>Markus Kuhn wrote on 1999-05029 at 21:15 UTC:
>>"G. Adam Stanislav" wrote on 1999-05-29 19:19 UTC:
>> And what would be my company number in this notation? It is (715)
>> 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?
> Your company would write
> +1 715 362-9586
> The purpose of the + is to remind you to enter at this point the
> escape sequence that lifts you onto the international level.
Not quite. Modern American business usage also gets rid of the
dashes by using
only spaces. Parentheses and dashes are only uses in the US national
without the "1" prefix, (715) 362-9586.
We are moving towards two international forms in US business usage:
+1 715 362 9586 European
The critical point is the "+". There are different escape sequences
used by different
country's telephone systems. Yes, it would be nice if they were
the "+" at least tells what follows is the true telephone number.
The history of the use of "1" in the US is interesting. When dial
standard in the 1950's, along with area codes, there were a lot of
people accidentally dialing the wrong number, or children playing
with the dial, and
connecting to phones far away. At the same time, the telephone
planning for international direct dialing, and country codes were
The "dial 1 for long distance" was an oh-so-clever marketing
campaign put on
to let us know that dialing 1 was a safety device to prevent
on long distance numbers, since any other sequence longer than 7
starting with a number other than "1" was invalid. And, it generally
It wasn't until I started traveling to Europe around 1980 that I
realized that the
"1" was really the North American (US, Canada, Mexico and
And when I dialed "1" as a prefix to a USphone number I was really
North America in an international phone number with a default null
Apparent, somebody back in the 50's thought we beer-swilling,
gun-toting 100% Americans weren't ready for the concept of direct
dialing. The idea that your 4-year old might be ABLE to
accidentially dial Hong Kong
would have produced a huge outcry. But selling "dial 1 for long
distance" as a SAFETY
feature would be accepted, given an already perceived problem of
To this day most Americans do not know that "1" is the North
American country code
(Most have never been out of North America). Only when Canada,
Mexico and the
Carribean countries acquire THEIR OWN country codes will it finally
hit home here.
That day is coming soon, as the use of cell phones and telephone
proliferate. (My wife and I have 8 telephone numbers between work,
home and cars,
and we aren't all that unusual..)
On the flip side, most Americans find Europeans phone numbers
First, variable numbers of digits. I remember well the day that
Switzerland added a
digit to their phone numbers, and it took us 3 days to get FAX
reestablished. Second, the famous "0" before the city code, but only
if you in the
same country, but not on alternate Tuesdays when the moon is full...
So: I train my people that the "0" is just an escape sequence for
national dialling within
the country you are calling from.
PLEASE, Europeans, don't write +49 056 1234 for your phone number.
That is embedding
an escape sequence "0" within your real phone number +49 56 1234.
Even +49 (0)56 1234
is better, at least it reminds people that there is something
special about the zero.
Also: Keep in mind that "http://" is also an escape sequence. My web
not "http://www.zebra.com" it is "www.zebra.com" People in the US
are also finally
beginning to realize that and starting to write their Web addresses
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