I miss telephone exchange names: UNiversity, BUtterfield, KLondike, WOodward, YUkon. They made telephone numbers so easy to remember. My best friend’s number was LIncoln 6-4822, which I recall effortlessly today, 48 years after he moved out. Those numbers had music to them. Giving someone your phone number was like reciting poetry. Now it’s all a mash of area codes and numbers, which you don’t have to remember anyway, because you just hit speed dial or find them in your contact list. It’s all commerce and no poetry.
UNiversity, BUtterfield, KLondike, WOodward, YUkon—those old phone numbers were so easy to remember.
John Unger Zussman is a creative and corporate storyteller and a co-founder of Retrospect.