Skip to content

[wpaudio url=”https://www.btbpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Telephone-Numbers.mp3″ text=”Click to listen”]

In recent years, many people have pointed out that humans no longer need to remember as much as we did before. This is because we can find information easily and quickly whenever we need it.

One thing that has disappeared from our society is what British people used to call “pub arguments.” These were arguments about who was the star of a movie, what year a film was released, or anything else that two people might remember differently. Now, of course, we can find the answer to almost any question immediately simply by googling it on our phones.

Many people think that this development is dangerous, and that it will lead to us becoming “dumber” as we rely more and more on machines. In the future, they say, we will not be able to do anything at all for ourselves without using technology.

One example of this struck me the other day when I realised that I only actually know two telephone numbers by heart. They are my parents’ home number, and my own mobile number. (I don’t even know my own home number, because I never give it to anyone.) All the other numbers I need are stored in my phone, and I never actually see them because I just click the name of the person I want to talk to in my address book.

I was wondering whether this is just me, or whether other people are finding the same thing, so my question for you this week is:

How many telephone numbers do you know by heart?

I would also like to hear your opinions on the dangers of relying too much on technology.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts.

このブログは英語学習者のためのものです。レベルの高い人もいれば、初心者もいますので、自分のレベルや学習経験を気にする必要はありません。「いつもコメントを書いている人は仲間みたいだから参加しにくい」と思う方もいるかもしれませんが、勇気を出してコメントを書いてみてください。必ず温かく迎えてもらえます。多くのコメントは英語で書かれていますが、もちろん日本語もOKですし、英語と日本語を混ぜて書いても大丈夫です。言いたいことが言えないときは、How do you say 「〜」in English? と聞けば、きっとだれかが教えてくれると思います。私のエントリー、または他のメンバーのコメントの中に分からないところがあったら、「”…”はどういう意味ですか?」と遠慮なく聞いてください。このブログで使われているフレーズや表現をたくさん吸収すると、より自然な英語に近づけることができますよ!

コメントを投稿するときは、名前とメールアドレス、メールアドレス欄下に表示される4文字の英数字(CAPCHA code)を入れてください。 最初のコメントは承認後の公開になりますが、2回目からはそのまま投稿できます。

※メールアドレスは公開されません。

※CAPCHA codeは時間切れになることがあります。コード右上の矢印で更新してから入力してください。

※ブログの更新のお知らせはFacebookまたはTwitterで!Facebookでは「いいね!(Like)」ボタンを、Twitterでは「フォローする(Follow)」ボタンを押して下さい。

26 Comments

  1. Mika on Tuesday May 7th, 2013 at 03:08 PM

    Hi David and everyone!

    How were your long holidays?
    I hope that everyone had wonderful days.

    >How many telephone numbers do you know by heart?
    I know five telephone numbers by heart, because I often call.



  2. Amica on Tuesday May 7th, 2013 at 03:14 PM

    Hi David,
    I think so, too. Recently, we rely on machine too much, and it is dangerous.
    When I was a student, I had to do research something as summer homework. The theme was free, so first, I chose a theme of research. Then I went to a library and I studied about the theme I chose on books. It took much time but it was good for me, I think.
    Now, the students don’t need to go to the library because they can find things and study they want to do research easily on internet. But the knowledges you got easily forget easily, I think, so it is not good for them.

    About the telephone numbers I know by heart, I know 4. They are my home number, my own mobile number, my mother’s shop’s number, my best friend’s home number.

    Hi everyone,
    How was your GW? I went to Spain, and it was 9 days trip. I had a great time in Spain. I visited lots of town, museum and church. They were so beautiful. Especially the Sagrada Familia! I want to visit there again.

