A Auto Emergency Lock OutBut is there any rhyme or reason to this sequence? I've found a set of rules that rationalizes it, but I don't know whether it's the actual rule set employed:
A B C Haircuts
A & F Auto Supply
A 4 V Audio
A & O Liquor Store
A Two Girl Experience
A 2 Z Construction Inc.
AA Auto Body
A & A Auto Performance Inc.
A & A Automotive
1. Space comes before any letter.I have, not, however, combed through the phone book looking for exceptions to these rules. Even if this rule set is correct, it's not complete. Looking back at the longer list of entries that I compiled and then whittled down to ten for the challenge, I found the following sequence
2. Spell out numbers.
3. Treat the sequence space-ampersand-space as if it were a single space…
4. …Unless the letters before and after the ampersand are the same, in which case treat space-ampersand-space as a null.
A-1 AcousticsAll appeared between A & O Liquor Store and A Two Girl Experience. Can anyone rationalize this sequence? Apparently there must be an exception to Rule 1 above, since otherwise A 1 Tax Stop would come before the other two. Maybe all forms of A followed by 1, with space or hyphen or nothing in between, are treated as A 1.
A 1 Tax Stop
I have two alternative hypotheses about phone book alphabetization. 1. They have a list that was originally organized according to some set of rules, but they insert new entries by looking for similar entries and putting the new ones nearby. Each error therefore creates the seed for a pattern, which creates the illusion of a system of exceptions. 2. Money can buy exceptions to the rules.