Zero and One

In the US when you dial a number from a land line, you start with a “1” if you wish to call a number that is outside the local area. In the UK, a “0” is used to indicate that it is not a local number that you are dialing. Where the two countries really differ, as the choice of number is arbitrary, is how they write those numbers. In the UK, you would always include the zero; numbers are always written as 01753 646156 and never 1753 646156. Here in the US, the one is optional; a number can be written as either 1 626 555 4249 or 626 555 4249. The latter is, in fact, the more common representation; which confused me when I first tried to call an outside line. US mobile phones hide this ambiguity, as the 1 is optional when dialing from a cell.

Published in: on 8 January, 2015 at 20:01  Leave a Comment  

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