Friday, August 26, 2005

let's return to the classics

During the '80s and '90s we all added phone numbers. In addition to our home numbers, we got a direct dial number at work, a fax number, a cell number and maybe a pager. Some of us got a second phone line at home for our modems. By 1999, I had two lines at home, a cell phone and direct voice and fax lines at work. There were five different phone numbers just to reach me. No wonder the phone companies complained about running out of numbers. They took the area codes we used to know and split them into fragments. The (626) was carved out of the (818). (540) was broken off from (703). (631) was amputated from (516). And then came those annoying area code overlays. This happened all over the country. You could no longer recognize an area code by the 1 or 0 in the middle. Phone numbers themselves can now start with three digit combinations that used to be reserved for area codes.

Technology columnist Kevin Maney writes this week that a melding of Wi-Fi and cell phones is coming. We will have a combination home phone and cell phone that only uses one number. Companies could issue phones to employees that are combination office phones and cell phones using only one number.

If each person will have fewer phone numbers, maybe we can start a campaign to get rid the lame newer area codes and go back to the classics. Remember when (212) meant New York City; (213) meant Los Angeles; (214) meant Dallas and so on? Now you need a chart to tell where you are calling. I don't remember them now but I can't be the only person who used to know the U.S. area codes by heart. Maybe it was a precursor of my invitation to join D.O.R.K.
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