In http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a2_433.html Cecil Adams calls the residence of the British Prime Minister “10 Downing”. This is perfectly correct in the American language, but to English speakers it sounds odd . The address is “10 Downing Street”, and that is what most of the world calls it.
Where did this American dialect usage came from? Why do Americans omit part of a street’s name, while we do not?
Is it because we use many descriptive words for our roads, while Americans do not? In our towns and cities we have Streets, Roads, Avenues, Lanes, Terraces, Parades, Walks, Quays, Rows, Courts, Greens and many more.
For example, in one small area of Dublin there is Harcourt Street, Harcourt Road, Harcourt Terrace and Harcourt Lane. A similar search in London produces twenty variations of Harcourt. In both cities, if you say you work on Harcourt, you are not giving useful information.
The same seems to apply in other languages. Parisiens and madrilenos use the full street name in referring to streets in Paris and Madrid.
Can anyone help me, as I have always been intrigued by this odd dialect usage?