Monday, May 28, 2012

Ahoy! (or how to answer a phone)

If Alexander Graham Bell had had his way, we'd be answering our iPhones like sailors, and shouting, "AHOY!"

If only it had caught on.

Thomas Edison, his competitor, preferred Hello.

Thomas Edison on the phone, August 31, 1914

Apparently there was this How To section in early telephone books and it recommended "Hello" (except it called it "a hearty 'hulloa' ") which is why Hello caught on and not AHOY. But then again, that same how to section recommended "That is all!" rather than goodbye and look how far that got.

Of course in The Simpsons, Mr Burns is usually heard answering the phone with"Ahoy-hoy" which is another interesting fact.

And speaking of interesting facts, I just discovered: English is the only language where the proper greeting for the phone has now become the proper one for a face-face greeting.

OK you'll be relieved to know...



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