How I Say Numbers (And Why It’s Better)

A number of people I know have told me that they find the way I give them phone numbers or reference numbers is a bit weird.

I’ll explain, take the following number for example: 75468916

Most people would say it this way for example: Seventy five, four hundred sixty eight, nine hundred and sixteen; or some variance of that, grouping each two or three numbers together.

When it comes to me, it’s: Seven, five, four, six, eight, nine, one, six.

Because of the many times I’ve had people comment on my way of saying numbers, I’m posting to prove that my way is better, more efficient and even easier. I’ll be using some basic computer science concepts in here, drawing parallels to how I think our human brain would stock and retrieve this information.

Well, first of all, I understand that people group numbers because it makes it easier for them to remember these numbers. But when you come to think of it, it’s not a really wise use of memory space, because the grouped version is only a pointer towards the simple version which is a series of numbers. So what you end up with is the person’s name being a pointer to the grouped version which is a pointer to the simple version; that’s a waste of memory space.

Another issue is that everytime you want to read a number like that or try to recall it from memory in that way there’s some wasted processing time trying to find the best way to group the numbers; some people are faster than others but no matter how unnoticed it goes, there is a little lag, as you put some brain processing cycles to work on something useless.
The same goes for the receiving end when hearing a number, you’re forcing their brain to process the number to break it into the simple version, so you’re not only wasting your brain processing cycles but other people’s too.

Imagine when you’re saying the number in another language like French for example, where a number like 78 is actually said as follows: Sixty, Ten, Eight. That wastes even more time in processing and storing.

I believe that if in the end the number is going to be stored in its simple version and then retrieved for use in its simple version, then you should just stock it (remember it) and transfer it (say it, pass it) in its simple version.

It takes a bit of getting used to to optimize your brain to stock the information that way and index it well, but I find it to be a lot faster, more efficient and simpler.

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