Re: Internationalization--Standard Conventions

From: John Cowan (
Date: Sun May 30 1999 - 12:58:21 EDT

G. Adam Stanislav scripsit:

> And what would be my company number in this notation? It is (715) 362-9586, but
> that carries an assumption that the country code is 1. The are acode within the
> country code 1 is 715. How would I write it internationally?

You write +1 715 362 9586. This has the advantage that non-US callers
will know that "1" is the country code for the North American Numbering
Plan (i.e. U.S., Canada, and various Caribbean countries), and US callers
will think the "1" represents the long-distance access code.

> Funny thing happened many years later when I was trying to help a Romanian
> physicist to apply for a Pennsylvania driver's licence. The application
> was asking for his height in feet and inches. He knew it in centimeters.
> I knew there were 30.5 centimeters to a foot, so we could calculate the
> feet. As for the inches, I knew there were either 12 or 16 inches to a foot,

Twelve. It's 16 ounces to a pound.

> but was not sure which it was (I am still not sure). So I asked the 20 or
> so people in the waiting room how many inches were in a foot. Nobody knew...

They knew, unless they were all non-natives. They probably couldn't
figure out why you were asking such a question (about like "Who's
the President?" or "Is water wet?").

> [U.S. folks] simply have no
> REASON to learn a different system, even if that system is simpler to use.


John Cowan
		e'osai ko sarji la lojban.

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