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Traditional phone manners dying?

A new study finds out that teenagers are ditching the traditional greeting of "hello" while taking a call.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, London
UPDATED ON JUN 13, 2008 04:16 PM IST

In today's fast-paced world, telephone communication is more important than ever. But, it seems teenagers are least bothered, for a study has found they ditch the traditional greeting of "hello" while taking a call.

Researchers have based their finding on a survey of 2,000 phone users in Britain -- a third of young people aged 18 to 24 admitted to answering their cellphones with greetings such as "hi", "yo" or "what's up" instead of "hello".

According to the researchers, the greeting "hello" has been around nearly as long as the telephone itself.

When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876 he answered it with the greeting "Ahoy-hoy" that was used as a greeting on ship radios at the time. However, American inventor Thomas Alva Edison did not like the maritime term and invented "hello" which was recorded in the dictionary in 1883.

But, nearly a third of the respondents, including adults, said their phone answering habits had become less formal and more casual over the past decade, with only one in 20 adopting a more formal phone answering style.

Many of those who use a less formal greeting said it was due to the increase in ways they can communicate, with text messages, mobile phones and emails, British newspaper 'The Daily Telegraph' reported.

The survey also found that nearly seven per cent of British adults admitted to screening all their landline calls with either a voicemail or answerphone, rather than picking up the receiver, the survey found.

Scottish people are most likely to greet callers by name when answering their mobile phone, with 28 per cent checking who is calling them in order to personalise their greeting, it revealed.

Stewart Fox-Mills, the Head of Telephony at the Post Office, which commissioned the survey, said: "It's fascinating to see how the public's relationship with the telephone has changed and how despite range of communication technologies available, it still has such a pivotal role."

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