    Amica



  3. YU on Tuesday May 7th, 2013 at 04:09 PM

    Hi everyone,

    今週のエントリーの訳です。

    この文の訳に自信がないので間違えていたら直してください。

    One example of this struck me the other day when I realised that I only actually know two telephone numbers by heart.
    先日自分が実際に2つの電話番号しか暗記していないことに気づいて、ふとこれも(テクノロジー依存による頭脳の退化)の1つの例なんじゃないかと思いました。

    – Telephone Numbers –

    In recent years, many people have pointed out that humans no longer need to remember as much as we did before. This is because we can find information easily and quickly whenever we need it.
    近年、多くの人が人間はもう昔ほど物事を記憶する必要がなくなっていると指摘しています。これは(現在)私たちが必要な時にいつでも簡単にそして素早く情報を得ることができるからです。

    One thing that has disappeared from our society is what British people used to call “pub arguments.”
    私たちの社会から消えてしまったもののひとつがイギリス人がかつて“pub arguments”と呼んでいたものです。

    These were arguments about who was the star of a movie, what year a film was released, or anything else that two people might remember differently.
    これは二人の人間の記憶が異なることがままある、(例えば)映画の主役が誰だったか、とか、何年に映画が公開されたか、だとか、その他諸々のことに関する議論のことです。

    Now, of course, we can find the answer to almost any question immediately simply by googling it on our phones.
    現在ではもちろん、携帯でグーグル検索するだけでほぼどんな問題でもすぐに答えが見つかります。

    Many people think that this development is dangerous, and that it will lead to us becoming “dumber” as we rely more and more on machines.
    多くの人がこういう事態は危険であり、私たちはどんどん機械に頼るようになって頭が悪くなっていく、と考えています。

    In the future, they say, we will not be able to do anything at all for ourselves without using technology.
    将来的には、私たちはテクノロジーなしでは自分たちだけで全く何もできなくなってしまうだろう、と彼らは言っています。

    One example of this struck me the other day when I realised that I only actually know two telephone numbers by heart.
    先日自分が実際に2つの電話番号しか暗記していないことに気づいて、ふとこれも(テクノロジー依存による頭脳の退化)の1つの例なんじゃないかと思いました。

    They are my parents’ home number, and my own mobile number. (I don’t even know my own home number, because I never give it to anyone.)
    その2つの電話番号というのは実家の電話番号と自分の携帯の番号です。(自分の自宅の電話番号さえわからないのです、それを誰にも教えることがないので。)

    All the other numbers I need are stored in my phone, and I never actually see them because I just click the name of the person I want to talk to in my address book.
    その他の必要な電話番号は全て携帯のメモリーに入っていますが、(いつも)自分の携帯のアドレス帳の中の自分が話したい相手の名前をクリックするだけなので、実のところそれら(の番号)を全然見ることがないのです。

    I was wondering whether this is just me, or whether other people are finding the same thing, so my question for you this week is:
    How many telephone numbers do you know by heart?
    これって自分だけなのか、それとも他の人たちも同じことを思っているのか、知りたいと思いました。ですから今週の皆さんへの質問は :

    あなたは何個の電話番号をそらで言えますか?  

    です。

    I would also like to hear your opinions on the dangers of relying too much on technology.
    テクノロジーに依存しすぎることの危険性についてのみなさんの意見も聞けたら、と思います。

    Look forward to hearing your thoughts.
    みなさんの考えを聞くのを楽しみにしています。



  4. YU on Tuesday May 7th, 2013 at 07:59 PM

    Hi everyone,

    I had a fairly nice GW holiday, too.
    Actually, we didn’t take a long trip this time because my son had kindergarten.
    As I mentioned, we went to Yokohama and Tokyo Dome.
    We went to Yoyogi Park in Tokyo to take a walk by train. When we got on the train at my brother’s station, we realized that Ito-san, Fuji TV announcer and his son were sitting in the seat directly across from us. He looked exactly like Mr.Bean as he was reputated to be.
    In Yoyogi Park we felt that there might be more people from other countries than Japanese.
    My husband told me that he was asked something by two very tall Western guys during I was buying something to drink at the park kiosk, but they spoke so fast that he couldn’t understand what they said. Then they started explaining to him what actually they said using the dictionary on the phone! I wondered why they didn’t think of just asking other ガイジン than my husband because as I said, there were an enormous number of ガイジン in the park! By the way, we saw セイン・カミュ family there. He was soooooo hundsome.

