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dtwclipper
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Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Mon Oct 18, 2004 5:20 am

When I was growing up we lived in:

LIncoln 6 and MAyfair 5.

Most of the younger members have no idea what I am talking about, but I loved the old way.

And if your in S.E. Michigan you will never forget TYler-87100.

Do you all remember your old exchanges?
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luv2fly
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Mon Oct 18, 2004 5:37 am

Dtwclipper

I remember some of the old commercials where they gave the phone number with the exchange and all.
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IHadAPheo
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Mon Oct 18, 2004 6:09 am

Ah yes I remember it well TRIAngle .......

The good old days


IHAP

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electraBob
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Mon Oct 18, 2004 6:52 am

Mine used to be LOgan 3---- No area codes, not even the original here in the Detroit area, 313....now we have 313, 248, 810, 734 (I think there is even another one now).

Funny, I can still remember American Airlines Detroit res #...WOodward 5-1000.
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ScarletHarlot
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Mon Oct 18, 2004 12:03 pm

We got Detroit TV in Thunder Bay and I will never forget the tagline for this jewelry store commercial:

"Call Diamond, D-I-A-M-O-N-D"

Anybody else remember that?

I think my exchange in Thunder Bay was DIamond-5. I remember that being on an old clunker phone in my elementary school's nurse's office.
But that was when I ruled the world
 
sccutler
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Mon Oct 18, 2004 2:43 pm

Yep.

As a kid, we were in the "ADams" exchange, then they changed our entire neighborhood's phone numbers into the "DIamond" exchange.

===

Funny phone trivia: Know why the touch-tone keypad is "upside down" when compared to an adding machine's keypad?

When the first touch-tone exchanges were being rolled out in the 60's, Ma Bell's systems converted the tone to pulse, and the hardware could not keep up with the speed with which ten-key-trained users could key the numbers. So, the keypad was changed (putting the 1-3 at the top instead of the bottom), thus avoiding the problem for the most part.

Anyone remember the earliest touch-tone phones, with only ten keys (no # or *)?
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
USAFHummer
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Mon Oct 18, 2004 4:33 pm

Could someone explain this topic for the youngins amongst a.netters? I have no idea what this is about, but Im very curious!

Thanks,
Greg
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dtwclipper
Topic Author
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Mon Oct 18, 2004 9:46 pm

USAFHummer:

I found this for you::

Telephone numbers used to begin with two letters, which were an abbreviation for a word. For example, there was a Glenn Miller song called PEnnsylvania 6-5000, and Liz Taylor made a movie called BUtterfield-8. I'm just barely old enough to remember that my phone number at home when I was 5 or so started with SYcamore 4, or SY4. These were telephone exchanges, and had exchange names -- PEnnsylvania, SYcamore, KLondike, etc.

http://ourwebhome.com/TENP/TENproject.html
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PHLBOS
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Mon Oct 18, 2004 10:38 pm

Although it was somewhat before my time, in my hometown of Marblehead, MA; the telephone exchange used to be known as NEptune 1 (a.k.a. NE-1). The nearby city of Lynn had LYnn 5, LYnn 8, and LYnn 9 exchanges.

When I moved to southeastern PA back in 1990, there were still businesses that listed the 2-letter style phone numbers on their signs, billboards, even newer vehicles (80s vintage). Someone in their 50s literally announced their phone number exchange as LU-6 rather than 586 to me several years ago. I had to politely tell them that would would be wise just to use the numbers.

Side note: The Simpsons still list their exchange as KLondike 5 as opposed to 555.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
5T6
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Mon Oct 18, 2004 11:17 pm

And if your in S.E. Michigan you will never forget TYler-87100.

Wow! That brings back memories! Wasn't that Belividere Construction - or something like that? I remember the guy with the horrible comb-over!!

Thanks for the memories, Clipper!!

Oh, and I grew up in Livonia. First phone number was GArfield 1-4755.

And I ALWAYS will remember the Twin Pines Dairy number from the Milky The Clown shows. TEXAS 411- OH OH

Mike
I see my Cats as Companions. My Cats see Me as Furniture!
 
prosa
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Mon Oct 18, 2004 11:28 pm

While the use of these "word" exchanges has largely disappeared, well except for KLondike5 on The Simpsons, it's now common for entire telephone numbers to be expressed as words - for example 1-800-PICK-UPS or 1-800-GO-FEDEX.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
andersjt
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Mon Oct 18, 2004 11:35 pm

In the town I grew up in, there were only 2 exchanges, EMpire 2-XXXX, and EVerest 2-XXXX. The 382 (EVerest-2) exchange was the newer one, and if you were calling a number in that exchange, you had to dial all 7 digits; however, as the 362 (EMpire-2) exchange was the original, and until I was in high school, we had to dial only 5 digits to call any number in that exchange. They've added quite a few new prefixes in my old hometown, but Wyoming still remains one of the few states left with one area code.

