Re3: Use Cases, requirements, etc. posted

Date: Thu Feb 08 2001 - 22:40:50 PST

In a message dated 2/8/01 8:57:14 PM, writes:

>On further poking around, I'm concluding that if one has an established
>alphanumeric naming convention for a given DKR (like the OAD) -- AND an
>intelligent mix of letters with the numbers, including the judicious use
>of upper and lower case letters -- users will be able to remember hundreds
>of nodes in their own DKRs.

Actually, this was the way our phone nomenclature system was originally
systematized, after much research in memory at Bell Labs (remember The Bell
Telephone Company). They found that the optimum amount of easily remembered
numbers was around 7, and that this was with the 3/4 grouping. It was
increased to 10 with the 3 digit area code prefix, figuring that the area
code was seldom used anyway (at that time).

Also, most phone systems decades ago used a combination of letters and
numbers in subscriber identification (phone numbers). It was common to see
phone "exchanges" such as "Liberty 2" (LI 2) or Walnut 5 (WA 5). Instead of
all numbers, a phone number would be expressed as WA 5-3491.

This gave a sing-song, almost rhythm or lilt to the way a phone number was
said. Often, advertisers used this phenonomenon in jingles, which were also
very popular in years past. Phone numbers were sung along with the rest of
the lyric for client identification, and it lent itself very well to memory.
Businesses would pay extra for phone numbers that rhymed or otherwise went
well with this effect.

It has only been in the past 25 years or so that all-numeric phone numbers
have replaced the combination alpha-numeric system. Even then, it took many
years to phase in the "new" system. Now, in some parts of the country, it is
necessary to "dial" the area code as well as the 7 digit numeric sequence to
get your connection, making a total of 10 numbers "dialed".

As with the term "dial", much of our nomenclature is inherited from times
when the words actually meant something, as with the telephone dial,
something which has all but disappeared. Even now, most telephones have a
switch to select between tone and pulse "dialing", or switching.

And not to stray too far from the topic, the 7 digit standard was
incorporated into many intelligence tests. For example, in the WAIS, or
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, this was considered about "average" in the
Digit Span subtest, and given a statistical weighting of such.



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