hello, goodbye

So I’ve been reading Always On, by Naomi Baron. The book talks about the supposed changing of language in an online world.

Here’s an interesting story in the book: In the late 1870s, telephones were invented. These phones were “always on”, and were only connected to one other phone, like a pairing. There was  no need to ring, you just both pick up and you’re connected. So the dilemma: how are people going to start the conversation? How to greet the cat on the other line?

Supposedly, Alexander Graham Bell wanted people to greet others with “Ahoy”, since the term had been traditionally used for hailing ships. But Thomas Edison, who worked for a competing company at the time, proposed the usage of “Hello”.

Now–I didn’t know this until I read the book–“hello” back then wasn’t the everyday word it is today. In fact, “hello” was a variation of “halloo”, a shout that was used to summon hounds during a hunt (WTF??!!?)

So naturally, it was a very controversial proposal and many thought “hello” was too vulgar. “Hello” wasn’t domesticated and widely accepted until the 1960s.

Yeah. Just a random story to break away from the Lebron-Lebron-Lebron heavy blog entries. Cause you know, my next planned blog is gonna be about Lebron again.


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