Telephone Area Codes are Not Optional

Except for two areas in the United States, telephone calls require 10-digit dialing (and sometimes eleven—a 1 must be used as the first digit). And in areas that allow seven-digit dialing, it only works if the number you are calling from is in the same area code.




Then why do I see this?
1-(800) 555-1212

Don’t parentheses imply that the area code is optional.

I see this format on Websites, business cards, stationery, signs, awnings, posters and the like. Even worse, when I travel to states other than New York, I see road signs with phone numbers that are only seven digits long. Try calling one of those from your cell phone.

Many of my customers insist that I use parentheses on their business cards and stationery.

Why don’t they get it?


Do they still have rotary phones as well?


About stanleygraphics

I am a veteran graphic designer who started at the time when cut and paste meant an X-acto knife and rubber cement. I use my experience to educate others. I have an intolerance for ignorance and stupidity.
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