Opinion: Numbers game

Commentary by Dick Wolfsie

There should be a law against having phone numbers that denote words instead of, well, numbers. Hello, it’s a phone number, not a phone word. There’s a national organization dedicated to educating people about a serious illness. Their phone number spells the name of the disease. That makes the number easy to remember, but impossible to dial on your cell phone if you are in the car and have to watch the road, balance your coffee and try to figure out where the PQRS button is.

While trying to dial this number, I almost ran into an 8733, which is “tree” in touch-pad language, in case you haven’t mastered this concept yet. I got so mad I probably said a number I shouldn’t say in mixed company: 3687. Before you go running to your phone to figure this out or call the newspaper to complain that I said some dirty digits, I picked four numbers at random that don’t spell anything, but maybe I better go back and re-check. I wouldn’t want any four-number words in a family newspaper.

Suppose I wanted to have a number like I AM DICK. Apparently, those same numbers for I AM DICK could spell a lot of other words or letter combinations. Maybe someone else has beaten me to the punch.

I went to www.phonespelling.com, where you can see what words your phone number might spell. That’s where I discovered that 426-3425 (I AM DICK) has almost 10,000 additional letter combinations.  Here are some they thought were unforgettable: GAN-E-IJC, BN-EH-AL or IC-MFG-BK.  See how much simpler it is to remember seven letters than seven numbers?

If you are from the planet GAMDIA-5, you’d have snapped this number up eons ago to make it easier for fellow aliens to remember how to reach you.

If you enjoyed this column, don’t forget it was written by 3425. But you and I don’t have to be so formal. You can call me 3.

On the other hand, if you feel this is a prime example of how I can write the dumbest stuff and still get paid, I think it is fair to say: You’ve got my number.