As anyone who has ever tried to look up a Queens address on their phone or computer already knows, it can be rather difficult because of those damn dashes. But Queens residents have started rebelling against their hyphenated overlords, asking why Queens is the only borough whose addresses are dashed. And there are no easy answers: "No one could tell me. Unless you talk to a historian, it is difficult to get a logical answer," said Queens resident Nancy Arjara-Spence, who grew up in the non-hyphenated Bronx.

According to Queens historian Jack Eichenbaum, the dash was first introduced in 1898, when the borough was still a rural area. "Each settlement developed their own little grid or 'gridlets' of streets based on geography. The gridlets had familiar street names but many of the numbers were repeated throughout the county. A mailing address had to include the name of the post office and the street name and number," he said.

As the borough expanded in the 20th century, a master grid was imposed in 1920: "Since then, a typical street address in Queens has the form X-Y and Z. If Z is a street, X is the closest lower-number avenue. If Z is an avenue, X is the closest lower- number street. In both cases Y, after the hyphen, is the house number." For a full rundown of the Queens street format, check out this article.

However, with the advent of zip codes, the hyphen is not actually necessary any longer. US Postal Service spokeswoman Darleen Reid confirmed that: "The right Queens zip code is the main thing we need."

Queens resident—and former Gothamist editor—Jaya Saxena told us she has been frequently frustrated because of websites that don't accept the dash: "I like it, because you can tell immediately from the address what someone's cross streets are. However, I remember having a problem at one job where they weren't sending me my paychecks because they wouldn't accept the address as '25-08.'" Queens resident Will Schwartz was incredulous at the question: "What in the world kind of question is that?It's just the way we do our addresses!"

At least there's no confusion over where The Duke would have stood in this divisive debate: