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address

Address is a useful word, isn’t it? For one thing, your address is where you live. If you are of no fixed address you’re probably going to get cold in the winter unless you live in a tropical or very temperate climate. If you are of no fixed address you have no permanent home, so there’s a good chance that you will be spending more of your time on the street than most people would find comfortable.

That having been said, if you are homeless, maybe you should stop shelling out money on Internet access. Affording shelter is more useful than reading utter crap such as this.

Here’s an interesting and fun exercise for those of you who do have a fixed address: Pretend you don’t know where you live and then try to find your address on the Internet. If your Web-searching skills are any good, there’s a pretty good chance that you can.

Here’s an interesting and not so fun thought: If you can find your address on the Internet, a stalker probably can too. Isn’t technology grand? It used to be more difficult for stalkers to do that.

This is not a particular concern for me. It’s not that you can’t find my address on the Internet. You can. It’s just that I don’t have the sort of body or personality that would cause anyone to want to stalk me. If someone searches for my address on the Internet it’s probably so they can steer clear and avoid the possibility of meeting me.

An address isn’t necessarily the location of a person’s residence. It can also refer to the location of data in a computer’s memory. If data is of no fixed address, you can forget about it. It’s gone. You’ll have to pull out the backup tape or disk if you want to access it. You did make a backup, didn’t you? No? Oh, oh.

The word address can also refer to the way you speak to people. For example, referring to royalty as, “Your Excellency” or preceding people’s names with Mr, Ms, Prof, Dr, or the like is a form of formal address. Referring to someone as “asshole” would be a considerably more casual form of address. Referring to the local royalty as “asshole” could get you thrown in jail or worse in some countries. You’ve been warned.

You can also use address as a verb. In that case, it can mean to speak to someone or to a group. For example, people who want to run for office generally have to address the crowd at a political convention. When they do, there’s a pretty good chance their supporters will think they did a brilliant job of addressing the crowd, while their opponents’ supporters will think that they really screwed up their address. At least, that’s how the supporters and opponents will spin it when talking to the media and undecided delegates.

The verb form of address can also mean to write an address on a letter or package. This helps the post office to ensure that it doesn’t get delivered to the right place by accident.

Golfers also use the word address in their game. When you address the ball you attempt to assume the proper stance for hitting the ball well. If you are a male golfer and you address your balls, rather than your ball, people will probably look at you as if you’re crazy. If you’re a female golfer and you address a guy’s balls he’ll probably ask you out on a date.

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