Gratitude is the sign of noble souls ~ Aesop

Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving ~ Kahlil Gabran

Joy delights in joy ~ William Shakespeare

Thursday, March 10, 2011

How to use the phone

This entry from the writer's almanac today made me laugh..."that is all!"

It was on this day in 1876 that Alexander Graham Bell made the first successful telephone call. Bell's first successful telephone used a liquid transmitter: a diaphragm that caused a needle to vibrate in water, similar to the way sound waves vibrate in air. He spoke to his assistant, electrical designer Thomas Watson, who was in the next room. He said, "Mr. Watson — come here — I want to see you." Later that day, he wrote an excited letter to his father. He wrote, "The day is coming when telegraph wires will be laid on to houses just like water and gas — and friends converse with each other without leaving home."

"Hello" is, of course, the standard greeting when most English-speaking people answer the phone, but this was not Bell's preferred greeting, and it was some time before the protocol was sorted out. In The First Telephone Book, author Ammon Shea tells us that Bell favored "Ahoy!" and stubbornly used it for the rest of his life. His competitor Thomas Edison, on the other hand, preferred "Hello." Shea posits that "hello" caught on in part due to the "How To" section in early phone books, which recommended "a hearty 'hulloa'" as a proper greeting. The phone book's recommended sign-off — "That is all!" — never took root


  1. "Can you hear me...?" ~ Most uttered phrase back then (and AT&T wireless customers today).

  2. Which is why I switched to Verizon!

  3. I was telling Lee just the other day that the phone was like magic to me. I can't wrap my head around the idea. How in the world does it work? It's hocus-pocus. It has to be!

  4. I think a campaign is in order to bring back "Ahoy"! That is all...

  5. Andy, I am with you. From now on, I will answer the phone this way... Not sure what "ahoy" means in Korean, but either way... that is all...

  6. How hilarious would it be to start doing this and not ever explain it when people call? Just say it like it's the most natural thing in the world -- "Ahoy!"
    My grandmother used to never say "hello" when she answered the phone, she only ever said, "It's your nickle!" Ha:)

  7. Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

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