    At the baseball game in Tokyo Dome my 長野 hit a grand-slam homer(満塁ホームラン) for me and Giants won the game, so I was very happy! 🙂

    Well,
    > How many telephone numbers do you know by heart?

    I guess I know only three.
    They are my home number, my own mobile number and my mother’s parents’ home number. I remember the third one because I still use a part of the number for my bank card PIN. I don’t know my husband’s mobile number!! LOL!!

    > I would also like to hear your opinions on the dangers of relying too much on technology.

    I think it will lead to us becoming “dumber”, too.
    Many peple say, “I can’t write Kanjis properly any longer, I can read them, though because now we have only a little chance to write them, and we use a PC or a mobile phone more than a pen to write letters today. On those maschines, we just need to change a phonetically written word into a kanji choosing the right one among conversion candidates in the Kana-kanji conversion system.
    However, I sometimes feel that this is used for an excuse for being bad at Kanjis, though!!

    Even today Japanese students are forced to remember a lot of things like math formulas, history 年号, English vocabulary, etc… for Jyuken. So, I think people get dumber(lose the ability to remember) little by little after finishing schools.



  5. Tomoaki on Tuesday May 7th, 2013 at 08:30 PM

    Hi David and everyone

    Long time no see.
    Now, I’m living in Huchu Tokyo. New employee training was over, but I have many things that I’ll have to study. One of them is English. Thanks to your blog, I got 835 point in TOEIC. I was very happy, but company knows that TOEIC tests only Listening and Reading, so he told me “you have to enhance your speaking skill next.” The goal seems to be far.

    By the way, here is my answer:

    >>How many telephone numbers do you know by heart?

    I know only two by heart. They are my parents’ home number, and my own mobile number like you.

    >>the dangers of relying too much on technology

    It is very interesting question for me, and I heard many times that how dangerous the technology is. However, I think it is only a problem that how to use it. Internet itself is good. There are many information and some of them are what we couldn’t find only by going to the library. I think one of them is CiNii. CiNii is a web site, which accumulates the information of the academic articles and magazines and which we can search what we want to know on it. Government and other public organizations including NGO present much important information on internet. Using such information is not failure than using books. It may be very difficult to judge which is much better books or web sites. Technology changes what we should study and how we should live.



  6. YU on Tuesday May 7th, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    correction :

    > Then they started explaining to him what actually they said

    …what they actually said…

    > He was soooooo hundsome

    …handsome

    Hi Tomoaki,

    Welcome back! and congratulations on your success in the TOEIC test!! If I can remember correctly, your score improved about 150~200 points at once? That’s amazing!!

    >It may be very difficult to judge which is much better books or web sites.

    I think both must have good points and bad points.
    As I mentioned before, I seldom read books, so I can’t really give my opinion about books, but I think actually technology has already started replacing books in recent years. As you know, today, a number of books are sold as e-books, or students study using tablet divices instead of textbooks in some schools. Many people think that books are old fashioned. I don’t think books are old fashioned(むしろ今は逆にクール), but I think one of the weak points about books is that they are not written now/today, but some months ago or at least some weeks ago, so the information isn’t the latest. Of course, some of the books like novels or picture books are not necessary to contain the latest information, but I think it is the fact that with the development of Internet technogy, more and more people start seeking more latest information today. I think that’s why people talk about the dangers of relying too much technoogy, but they can’t stop using it.

    However, I agree with Amica that “But the knowledges you got easily forget easily”, too.



  7. amo on Tuesday May 7th, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    Thanks for the link and translation 🙂 Maybe David overlooked my mistakes, so my sentences should be corrected to “the wrong way around.”

    Hi Anne,

    Of course I remember that discussion and I sometimes look back on old entries.

    Hi David,

    >Sorry, but I’m not really sure what you are asking.

    Sorry for my poor English:(
    I used the similar phrase(the other way around) but you just corrected Fumie’s sentence. So I was just wondering my sentences were acceptable or you just overlooked. Judging by your comment, my sentences needed to be changed. Thanks 🙂

    Hi Tomoaki

    I was wondering how you were doing. You know what? I was thinking of writing a comment to you the other day, so I am happy to see your comment again.
    By the way, you got 835 point in TOEIC?? That’s great.

