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One country is swapping all addresses for three-word phrases

Mongolia is the first to adopt a new system aimed at ensuring even those in remote locations or refugee camps have a permanent address. You can even find one (or more) for your house.

The White House has numerous three-word tags on What 3 Words, including "engine.doors.cubs," as shown in red at bottom of image.

Screenshot by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper

Hi, I'd like to send this letter to engine.doors.cubs. Or maybe sulk.held.raves. In Mongolia, such addresses will become the norm next month, when its national post office will begin using three-word phrases instead of typical addresses.

The addresses above? Both go to the most famous street address in the US -- the White House.

British startup What 3 Words has assigned a three-word phrase to every 3-meter-by-3-meter square on the planet. That may seem like an unnecessary effort in a well-developed land of regular street addresses, but the site's home page notes this isn't always the case.

"Around 75% of the world (135 countries) suffers from inconsistent, complicated or inadequate addressing systems," the site reports. "This means that around 4 billion people are invisible; unable to report crime; unable to get deliveries or receive aid; and unable to exercise many of their rights as citizens because they simply have no way to communicate where they live. For example, it means that in remote locations water facilities can't be found, monitored and fixed; and schools, refugee camps and informal settlements remain unaddressed."

Mongolia will be the first nation to try out the system for its post office, but you can get the three-word code for your own house just for fun. In fact, you can get several, because US houses tend to incorporate quite a few 3-by-3-meter squares. That's why the White House has engine.doors.cubs plus sulk.held.raves, as well as many more.

To get your three-word designation (or a bunch of them, and pick your favorite), just click over to What 3 Words' map page and type in your street address. Or your childhood address, your school address, or a famous address.

The site uses words ranging from 4 letters to 17-18 letters long, and as you might guess, the company has tried to remove offensive words, so your house won't be something like "these.neighbors.stink."

Still, the random word combinations result in hours of crazy searching fun. Bill and Hillary Clinton's Chappaqua, NY, home comes up on first search as marbles.liability.sawdust, and Donald Trump's Florida estate Mar-A-Lago comes up as dodged.tumbling.inspects. Make of those what you will, conspiracy theorists.

(Via Quartz)