05/10/2002 Archived Entry: "Sunday's on the Phone to 1883"
So why are phones so bad? Why is the sound quality so terrible all the time? I can't imagine that since Alexander Graham Bell first uttered the word, "Ahoy!" into a makeshift receiver that the quality has gotten much better.
What makes this sound quality even more of a hindrance to everyday folk is the widespread usage of the internet. Especially those of us who are unfortunate enough to be involved with web design. Have you ever tried to give your email address to someone over the phone? It's a nightmare. The person on the other end has to resort to: "C as in 'cleft palette'? H as in 'Humidor'? E as in 'Egg Salad'?" etc.
The very design of the English language makes merely spelling something over the phone impossible seeing as how a third of the letters rhyme with each other and they're all the most popular letters.
Sometimes I find myself spelling a domain name simply to spare myself the humiliation of actually pronouncing it. "Yes that's L-A-N-C-E-A-N-D-E-S-K-I-M-O dot com."
"No, that's C as in 'Cotton Gin', E's as in 'Ecuador', D as in 'Dolemite', and E as in 'Exuberance'."
"That is correct."
It's not merely my own terrible voice. I've spoken with people over the phone that sound like master thespians and it's impossible to tell what letters they are saying.
I greatly anticipate a day when CD quality phone reception will allow the world to breathe easy and save them from this ridiculous dance of stupidity that the telephone talking world is currently engaged in. Perhaps some day giving an email address over the phone will take as little as two or three minutes.