This post is timely, I was driving to my gym in Hollywood last week, and noticed a sign for a liquor store on Santa Monica Boulevard that still has their phone number posted as HOllywood 2-XXXX.
Oh how I long for the day when the skies were truly Friendly!
 
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JeffM
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Tue Oct 19, 2004 12:05 am

"Could someone explain this topic for the youngins amongst a.netters? I have no idea what this is about, but Im very curious!"

Greg, originally when making a call, after picking up the handset, an operator came on the line. You needed to tell him/her the exchange (big switchboard with all of the numbers on it) of the person or business you were calling. Phone companies did not think you would remember an entire 4 digit number. Four digit codes allowed 9,999 possible telephone numbers. Plenty for a small town but hardly enough for a big city. So, for every block of 9,999 telephone numbers you assign a two or three digit code ahead of it, to designate the telephone switch (switchboard), just as the four digit code identifies the caller. You would call the two and then three digit code the prefix or exchange number.

Look at the letters associated with each number on your phone. If my number was 1017 in one part of town my prefix might be 673, hence 673-1017. Another customer having the same number in another part of town would get another prefix number, say, 481, for 481-1017. You could then substitue a word for the first two digits of my 673 exchange with any easily recognized word beginning with MNO and PRS, the letters associated with 6 + 7.

These two letter abbreviations described the area the switch building or central office was located in. Like ELm for an Elm street locale or FRanklin for an exchange on Franklin street. But this method didn't last long as the few central office codes ran out.

It wasn't until the mid 80's that all of the North American telephone network converted to all number dialing. Stange huh?


 
SlamClick
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Tue Oct 19, 2004 12:18 am

The first phone number I remember was the name of our town plus "9" and our ring was two longs and a short. There was a wooden box with a crank, on the wall and to make a call you picked up the handset and cranked it to signal the operator in a town a few miles down the coast and asked for "long distance." This was long after the more civilized parts of the US had rotary dial phones. Those did not come to town until I was in high school.

Nevada also had private phone companies in the "cow towns" until the 1970s or so.

"KLondike 5" on The Simpsons is the only word that can use the 555- fictitious phone number that has been used in movies and television since the mid-80s or so.

I had an aunt who was a phone operator in San Francisco about fifty years ago. There were two people listed in one of the exchanges (TEmplebar?) with the last name "Tiddie" She loved to get the reactions of people when she would ask sweetly: "Which Tiddie would you like?"

Slam
"in New York, that's MUrray Hill 9 . . ."
Click





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desertjets
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Tue Oct 19, 2004 12:29 am

A wooden wall phone with a crank, like the ones from the old Lassie TV shows????? Though I figure when I have kids they will be surprised when I tell them about phones that had cords.


Now my grandparents had pulse service in their house, this was in Chicago, up until my grandfather passed away in 1991. Bear in mind that they did not have any rotary phones... they had touch tone phones in the house, but they were still able to get pulse service. After my grandfather passed, my uncle upgraded the phones and phone service in the house to touch tone.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
RNOcommctr
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Tue Oct 19, 2004 5:48 am

When I was a kid in the 50´s, our phone number was GArden4-9628. Across the street, my buddy Larry had POplar2-xxxx.

When I went to college in Chicago, I had the actual BUtterfield 8 exchange for which the movie mentioned above was named.

But how many of you remember "party lines"? You didn't even have your own private line! You would share your line with one or more other households. In other words, sometimes you'd pick up the phone to make a call and you'd hear one of your neighbor's phone conversations. I think that's why the gossip was always so juicy in my neighborhood. I suppose you could opt for a private line, but I'm sure it cost more.
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dtwclipper
Topic Author
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Tue Oct 19, 2004 5:50 am

RNOcommctr:

My only knowledge of that comes from Rock Hudson and Doris Day.

dtwclipper
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clrd2go
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Tue Oct 19, 2004 5:56 am


I grew up in a little town south of San Francisco..we got the phone number
in the early 50's with the exchange Ly (for Lytel) 5..my (step) mother still
has the same phone number, though the area code has changed.

One SF exchange that I recall was TW (for TwinOaks)..radio announcers
would say "Twinkeltoes 9-1234"


Jim
What a long strange trip it's been
 
N312RC
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Tue Oct 19, 2004 5:56 am

Being the history buff that I am, I actually researched this topic and yes, I do know Mr. Belvedere.

I am also pretty sure that Detroit was the first city in the country to assign telephone numbers.

I used to remember what my parents exchanges were but I forgot.. My father's was something like WE-44084 or KE or something like that.
 
