Friday, March 06, 2009


We continue our investigations in Contemporary Phone Studies:

Did you ever notice how, on TV, nobody ever says good-bye when hanging up the phone?
"Wilkins here... The terrorists are on the roof...? How many...? [CLICK]" Wilkins hangs up the receiver. His face registers stunned surprise, then steely resolve. He barks to his team, "Let's roll!"
Sure, it's a convenient stylistic nicety to cut inconsequential cruft from the dialog. Probably no one really wants to hear Wilkins politely bow out: "O-Okay... Right... Mm-hmm... See you Tuesday... B-bye." But my inner-Miss Manners always thinks, "How rude!" Couldn't Wilkins take just a moment to consider the feelings of the earnest messenger at the other end of the line? Would a brief "Thanks, got it" or even a gruff "Over and out" really kill him? If we abandon our manners, then haven't the terrorists already won?

Oh! The post-modern existential angst of it all!*

* I think, from now on, I'll end all my posts this way.


  1. Thank you for pointing out this tic. Can we call it the Olivier Elision?

  2. Yes, please. Maybe I can copyright it and force the networks to pay me royalties every time a character hangs up the phone without bidding adieu.