    Hi everyone,

    As for the topic, I only remember two numbers. one is my home phone and the other is my parents’ home phone. I don’t remember my own mobile phone, cos I don’t call my phone.

    Bye for now,
    amo



  8. Biwa on Tuesday May 7th, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    Hi YU,

    Thanks always for the translation. I think the part you mentioned is fine, too. (Sorry, I haven’t read all yet.)

    Hi everyone,

    I had a nice and relaxing GW, too. I don’t know why holidays go away so quickly!
    Anyway, I know five numbers by heart. They’re all house phones; my mother’s, my husband’s parents’, my grandma’s and two of my very close friends’. I’m really bad at memorizing mobile numbers because they’re too long. It took years to memorize my own number! I was really glad to know that phone numbers are seven digits because most people’s brains cannot memorize more than that.(This was written in “The Tipping Point”.) So I guess, the people who actually created mobile numbers didn’t expect people to memorize them from the beginning. In other words, I don’t think mobile phones wouldn’t exist if we had to memorize the numbers ourselves.

    I’m sure I’m becoming dumber because of technology development, but I can’t think of a good example right now. By the way, the word “pub arguments” is useful! I’m always doing that with my friends.



  9. Biwa on Tuesday May 7th, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    Sorry, correction:

    “I don’t think mobile phones ‘would’ exist if we…”



  10. YU on Wednesday May 8th, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    Hi Biwa,

    Thank you for checking my translation.

    > I was really glad to know that phone numbers are seven digits because most people’s brains cannot memorize more than that

    It reminded me of phone numbers’ “語呂合わせ”. :-)
    Here are some examples :

    「♪伊東へ行くならハトヤ~ 電話は4126(良い風呂)♪」
    「324929(身によく付く)英会話のNOVA」
    「783640(悩み無用)リーブ21」
    「550229(ココはにんにく)健康家族」

    I wonder if this kind of ways of memorizing numbers exist in other countries, too.

    Hi everyone,

    This is not to do with the topic, but did you hear the news that now you can make plastic guns with a 3D printer and fire live ammunition(実弾)with them? I heard that some American guy is planning to spread how to make it people all over the world because he believes that everyone should have a gun! He is crazy.
    Apparently, the guns could be easily passed the baggage inspection at the airport as they are made from plastic.
    Don’t you think it’s very scary?
    When I heard this news, I felt that those who make counterfeit notes(偽札) with a 2D printer are まだかわいい.



  11. Biwa on Wednesday May 8th, 2013 at 01:20 PM

    Hi YU and everyone,

    LOL! Yes, I think the Japanese language is well suited to punning, especially that we have several ways to say one to ten. I’m not sure about other countries, but in the US, they often say phone numbers by letters/words. If you want to call TOYSRUS(トイザラス), you dial 1-800-TOYSRUS. 1-800 is a toll free number like 0120 in Japan, and TOYSRUS means 8097787. Like our mobile phones, house phones in the US have several corresponding letters to each number, so you just have to spell out and press the buttons instead of memorizing the meaningless numbers. Here’s a link; http://jack8.at.webry.info/201203/article_3.html

    I also think that English is more rhythmical than Japanese. Recently, I realized that I can still tell my phone number and address (including the zip code!) where I lived nearly 40 years ago. I have lived in several other houses in Japan, but I don’t remember any of them because the way you say numbers in Japanese is really flat. However, in English, numbers and addresses sound like chants. I wonder if David memorizes phone numbers in English.

    By the way, I have never heard of the 3D plastic gun. I wonder what it’s like. I mean, it’s awful if everyone will be able to make it, and I really hope it turns out to be a failure.



  12. YU on Wednesday May 8th, 2013 at 02:10 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    Thank you for the interesting link!

    > and TOYSRUS means 8097787

    So maybe you mean 8067787?

    > By the way, I have never heard of the 3D plastic gun. I wonder what it’s like.

    Here you can check some news & videos about the 3D plastic guns.

