Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Why the ‘1’?

Since we upgraded to FIOS, we can no longer make 7-digit phone calls. We always have to specify the area code. (The phone companies have a reason for enforcing this new practice. But they would do much better to let us each specify, and change at will, whatever 3-digit prefix we wanted to use by default.)

At first, I felt that FIOS had dropped a drudgery on me. Why should I have to always type those extra three keys? But then I decided I was breaking even, or coming out ahead. True, I have to type ten digits instead of seven, but I also get to type ten digits instead of eleven! The ‘1’ before the area code is now totally unnecessary for me, and for many of you as well.

And then I started to feel superior: to all those web sites, ads, and print items that tell you to dial numbers like 1-800-555-5555 and so on. Every time I see them, I imagine myself sending an eText to their webmaster, publisher, etc., to say: Why the ‘1’? Get rid of the ‘1’, we don’t need it any more.
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