Some of the early telephone etiquettes we should bring back.

Well, as they say, old is gold, and the same goes forsome age-old advice.

Our world today revolves around telephones. From the first thing in the mornings to the last things at night, we literally thrive on this modest (or not so modest device). But it was not like that from the beginning. In the early days of the telephone, it was met with a mix of skepticism and awe. Nowadays, our excess dependence on phones or mobile phones makes us forget that their primary function is making a call. With that reminder, let’s brush up on our history and learn about some of the phone etiquettes, which can be quite relevant in today’s time as well.

Avoid saying “Hello”.

It may come as a surprise to you all but saying “Hello” before every call was considered extremely superfluous. So much so that British telephone authorities added in their instruction books in the year 1920 to avoid using “Hello” as it is just a wastage of time. Extra time means tying of phone lines and other people can’t use the telephone. Interestingly, Alexandra Graham Bell wanted the use of different greetings while using the telephone. It was “Ahoy”, sadly, it could not catch on, but we can surely bring the fun fad.

Never invite someone over a phone call.

The early telephone etiquettes dictated the control for excessive use of the telephone in social engagements. For example, it was considered extremely rude to invite to a party over the telephone. We must use real invitation cards in the mail, as they are permanent and act as the reminder and record for the details of the party. But if someone does commit this faux pas, then it is fair that you can reply and RSVP via telephone only.

Avoid asking the “Who are you?”.

Well, in today’s time, caller id’s does solve this problem, but early telephone etiquette instructedusers to avoid asking directly as to who is calling. According to them, it is belittlingif you are this direct. So, rely on your instinct and guess who is calling.

Avoid using profane language.

Using cuss words or swearing was a strict no-no in 1910. You could even have a trip to the court and find yourself fined if you were found using cuss words over a phone conversation. Well, being courteous doesn’t cost much, no matter what year and era you are in.

Lastly, avoid calling someone before 9 am and after 9 pm, unless or until you are instructed by the recipient.

Back to top button