Saturday, November 24, 2018

"Dialing" the Phone Versus Cranking It

Saw a twitter thread the other day--some wordplay about phones.  The person with the last word claimed to know how to "dial" a phone, or was familiar with a dial phone.

I could top that claim--I remember how to crank a phone: back in the days of a party line you cranked the phone to ring the bell.  (Remember the "Bell" System?  Of course the phone was invented (officially for the US by Alexander Graham Bell) so it's just coincidence that the signal was a "bell", or something close to it.)  Each house had it's own code--long rings and short rings, the length of the ring determined by how long you cranked.

Today though we still talk of dialing the phone, even though we're "buttoning" it, rather than dialing.

No comments: