In the 1920s, phone numbers that spelled a word were clever. “Hi Gladys. Ring me up KL5-GAMS – I need to hire a flapper, a floor-flusher, not a heeler but a real Oliver Twist for the big hop on Saturday.” In those days, there were party lines and operator-assisted dialing and very few phone numbers and exchanges.
With the advent of toll-free numbers (virtually meaningless in a cellular world of whenever-wherever-whatever-minute-loaded plans), companies needed their 800 numbers to be memorable, so they turned to acronyms (words).
“For the best in indifferent customer service, call us at 1-800-ANYWHO.”
But, here’s my problem. I’m in texting mode these days. When I dial 1-800-ANYWHO, it looks like this:
Because I’m dialing 1-800 then spelling ANYWHO like a text.
A is 2, N is 66, Y is 999, W is 9, H is 44 and O is 666 (yikes!)
Of course, it only takes 10-digits to dial someone in the states, so HO (44666) is completely ignored and I land in a completely different indifferent customer service phone-tree hell. But there are enough blogs about that topic.
So let’s stick with phone numbers and leave the acronyms for the corporate geniuses who need to have a nickname for their projects, just like their little buddies.