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  • Snail mail


    Snail mail and Smail (from snail + mail) — named after the snail with its slow speed — is a retronym that refers to letters and missives carried by conventional postal delivery services. The phrase refers to the lag-time between dispatch of a letter and its receipt, versus the virtually instantaneous dispatch and delivery of its electronic equivalent, email. It is also known, more neutrally, as paper mail, postal mail, land mail, or simply mail and post. An earlier term of the same type is surface mail, coined retrospectively after the development of airmail. This happened between the 1970s and 1990s. Snail mail penfriends or penpals are those that communicate with one another through the postal system, rather than on the Internet which has become the more common medium. Some online groups also use paper mail through regular gift or craft hot topics. In some countries, services are available to print and deliver emails to those unable to receive email, like people with no computers or Internet access. Similar terminology was used in the 1840s to contrast the already-operating postal mail with the new telegraph.

  • Postmark


    USS Texas A postmark is a postal marking made on a letter, package, postcard or the like indicating the date and time that the item was delivered into the care of the postal service. Modern postmarks are often applied simultaneously with the cancellation or killer that marks the postage stamp(s) as having been used (though in some circumstances there may be a postmark without a killer, and sometimes the postmark and killer form a continuous design), and the two terms are often used interchangeably, if incorrectly. Postmarks may be applied by hand or by machines, using methods such as rollers or inkjets, while digital postmarks are a recent innovation. The local post Hawai'i Post had a rubber-stamp postmark, parts of which were hand-painted. At Hideaway Island, Vanuatu, the Underwater Post Office has an embossed postmark.

  • Postcodes in New Zealand


    Postcodes in New Zealand consist of four digits, the first two of which specify the area, the third the type of delivery (street, PO Box, Private Bag, or Rural delivery), and the last the specific lobby, RD (rural delivery) number, or suburb. The present postcode system was introduced in New Zealand in June 2006, which, unlike the previous system, applies to all items of mail with effect from June 2008. In October 2008, New Zealand Post launched a 'remember your postcode' campaign, offering a NZ$10,000 prize for remembering a postcode. This replaced a previous system, introduced in 1977, in which New Zealand Post did not require individual items of mail to include the postcode in the address. Optical character recognition (OCR) enabled automated sorting machines to scan entire addresses, rather than just postcodes, as was the case with older machines. OCR technology was introduced in 1992; when the first of seven OCR machines were installed in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch Mail Centres, most mail was sorted manually.

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