    English :

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57583010/liberator-gun-made-with-3d-printer-fires-first-successful-shot/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qdly9gPyjYM

    Japanese :

    http://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXBZO54574920R00C13A5000000/

    http://wired.jp/2013/05/07/liberator-printed-gun/



  13. YU on Wednesday May 8th, 2013 at 02:16 PM

    Hi David,

    There are actually 12 comments(should be 13 including this) on this entry now, but it says there are only 11. Why?
    I’m wondering if I did something wrong with my last comment…



  14. David on Wednesday May 8th, 2013 at 03:29 PM

    Hi YU,

    Your comment came up as needing approval. I’m not sure why. Did you use a different email address? Anyway, I have approved it now.



  15. YU on Wednesday May 8th, 2013 at 03:54 PM

    Hi David,

    No, I think I used the same e-mail address as the one I usually use…
    Sorry for bothering you.



  16. David on Wednesday May 8th, 2013 at 03:56 PM

    That’s weird. Must be something wrong with the system. Sorry about that. If it happens again, I will approve it as soon as I see the comment.



  17. amo on Wednesday May 8th, 2013 at 06:27 PM

    Hi Biwa and YU,

    >> and TOYSRUS means 8097787

    So maybe you mean 8067787?

    I think you mean 8697787?
    T is 8, O is 6 and Y is 9, aren’t they??

    Am on my way home now so got to go,
    Bye for now,
    amo



  18. YU on Wednesday May 8th, 2013 at 06:39 PM

    Hi amo,

    Yes, you’re right.
    I actually wanted to change 0 to 9 in Biwa’s number, but it seems that I’ve changed 9 to 6 instead!



  19. YU on Wednesday May 8th, 2013 at 06:42 PM

    > I actually wanted to change 0 to 9 in Biwa’s number, but it seems that I’ve changed 9 to 6 instead!

    Sorry again!

    I actually wanted to change 0 to “6”…. !!!



  20. Biwa on Wednesday May 8th, 2013 at 09:26 PM

    Hi amo and YU,

    Sorry and thanks!(^o^)b



  21. Fumie on Wednesday May 8th, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    I only know three telephone numbers by heart. They are my mother’s home number, our home number and my husband cell phone number.
    Examples of us becoming “dumber” by depending on technology development are that we can’t read Kanjis (as YU pointed out) and can’t calculate. I rely on calculator too much so I can’t calculate even easy figures.
    This is also YU pointed out, though, many people tend to rely too much on technology after finishing schools. During school days, students are forced to remember many things.

    Hi Amica,

    It’s so nice to see your comment! And glad to hear that you had a wonderful holiday in Spain. Nine-days holiday, that’s wonderful.

    Hi YU,

    You also had a wonderful holiday, I’m happy for you. You met some celebrities.



  22. Anne on Wednesday May 8th, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    >How many telephone numbers do you know by heart?

    I know 5 numbers by heart, and same as Biwa, all of them are house phones; my house’s, my parent’s, my sister’s, my husband’s sister’s and my aunt’s. I can’t remember my cell phone number!

    >I would also like to hear your opinions on the dangers of relying too much on technology.

    –I think advances in technology make our life convenient but also make our life busy and unrest. You don’t need to take much time to do something compared with one or two decades ago, however, I have a feeling everyday life becomes much more busier with lots of information. I think you need to have an eye to figure out what is important for you or not.

    Hi Tomoaki,
    Congratulations! You seem to have a good start at work even though you are busy. Glad to hear that.

    You guys seem to have a great GW holidays. My husband retired this spring and every day is like a holiday circumstance at my house, so there was nothing special. Sometimes we forget what day is today, so this blog is a kind of reminder for me:)
    Anyway, during last week, I had an ordinary life; I planted vegetable seedlings and flowers at my small garden with my husband. I pick sugar peas every day at the moment; they are fresh and tasty. I did gardening; various kinds of flowers are in bloom and that made me happy. I went to a museum to see fine arts from Pushkin museum. These are the things I did during the holidays.



  23. Biwa on Thursday May 9th, 2013 at 07:30 AM

    Hi Anne and everyone,

    >however, I have a feeling everyday life becomes much more busier with lots of information. I think you need to have an eye to figure out what is important for you or not.

