Re: Use of Periods in Phone Numbers?

Subject: Re: Use of Periods in Phone Numbers?
From: Iain Harrison <iharrison -at- SCT -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 09:24:05 GMT

Nancy Kaminski writes:
I've gotten involved in a disagreement about the style in which phone
numbers in a newsletter are to be written. The senior editor has
instructed that all phone numbers are to be written "111.111.1111". I
would prefer to see the more conventional style, "111-111-1111".

My reasoning is that when you see a number with hyphens, you are
more likely to think "phone number," whereas when you see one with
periods, you could think "email address," "European number," or
something else. It also seems rather trendy, something you'd see on a
letterhead, but not in text--in other words, a design element.


Here in the UK, phone numbers are generally written in the form:

01234 567890 for most numbers
0161 345 6789 for places where phone numbers are 7 digits.

The 0 is the long-distance access code, but it seems to be a convention that it
is always written before the 3 digit area code. This confuses international
callers, of course.

In France, numbers seem to be written in the style:

but I don't know exactly how many digits there are, or what they refer to.

A number with hyphens looks to me as if it is a US phone number, and one with
full stops (which you call periods) looks like a section number!

In short, I think that it very much depends on where the reader is. If I were
writing for the US market, I'd use hyphens, but what do I know?


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