If the host portion of the addressis all zeros, it's considered (by convention) to be the "Network Address" or "Segment Address".
If the host portion is all ones, it's considered, by convention, to be the Broadcast Address.
So, if you have an address like 10.1.254.255/16, it is a valid host address (though, not necessarily a smart choice) because the least significant bit of the third octet is a zero - hence, all of the host bits are not all zeros, or all ones.
You could also have an address like 10.254.255.255/7 and still have a valid (but not smart) host address.
You could have something like 10.1.0.0/8 and still have a valid host address ... all of the host bits are not all zeros or all ones.
When we say it's not necessarily "smart" is because someone else may see those addresses, decide the person that set 'em up was an idiot, and change them to something .... or worse, get confused & mess up on the subnet mask and kill a bunch of nets or subnets (and dynamic routing ....).
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