ScarletHarlot
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Tue Oct 19, 2004 7:53 am

My mom had an old rotary dial pulse phone, and a pulse line, until she left Thunder Bay in 1996. Strangely enough, Thunder Bay still has its own telephone company. All local service is through Thunder Bay Telephone.

I remember my uncle in rural Southern Ontario was on a party line. I just vaguely remember it, so it must have been the early 80s.

I also remember my mom letting me call one of my aunts. I must have been like six or so. I remember the operator coming on and saying "number please?" and not knowing what to do. My mom snatched the phone from me and told the operator *our* number...I guess that was for billing purposes. Again, this would have been in the early 80s.

When I lived in residence at university in 1990, we had a party line with the room across the hall. We had different phone numbers, and only one phone would ring, but if they were on their phone they tied up our line too.
But that was when I ruled the world
 
mdsh00
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Tue Oct 19, 2004 8:08 am

Since I was born in 1982 and grew up in a Chicago suburb, I don't have any recollection of a non-numerical system. This is very interesting stuff!


DesertJets,

I wonder what my future kids' (much in the future) reaction would be when I show them the old XT computer sitting in my garage...bought back when its 40MB hard drive was considered excessive!




[Edited 2004-10-19 01:09:11]
 
DC10GUY
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Tue Oct 19, 2004 8:15 am

Hey DTW Clipper, I remember that jingle ... TYler 87-100 for your home inprovement needs .... Belvedeer constuction. In Romulus we where WHitney 1. I can still remember that. and the last 4 numbers where issued in order theywhere given out . 0001 0002 etc. etc. My grandpanents where WHitney 1-0754 the 754'th number for that exchange.
Next time try the old "dirty Sanchez" She'll love it !!!
 
Sabena332
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Tue Oct 19, 2004 8:25 am

I have always wondered what this "KLondike 5" at the Simpsons means, now I know it Big grin. Special thanks to JeffM and SlamClick for the detailed explanation about the whole system  Smile.

But the alphanumeric system is still present in the USA and it is great (it is becoming more and more popular in Germany too), when I was in New York in 2002, I called 1-800-AIRWAYS to reach the British Airways customer service in the USA, 1-800-AIRWAYS is much easier to keep in mind than 1-800-2479297  Big thumbs up.

I also noticed that you have to dial a "1" prefix in the USA when you want call someone outside your area code, in most countries of the world you have to dial a "0" instead of the "1".

Patrick

Edit: Typo

[Edited 2004-10-19 01:27:03]
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
ScarletHarlot
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Tue Oct 19, 2004 8:30 am

Dang...I was six in the late 70s...not the early 80s. So my memories are from the late 70s.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
But that was when I ruled the world
 
mdsh00
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Tue Oct 19, 2004 8:34 am

I also noticed that you have to dial a "1" prefix in the USA when you want call someone outside your area code, in most countries of the world you have to dial a "0" instead of the "1".

Sabena,

Thats also something interesting I noticed, since overseas you dial 1 or 01 as the country code for the US, which is basically the same thing you press when you are in the US and calling out of your area code. Is it the same in Germany?
 
Sabena332
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RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

Tue Oct 19, 2004 8:57 am

Mdsh00,

when I am calling the USA from Germany I have to dial 001-212-1234:

  • 00 is the prefix when I want to call an area without Germany

  • 1 is the prefix for calls to the USA (49 is the prefix for Germany)

  • 212 was an example of the Los Angeles area  Big grin

  • 1234 was just an example

    when I am calling outside my area code (within Germany) I have to dial 0234-123456:

  • 0 is the prefix when I want to dial another area code

  • 234 is the prefix for Bochum (the city next to mine)

  • 123456 was just an example


  • I also noticed a few more differences:

    US phone numbers are always 123-1234 (always a three digit area code and a four digit phone number, no matter how big the city is. Here in Germany the area code has less numbers as bigger the City is but the individual phone number has more digits, for example:

    A guy in Berlin has the number: 030/1234567
    In my hometown ist is 02324/12345

    Also interesting is that cities next to each other, here in Germany, have similar prefixes, my hometown is 02324 and the next bigger town has 0234. In the USA it is completely different, I remember that LA has a 212, a 310 and even another prefix in the 800ish. In the USA you can not judge from the prefix where the area is you are calling to.

    Patrick
    NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
     
    Sabena332
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    RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

    Tue Oct 19, 2004 9:09 am

    Sorry, I forgot to mention:

    When you want to call me from the USA you have to dial 011-49-2324-12345 (my local area code must be dialled without the "0" when you are calling me from abroad, but you always have to use the "0" before the area code when you want to reach me within Germany.

    Patrick

    [Edited 2004-10-19 02:10:47]
    NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
     
    mdsh00
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    RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

    Tue Oct 19, 2004 9:13 am

    Thanks for the info Sabena!

