What’s that beep-beep-beep sound?

“Dad, what’s this sound?”

My teenager has been using the telephone for most of his life. A few days ago, he went to call some family friends, who had left us a message offering to let us use their S.F. Giants tickets. (They’re really good friends.)

After he dialed, he wandered over with a puzzled look, and handed me the phone. Thinking that he was hearing one of the infrequent error tones, I listened, and then laughed. “That, my son, is called a busy signal.”

Believe it or not, this was the first time he’d called someone who was already on the phone — and who didn’t have a server-based voicemail system.

Amazing, eh? How fast things change these days.

(Considering that none of our landlines or mobiles have rotary dials, saying that he dialed is itself a dated expression. What’s more current? Should we say that he punched in a number? Or just called a number?)

Z Trek Copyright (c) Alan Zeichick
1 reply
  1. jpmello
    jpmello says:

    Alan, your son has never dialed into the unemployment office (and I hope he never has to) or he would have heard that busy signal a lot sooner.

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