How do you like to read a phone number?

Stroller stroller at
Tue Dec 30 22:40:27 CET 2008

On 29 Dec 2008, at 23:27, Neil Jerram wrote:

> 2008/12/29 Stroller <stroller at>:
>> Note, however, that I would most always use "0207" or "0208 xxx yyy"
> Need one more "y" there:

I thought that might be the case.

> "0207" or "0208 xxx yyyy".

Nevertheless, I would write or say it this way.

>> for London numbers - I personally would not use "020", or group the
>> "7" or "8" with the next set of digits. This is probably because I
>> remember when they changed London numbers from "01" to "020" and then
>> subsequently added the "7" & "8" depending upon whether the
>> destination was in inner- or outer-London respectively.
> But technically, I believe that "020" is the area code - in the sense
> that when you're using a landline in an 0208 place (i.e. outer
> London), you can call "7xxxyyyy" without dialling the area code, and
> vice versa.  For this reason I personally prefer writing "020 [78]xxx
> yyyy".

I figured that may be the case. I wonder how many people do write it  
this way, though?

I meant to add in my previous reply, that there are probably no hard &  
fast rules about how people here in the UK do _actually_ read out  

I was on the phone to an Indian call centre a while back and was very  
frustrated by the way the speaker read my number back to me - "they  
can't even speak English phone numbers correctly!" I fumed, but on  
reflection I realised that many native English speakers read their  
numbers differently to the way I do, too. It can make it quite  
difficult to recognise the same number, if it is presented differently.


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