Sunday, 30 September 2007

It's all a numbers game these days

Have you noticed that we seem to be dominated by numbers in this day and age? This was brought home to me today by the announcement by the BBC of the fortieth birthday of Radio1, 2, 3 and 4. If you are of a certain age you will recall that the radio services, or wireless using the vocabulary of the time, consisted of 'The Light Programme', 'The Third Programme' and 'The Home Service' corresponding to today's 2, 3 and 4. Radio 1 came about as a response to pirate radio that dispensed the pop music of the day.

It's the same with telephone numbers - the actual name of an exchange is somewhat superfluous. But in the old days when having to go through the operator a place name was conspicuous by its presence and its fascinating to recall the old single digit and two digit phone numbers in your old town. For instance my grandparents phone number was Salcombe 44; I can remember the weight of those chunky old phones as well, always in black of course. Staying with the nostalgic theme I remember the first car I had been driven in, owned by grandfather it was a Ford 8 registration number CDV 55. If only I could recall the events of a month ago with equal clarity!

I think it's the anonymity that numbers bring which is slightly depressing. I'm sure that I would hate to live on '42nd street' for instance as I might have to do if living in the USA I suppose. Let's hope we never get totally submerged by numbers, it would take away individuality.

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