    US phone numbers are always 123-1234 (always a three digit area code and a four digit phone number, no matter how big the city is.

    Not exactly. I think you have the names mixed up  Smile. The phone number itself is 7 digits. in the 7 digit format (within area code), the first three numbers are a prefix given to a certain area within the area code. This doesn't mean that all your neighbors will have the same prefix as you will, but it does define an area. Where I live, you will mostly see the 279 prefix in the Western part of the city. This is why most numbers in the US are written with the dash. These prefixes are useful for the phone company to determine whether calls you make in your area code are considered long distance.

    in the 10 digit format, the area code preceeds the 7 digit numbers. It used to be in the past that they covered large swaths of land and only had a 1 or 0 in the middle (212 for NY, 312 for Chicago, 213 for LA) but now the original codes are left to a small area in urban centers. When I moved to Southern California, the area code of my home changed from 714 to 909, and now 951 just this summer.

    [Edited 2004-10-19 02:14:54]
     
    Sabena332
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    RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

    Tue Oct 19, 2004 9:18 am

    Ahhhh....that makes sense, thank you very much for the explanation! I always wondered about the American telephone system and coincidentally I got a lot of competent answers tonight, thanks a lot for that  Big thumbs up.

    Patrick
    NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
     
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    JeffM
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    RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

    Wed Oct 20, 2004 2:35 pm

    "I am also pretty sure that Detroit was the first city in the country to assign telephone numbers."

    Actually, it was Wichita Falls, TX in 1958 that was the first city in the U.S. to use all numbers.
     
    USAFHummer
    Posts: 10261
    Joined: Thu May 18, 2000 12:22 pm

    RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

    Wed Oct 20, 2004 3:06 pm

    Fascinating, never knew this existed...definitely have to ask my folks about it, see if they remember theirs as kids...

    Greg
    Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
     
    N801NW
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    RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

    Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:56 pm

    In the US another controversy has been about applying new areas codes. If your AC has run out of numbers there are two options. Overlay or geographic split. Under overlay you existing phone number does not change but a new line would have a completely different area code. e.x. 212/646. All calls must be dialed in ten digits. With a split everyone in a certain location has a new prefix. e.x. 617/508 The Simpsons has an episode where Homer starts a revolt when his side of the city is given the less desirable new area code.

    Didn't London have a new numbering scheme a couple of years ago?
     
    MHTMDW
    Posts: 138
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    RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

    Fri Oct 22, 2004 12:14 am

    All Chicagoans of a certain age will remember the heavily advertised phone numbers of HUdson3-2700. or NAtional2 9000. Anyone else know who the were for?
     
    UN_B732
    Posts: 3532
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    RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

    Fri Oct 22, 2004 2:27 am

    Let's see.
    I have way too many old exchanges.

    First old:
    Ukraine +38-044-2xx (I don't remember the last two as we now have a new exchange in Kiev)
    I'm a big cell phone geek, so cell company changes are reflected.
    Ukraine Cell + 38-050-537
    USA Cell + 1-802-825
    USA Cell + 1-802-310
    USA Cell + 1-802-249
    Russia Cell + 7-926-xxx-xxxx

    We have them all now.
    -Mr. X
    What now?
     
    PHLBOS
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    RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

    Fri Oct 22, 2004 11:36 pm

    FYI,

    Imperial Pizza in Secane, PA still has their phone number exchanges listed on their signs and pizza boxes as KI-3 (as opposed to the more familiar 543).
    "TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
     
    prosa
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    RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

    Sat Oct 23, 2004 12:10 am

    In the US another controversy has been about applying new areas codes. If your AC has run out of numbers there are two options. Overlay or geographic split. Under overlay you existing phone number does not change but a new line would have a completely different area code. e.x. 212/646. All calls must be dialed in ten digits. With a split everyone in a certain location has a new prefix. e.x. 617/508 The Simpsons has an episode where Homer starts a revolt when his side of the city is given the less desirable new area code.

    Some years back, when cell phones came into use, New York City was given the 917 area code just for cell phone numbers. All landline telephones had other area codes such as 212.
    A year or two ago, the agency that allocates area codes began giving 917 to some landline phones. This has not gone over well with some small businesses such as contractors; many people still think of 917 as only for cell phones, and a businesses with cell phones (or what are thought to be cell phones) as their main numbers often have a fly-by-night reputation.
    "Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
     
    andz
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    RE: Your Old Telephone Exchange.

    Sun Oct 24, 2004 2:32 pm

    The practice of using letters instead of numbers for business phones is only starting here, it's pretty easy to use especially if you are a cell phone sms fundi.

    The movie 555 prefix actually exists here, my company's Cape Town branch office number starts 555-
    After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...

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