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Phone number format question

Old 12-30-04, 03:04 PM
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Phone number format question

OK, someone went on a grammar pet peeve, I'm going on a typographical pet peeve. I used to work for old farts that had their number printed on all their things, even their website, like this:

708/555-1212

instead of:

(708) 555-1212

Why? Why did they do this? There has to be a freaking reason! And not just because they're all old farts! It pisses me off so much! The only reason I can come up with is to save a couple of characters in classified ads, but that just can't be it. It's lunacy! Why people???? Tell me why!!!!
Old 12-30-04, 03:09 PM
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My company still lists their phone # as "Klondike 5-1234"
Old 12-30-04, 03:28 PM
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Never seen or used that. However, I frequently use 708-555-1212. Why, because there's a "-" right there next to all those number keys, I don't need a [shift] and move my hand six inches.

While we're being picky, the () implies they are optional depending on long distance or not, but I live in a "ten digit, all the time, even next door" area code. And to be really "international" you should really put a +1 in front of the whole mess, so international dialers have the country code available. (Yes, boys and girls, around the world, we really are #1, at least in terms of country code). I think preferred format is +1 (708) 555-1212, but 1-708-555-1212 works too.
Old 12-30-04, 03:33 PM
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I'm also seeing 976.555.1212 lately.
Old 12-30-04, 03:46 PM
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My work always uses the slash: 708/555-1212

Since I always do this at work, I've started doing it other places too.

It's easier, and takes up one less space when writing.
Old 12-30-04, 03:50 PM
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Never seen people use a slash, but I always use a 123-555-1234 format.
Old 12-30-04, 03:56 PM
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While the parentheses are more typical (and preferable) in non-business settings, neither the slash or the dash format are uncommon in work situations, and I wouldn't call either one incorrect. I personally find the slash format most practical and speedy, and have gravitated toward it in personal use over the years. The period format is more common overseas.

Groucho: When I was in junior high my phone number only had five digits-- and I still remember it: REgent 6-9502.

Last edited by adamblast; 12-30-04 at 04:05 PM.
Old 12-30-04, 04:12 PM
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I prefer the dashes and agree that they are quite common and widely accepted, particularly in areas where 10 digit dialing is required... in fact, about 2 years ago I had to design a high profile sign for a business and submitted it using the 404-555-5555 format until my boss in new england (7 digit dialing land) told me to change it to (404) 555-5555 format... bleh

I think that people who don't live in 10 digit dialing areas have the hardest time with it... and I agree that the parenthesis implies optional
Old 12-30-04, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by TomOpus
I'm also seeing 976.555.1212 lately.
Same here, although I still use the (555) 555-5555 format.
Old 12-30-04, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottyWH
I prefer the dashes and agree that they are quite common and widely accepted, particularly in areas where 10 digit dialing is required... in fact, about 2 years ago I had to design a high profile sign for a business and submitted it using the 404-555-5555 format until my boss in new england (7 digit dialing land) told me to change it to (404) 555-5555 format... bleh

I think that people who don't live in 10 digit dialing areas have the hardest time with it... and I agree that the parenthesis implies optional
That's why I like the slash!! You wanna fight?

The parentheses seem more natural for 7-digit dialing areas--the area code is optional. The dashes seem better for the 10-digit areas--it's all one number. The slash is a perfect non-partisan approach, making the area code different, but not lesser.

///Long live the SLASH!! ///
Old 12-30-04, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
My company still lists their phone # as "Klondike 5-1234"
That would be "KLondike 5-1234", n00b.
Old 12-30-04, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by adamblast
Groucho: When I was in junior high my phone number only had five digits-- and I still remember it: REgent 6-9502.
I lived in a rural area when I was in elementary school (1980's) and we could dial each other using the five digits as well. We were also on a party line, which was interesting in it's own right.
Old 12-30-04, 05:00 PM
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I hate the parenthesis. Doesn't look good. Too much work. Much prefer the dashes. The dots look the best though.

1 (800) DVD-TALK

1-800-DVD-TALK

1.800.DVD.TALK
Old 12-30-04, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by namja
I hate the parenthesis. Doesn't look good. Too much work. Much prefer the dashes. The dots look the best though.

1 (800) DVD-TALK

1-800-DVD-TALK

1.800.DVD.TALK
OK, and you just did something that bugs me a bit.. Whenever people give out an 800 number, they always preface it with the 1, but they don't for any other area code. Why can't it just be 800-DVD-TALK?? Why?!! WHY??!!!
Old 12-30-04, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
And to be really "international" you should really put a +1 in front of the whole mess, so international dialers have the country code available. (Yes, boys and girls, around the world, we really are #1, at least in terms of country code). I think preferred format is +1 (708) 555-1212, but 1-708-555-1212 works too.
Canada is also country code +1, demonstrating that they are the 51st state, after all... Being the uber geek that I am, I know a bunch of country codes by heart. Sad.

Last edited by wendersfan; 12-30-04 at 05:40 PM.
Old 12-30-04, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
Canada is also country code +1, demonstrating that they are the 51st state, after all...
Or because their area codes are integrated with ours. I believe that area code integration applies to a few other Western Hemisphere countries and they are also country code "1."
Old 12-30-04, 05:37 PM
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I use the dash and am damn proud of it!
Old 12-30-04, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
Or because their area codes are integrated with ours. I believe that area code integration applies to a few other Western Hemisphere countries and they are also country code "1."
I like my "theory" better, even if yours is the correct one.
Old 12-30-04, 06:05 PM
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I'm trying to call you guys to say hi, but for some strange reason none of the above phone numbers work.
Old 12-30-04, 06:28 PM
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give us your number..we'll call you
Old 12-30-04, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by adamblast
While the parentheses are more typical (and preferable) in non-business settings, neither the slash or the dash format are uncommon in work situations, and I wouldn't call either one incorrect. I personally find the slash format most practical and speedy, and have gravitated toward it in personal use over the years. The period format is more common overseas.

Groucho: When I was in junior high my phone number only had five digits-- and I still remember it: REgent 6-9502.
Mine, too, but we didn't have a "REgent" or a "Klondike" etc. I never understood what the hell those were.
Old 12-30-04, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
Mine, too, but we didn't have a "REgent" or a "Klondike" etc. I never understood what the hell those were.
The phone company just had a list of acceptable, made-up words in which the first two letters corresponded to the first two numbers of a phone number. The rest of the word never meant anything. That's why it was traditional to capitalize the first two letters. REgent could have just as easily been SExy (or SExless, as might be more appropriate here) if you look at your phone, but it was the 50's, so it wasn't.

For some combinations, like 57, it is hard to come up with a word. When they started running out of exchanges, they went to seven numbers so they didn't have "unusables."
Old 12-30-04, 08:07 PM
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There’s only a handful of us who remember why letters were on the phone in the first place. I mean, it was decades before the beginning of toll-free numbers. So, when the exchanges were eliminated, they should have taken off the letters and be done with it.

That way, today we wouldn’t have to stare at the tiny letters trying to figure out how to “dial” 1-800-EAT-SHIT.




LIberty 8 0496
Old 12-30-04, 08:28 PM
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I normally use the slash. I'm sorry if this upsets anyone.
Old 12-30-04, 08:29 PM
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When I lived in Kentucky all the people with the 345 prefix could call someone else by dropping the 34 and just dialing 5-1234. That isn't the same as all this REgent and LIberty stuff is it?

And I'm shocked that nobody has a good explanation for the slash. If I had my way, it would be dots, but the common person doesn't get it. So no for now Still, I've been going through all the webpages at work and changing the slashes to parentheses.

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