next to photographs hanging in a museum. I don't think museums care much about being hip. – Paul J. Lucas Feb 22 '14 at 1:12
  • @PaulJ.Lucas In the case you are describing, not being a corner. I would say: Market St. between x and y facing east. – David M Feb 22 '14 at 1:19

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