alexandria_skye: (mckay)
[personal profile] alexandria_skye
taking my own challenge...

it's from greek 'tele-', afar, and '-phone', sound or voice, so literally, telephone means a voice from afar. it's one of the more recently-coined words on the list; when i looked it up, i was given the date 1844. the linguistic-geek part of me really likes it because of that. telephone is one of those interesting "functional shift" words. telephone is its own noun and verb, sort of like date/to date or google/to google. it's also one of the longer words from my list-nine letters, which is the longest any of the words are, but still not as long as my name ;)

the word "telephone" has been, for lack of a better word, butchered by time, being shortened to "phone" which, now that i think about it, lacks a lot of the charm the word originally possessed. "telephone call" sounds a lot better than simply "phone call", and, in my opinion, "i'm going to telephone so-and-so" sounds better (and, i'll admit, more pretentious) than "i'm going to phone (or now it would be 'call') this person". but that's me.

because "telephone" is not really a word used in its entirety anymore, it makes me think of two things immediately: the victorian two-piece telephones, with the piece for the ear and the other part for talking into; and the game in which children whisper a phrase around a circle to see how distorted it becomes. now that i think about it, the game is probably a bit symbollic of how news on those old victorian telephones travelled. gossip became a blown-out-of-proportion-he said-she said-times-a-billion rumor.

telephones are one of the more personal forms of communication. it's instantaneous, so it's faster than a letter. it's not as detached as a computer. the telephone is truly talking to the person in real time, with emotions clearly underlined by hearing one another's voice.

telephones, whether you notice or not, can carry all sorts of emotions based on the situation. if you're an over-the-top crushing pre-teen (which, with great shame, i will admit i was once) a telephone call can make your heart jump in hope if it's omigawshHIM, sink ever so slightly if it's ugh, just one of your mom's friends, or break if it's your friend and trusted advisor letting you know that HE just asked someone else out. telephone calls can mean bad news, good news, or, if it's the lack of one, no news at all. they can be well-wishers or gossip-fishers. they can be close friends, distant friends, old friends, new friends or not friends at all. when the telephone rings, it could be someone you just said goodbye to, or someone that you haven't spoken to in a long while.

while writing this, the telephone has rung three times, all three times being allie's best friend. telephone rings nowadays are varied. they can be non-descript rings, classic songs, weird songs, popular songs... especially with cell phones. now, no one is out of touch.

i could be thinking of a witty conclusion, but for now, i have to go make a telephone call ;)



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December 2011

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