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urlang t1_je3balf wrote

The actual ELI5 answer: the same reason you understand 4803 as 4803 and not 48 and 3.

  1. Separators: in this case, spaces or special sequences between words

  2. Conventions: we use byte-sized words, so each 8 bits is a separate word

Of course, these have to be agreed upon by the sender and receiver.