There are/were several types of pager codes in the 1990's before cellphones become common with inexpensive data/text plans.
- HELLO would read 07734. 4 kinda looks like an H, 3 is clearly an upside down E, 7 is clearly an upside down L and 0 is O in either direction.
- GUESS WHO would read 04177*553176. 6 kinda looks like a G, 17 looks like an upside down U, 5 looks like an S, * is a space, 177 looks like an upside down W.
- I LOVE YOU was commonly typed as 143. This required foreknowledge of the code, as any combination of words can share common letter counts. 143 could've easily meant I CAN'T FLY if you didn't know the established meaning.
- I LOVE YOU was also 831 from the phrase, "8 letters, 3 words, 1 meaning." Again, foreknowledge is necessary to decipher the code.
|Letter||Number Look Alike|
|Spacebar||- or *|
With this method, complex messages could be sent without a lot of effort. Even after texting and cellphones become more common, this was still a good system to encipher messages from casual interloping.
- HELLO becomes 43770
- WISH YOU WERE HERE becomes 111154 4011 1113123 43123 (a special symbol for spacebar wasn't necessary once texting was available)
- FOUR SCORE AND SEVEN YEARS AGO becomes 401112 560123 8170 5311317 438125 860