TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Telephone Area Codes and Prefixes

Re: Telephone Area Codes and Prefixes
15 Feb 2007 13:10:57 -0800

On Feb 14, 12:09 am, Shalom Septimus <drugg...@pobox.c0m> wrote:

> My dad had a (212) LT1-xxxx number for years, that went to an
> answering service. I asked him what that stood for, and he said it
> didn't stand for anything in particular, which offended my 5-year-old
> sense of propriety (at the time, our home phone was (212) EVergreen
> 5-xxxx, so I was familiar with the concept).

As a result of some area codes running out of usable exchanges, the
phone company experimented with "meaningless" exchange codes. That
is, there would be two letters that had no English word basis. This
was done in New York State as a trial for some years. It did not work
out and they concluded to go to ANC instead.

Some areas didn't mind ANC, but some objected very much so. As others
mentioned, there were organized protest groups against it. In some
communities, the exchange name was a badge of social status.

Although I like exchange names because of the sense of dignity and
ease of memory they offer, I can understand the phone company's issues
as well. Some names, like HYatt or HYacinth, are easily mispelled (HI
instead of HY). Some names are pretty obscure, like SWinburne (an
ancient poet). When 0 and 1 became common as the third digit of an
exchange, confusion was more likely (PI1, HO0). Overseas calls become
a real problem.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Over the years I have had these Chicago
numbers: RAVenswood-8-7425 (which also spells 'Patrick') and HYDe Park
3-3714 and SHEldrake-0001. All, a long, long time ago. PAT]

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