I thought the problem was that small telcos did not want to go to 8-digit local 
numbers, which the common telco equipment of the time did not support.

Charles


-----Original Message-----
From: IBM Mainframe Discussion List [mailto:IBM-MAIN@LISTSERV.UA.EDU] On Behalf 
Of Paul Gilmartin
Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2018 11:13 AM
To: IBM-MAIN@LISTSERV.UA.EDU
Subject: Re: Theology (was: Many arguments to a Rexx function call)

On Wed, 11 Apr 2018 10:31:43 -0400, Phil Smith III wrote:
>
>And ISTR was one of the reasons for seven-digit phone numbers. Either 
>that or it was a happy accident, but I know I've read at least someone 
>claiming it was chosen because "seven is magic". How many of us 
>remember shorter numbers? I remember four-digit dialing when I was a 
>kid; my brother-in-law has that beat: his home phone number when he was little 
>was.4. Small town.
> 
And I must dial (press?) 10 digits for even a local call.  Politics.  Merchants 
did not want to cede to their competitors the advantage of a more conveniently 
entered code.

I recall two letters and five digits, and earlier two letters (the first two of 
a word) and four digits.  An abbreviated word may be easier to remember than 
two arbitrary digits.  But Telco gave up when they exhausted pronouncable 
digraphs.

There's a similar scramble for memorable domain names (marginally NSFW):
    
http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/dillon-edwards-investments/n11241

-- gil

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