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Dear PoP – Is It “U at 17th” or is it “17th & U”?

Photo by PoPville flickr user allengcarr

“Dear PoP,

There are many newcomers to the area who have a different way of designating street destinations than us native Washingtonians. I’m frequently hearing people say, “T at 18”, or “W at 13.” As a native, for some silly reason, this drives me crazy. I’m used to hearing people say, “17th & U” or “13 & T,” where the numbered street is always spoken first. Now people (and I’ve heard a number of newscasters and newspaper writers do this as well) are putting the letter street first – what’s up with that?

I can always tell if a person is a native by the way they designate the street locations during a conversation. What do you think of this as a light-hearted topic of discussion?”

I think we may have spoke about this at one point when I made this very mistake. I am 99.9% confident that it is always number first and letter second. For some reason when I’m talking to someone I always say the number first but when I’m typing I tend to want to write the letter or name first… What do you guys think? If you use the letter first is that a good tip off that you’re talking to a new resident?

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