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Subject: Re: Phone numbers
From: Joel Neely <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:TYPO-L Discussion of Type and Typographic Design <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 7 Mar 1996 08:46:47 -0600

text/plain (35 lines)

>What about 10-digit US/Canada phone numbers? I've always wondered if there
>was any functional differentiation between:
>(999) 999.9999
>and 999.999.9999
>What do you think? And, what are the other alternatives that people have
I see hyphens used MUCH more commonly than periods, with either of the options
for handling area code.
I agree with your observation re the implicit "optional" connotation of
the parens, but suspect that most people who are sophisticated enough to
get the hint probably already know when they need to add the area code.
In small type sizes (or for some people who wear glasses, as I do) the full
height of the parens can interfere with easy scanning.  Also, in some faces,
a ")" isn't that distinct from a "1".
Therefore, I'd conclude that the parens and space just consume real estate
without adding value.
The only reason for punctuation at all is for visual parsing, since the digits
are the only part one actually uses dialing/keying a phone number.
For the above reasons, I prefer
Just my personal preference....
-jn- (my own opinions; don't blame anybody else, including my employer)

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