Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, November 04, 2021

The other day, someone walked in the room, disengaged from her phone conversation, and declared, “My cellphone has been ringing off the hook!”

Which struck me as a timely example of a no-longer-timely expression. Because, obviously, the now-common mobile/wireless phones, regardless of how much action they’re getting, don’t have hooks off which to ring. It’s linguistic anachronism in action!

Not that the phrase “off the hook” is bound to fade out anytime soon. Landline corded phones are still around, especially in offices, offering a live illustration of the concept. Heck, “off the hook” is even a favored cool-kids expression. Much like other antiquated telephone jargon, like “dialing a number” (no dialing occurs on touchtone keys, folks), this one will stick around long after its relevance will.

Still, I think the new phone handset technology calls for new, more appropriate slang to convey the message. Maybe something like, “My cellphone has been lighting up like crazy!” I’ll work on that…

- Costa Tsiokos, Sat 11/04/2021 01:31:58 PM
Category: Pop Culture, Tech, Wordsmithing | Permalink |

Trackback this entry: Right-click and copy link
2 Feedbacks »
  1. Still, I think the new phone handset technology calls for new, more appropriate slang to convey the message.

    “Blowing up” is the new phrase, if you care :-) As in, “Jenn, you’re phone’s blowing up” or “Dude’s blowing up my phone.”

    The latter example is as spoken to me by my lesbian bartender friend regarding Jose Canseco.

    But anyway, yeah. Blowing up. That’s the new “ringing off the hook.”

    Comment by tim in tampa — 11/06/2021 @ 02:18:40 AM

  2. With the rash of exploding computer batteries making the news, I think it’s best to avoid that one…

    Comment by CT — 11/06/2021 @ 11:21:17 AM

RSS feed for feedback on this post.

Leave a comment


PLEASE NOTE: Various types of comment moderation may be triggered once you hit the "Say It!" button below. Common causes for this are the inclusion of several hyperlinks and/or spam words in the comment field. Please do not hit the "Say It!" button more than once. If you feel your comment is being blocked without cause, feel free to email me about it.