Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Screen shot 2012-07-10 at 8.14.50 PM

Ever wonder why we say "hello?" when we answer the phone? It seems like a normal question to ask if you don't know who's there, but apparently when telephones were first invented, the standard greeting was decided on. There's an old NY Times article on how Thomas Edison coined the phrase that eventually stuck, while his rival Alexander Graham Bell wanted the standard greeting to be "ahoy!" "What is wanted?" was apparently also a contender. I can't imagine saying anything other than "hello?" but wouldn't saying "ahoy!" be fun?

p.s. - Did your parents make you answer the phone a certain way when you were a kid? My best friend growing up had to say "Smith residence, Sarah speaking!"

story via Clive Thompson, photo via

1 comment:

  1. haha, true story: i learned this a few weeks ago on Big Bang Theory.


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