I could tell you how many steps make up the streets rising like stairways, and of the degree of the arcades' curves, and what kind of zinc scales cover the roofs; but I already know this would be the same as telling you nothing. The city does not consist of this, but of relationships between the measurements of its space and the events of its past...A description of Zaira as it is today should contain all Zaira's past. -Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Monday, August 15, 2005

Stamps as signs

This article caught my eye today. Of course as a Pitney Bowes employee I pay attention to most things that have to do with mail. This one also hit a current side interest of mine, the symbolism of stamps, which I am researching in my oh so ample spare time.

With so many US soldiers overseas, their loved ones are using the placement of stamps on the envelopes to communicate messages back and forth. This is something that has always existed with stamps, but is not so common now that personal letters are going to email. However, war means more handwritten letters, and more messaging through stamps.

One of the more interesting bits is the fact that the messages aren't always clear to the recipients. One of the people quoted said,

"I think it took several letters before my girlfriend realized that the upside-down stamp wasn't a mistake."


Fun stuff. Oh yes, and PS (blatant trolling for information) I would love any info anyone has on stamps (or images on stamps) and their meaning.

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