In message <***@news3.newsguy.com> RH Draney <***@cox.net> wrote:
> On 7/8/2018 4:50 PM, Tony Cooper wrote:
>> On Sun, 8 Jul 2018 23:11:16 +0100, Paul Wolff
>> <***@thiswontwork.wolff.co.uk> wrote:
>>> On Sun, 8 Jul 2018, Ken Blake <***@invalid.news.com> posted:
>>>> I live in Tucson, where the area code is 520. Probably the great
>>>> majority of Tucsonans say "five-two-oh," but I don't.
>>> I could be wrong (as if!) but hereabouts road numbers with four digits
>>> (that's excluding the initial letter, M, A or B) are said digit by
>>> digit, with "oh" for zero. So the A4074 is "A (voiced) four oh seven
>>> four". With one or two digits, the number is given as a normal number -
>>> the A34 is the "A (voiced) thirty-four". With three digit numbers, I
>>> haven't yet determined a speech pattern (the A four-twenty, the A three
>>> four three, etc).
>>> My phone, the one with a built-in computer complete with web browser,
>>> lets me get driving directions from a voce supplied by Google. It's
>>> inclined to state road numbers by full number where I'd expect a
>>> breakdown - so, in the above three-digit examples, "A four hundred and
>>> twenty" and "A three hundred and forty three".
>>> But I haven't got lab notebooks to prove it. So far, it's an impression
>>> only. Am I alone in this thought? If it's true, maybe it reflects AmE
>> There is an East/West tollway in this area that is SR 408. ("SR"
>> means "state road") The radio traffic reports inform about conditions
>> on "the four oh eight".
> The usual US practice is to break numbers into pairs of digits and state
> each pair as if it were a separate number...if an odd number of digits,
> the first stands alone and the remainder are paired...thus, 123 is
> "one-twenty-three", never "twelve-three" and only under special
> circumstances "one-two-three"
Never "twelve-three" is correct, but as for pairing the digits? No, I
don't agree. There is no universal pattern and in my experience
"one twenty-three" is about as common as "one two three".
The exception is when you have a highway that is 2 digits and then an
auxiliary highway that adds a prefix digit. The Eighty in California has
the eight-eighty, for example. or I-70 in Colordao has "two seventy" as
If the middle digit is a zero, then three numbers are always said and
the middle on is nearly always "oh" (The four oh five, the one oh one,
I always pair 4 digit numbers in addresses (ten twenty one for 1021, for
example), but I hear plenty of people who say "one oh two one" or
sometimes even "one oh twenty-one"
> ...(911 would be one of those special cases: before "nine-eleven"
> became a reference to the terrorist attacks on the WTC, the emergency
> telephone number was stated this way, but now it's always
Not in my experience, no, it has been "nine one one" since I first
encountered it in 1975.
> I find Ken Blake's assertion that the Tucson area code of 520 is
> pronounced "five-two-oh", because up here in Phoenix we'd be more likely
> to say "five-twenty"...certainly my own area code of 480 is always
Seven two oh is more common that seven twenty here, but most people
simply write a number as 3/555-1212 or 7/555-1212 to distinguish the
two overlay area codes. However, when I lived in California the area
code was five one oh, and I never heard anyone say five ten and the
area code for Santa Jose/Santa Cruz was universally four oh eight.