    I totally agree! For example, mobile phones are very convenient, but it also makes us busier because phone calls seem to chase us wherever we are. I’m reading “The Paradox of Choice” at the moment, and it says something quite similar. The more choices you have, the more difficult it gets to decide things, and what’s more, the more unsatisfied you get with your final dicision(s). I really think we need to be smart enough not to be overloaded with too much information.

    By the way, I’ve planted some vegetable seeds about a month ago, too. As I only have a small veranda, I always plant them in little pots, but I’m always amazed at their vitality! Lettuce, komatsuna and chingensai are in season here♪♪



  24. YU on Thursday May 9th, 2013 at 09:43 AM

    Hi everyone,

    My son’s kindergarten offers parents an web information system using an external IT company.
    It’s really useful for parents to know, for example, whether a sports day or a school excursion will be taken place when the weather on the day is not promising. One of the reasons why this system has been adopted in schools might be that many parents toay don’t like to give their numbers or addresses to other parents.

    When I was in school, it was quite natural that parents knew home numbers of all other classmates in school because we didn’t have mobile phones or Internet in those days. At the beginning of every school year we used to receive 生徒名簿 from our teachers. Some of young readers here might not be able to believe this, but even your parents’ occupations(会社役員、医師、教師、弁護士, 自営業, etc…) were printed on the 生徒名簿!!

    Back to the web information system, I don’t know why, but apparently, it didn’t work when the earthquake occured two years ago. It seems that children were preparing for going home or already on their way to home by school bus when the quake happened. So, many parents were at a loss whether they should have gone to kindergarten to pick their children up or waited for them staying at home. Some parents seemed to have been out on that day and it took them long hours to get there.

    Anyway, what I want to say here is that if you rely too much on technology, sometimes it gets out of work and you’ll get even less information than you supposed to get without it.



  25. Biwa on Thursday May 9th, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Hi YU and everyone,

    My sons’ school gives us most of the information from their site. It’s good because we have less paper. However, they also started using an external IT company from this April like your son’s kindergarten, so we get emails whenever the site is updated. Maybe it’s convenient in a way for parents who want to know ‘everything’, but to me, it’s quite noisy! Parents don’t need to know every single thing, and children need to listen carefully to what their teachers say, and manage their information themselves. I think too much information robs the chance to educate children.

    By the way, thanks for the links for the 3D guns. Watching the interview, I felt that he’s very immature. He’s overconfident in himself, just wants to stand out and protest against the regulations and act like a hero or something. It’s really dangerous that these geeks never think about the harm the technology will give to the world, especially to young children.



  26. YU on Thursday May 9th, 2013 at 04:21 PM

    Hi Biwa and everyone,

    > so we get emails whenever the site is updated. Maybe it’s convenient in a way for parents who want to know ‘everything’, but to me, it’s quite noisy!

    That sounds really annoying!
    Fortunately, my son’s kindergarten’s one isn’t as noisy as your sons’ school one. E-mails are sent to our mobile phones only when the information needs to be read urgently by all parents at once like emergency cases, 当日の行事開催の有無,日時変更, etc…
    (一昔前はこれをクラスの電話連絡網でやっていたんでしょうね。でも最近個人情報保護法とかプライバシーがどうとかうるさくなってきたから多くの学校がこういうシステムを外部委託するようになったんですかね。)

    So, I resistered the system in the middle of last month, but I haven’t got any e-mails from them yet except one test e-mail. As for other tiny information, we still get it on(?) papers.

    > children need to listen carefully to what their teachers say, and manage their information themselves

    I agree, that’s why his kindergarten seems to keep using papers. They say it could be one of the trainings for children. Thanks to the paper based information system, my son gradually learns to tell me what he was asked to give me at home by his teacher. So I’m happy! 🙂

    > He’s overconfident in himself, just wants to stand out and protest against the regulations and act like a hero or something.

    I agree. In fact, he admitted in the interview that one of the reasons for his radical actions is that he wants to stand out.
    It seems that he is absolutely legal under current American laws, but I think it’s no longer a matter of only internal America because anyone in the world can make a gun at home only if you have a 3D printer and an Internet access!!