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News: No More Telegrams

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Image hosting by PhotobucketIt’s the end of an era. You saw the bad guy in a Robert Young western holding a gun to the operator’s head and forcing him to write a terse message. You saw Loretta Young and even earlier movie stars receiving good or bad news from the hotel bellboy in the form of a piece of folded paper on a tray.

Yes, the era of the telegram, a time-honored method of communication for 150 years, came to a quiet end last Friday when Western Union delivered its final telegram. Check it out here.

The thing about telegrams is, because you paid by the word, they demanded careful thinking and precise use of words. In that sense, I lament their end. With the ubiquitousness of computers and email, most of us are not forced to think through what we want to say. Often, we just spew–and whole books are written about the troubles we can get into for writing the wrong word(s) in emails.[ADBLOCKHERE]

So just for fun, next time you have to write a business email, pretend it’s a telegram. Your readers will be glad you did.

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  • http://jeliel3.blogspot.com JELIEL³

    Cuz it had to be said:

    –. .-. . .- – / .- .-. – .. -.-. .-.. . .-.-.- / .– …. .- – / .- .-. . / .– . / … ..- .–. .–. — … . -.. / – — / -.. — / -. — .– ..–.. / – .- .-.. -.- / .. -. / -… .. -. .- .. .-. -.– ..–..

  • http://www.reallygoodfreelancewriter.com Barbara Payne

    OH, if only I could decipher Morse code! Will you translate for us?

  • http://smalltownunderground.net DJ freq

    –. .-. . .- – / .- .-. – .. -.-. .-.. . .-.-.- / .– …. .- – / .- .-. . / .– . / … ..- .–. .–. — … . -.. / – — / -.. — / -. — .– ..–.. / – .- .-.. -.- / .. -. / -… .. -. .- .. .-. -.– ..–..

    “GREAT ARTICLE. WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO NOW? TALK IN BINAIRY?”

    again google solves all questions.

  • http://smalltownunderground.net DJ freq

    01001001 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01101110 01101011 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100001 01110100 00100000 01001010 01000101 01001100 01001001 01000101 01001100 00100000 01101000 01100001 01110011 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100111 01110010 01100101 01100001 01110100 00100000 01101001 01100100 01100101 01100001 00101110 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01101110 01101011 00100000 01100001 01100010 01101111 01110101 01110100 00100000 01101001 01110100 00100000 01100010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00100000 01100011 01101111 01101101 01101101 01100101 01101110 01110100 01110011 00100000 01100101 01110110 01100101 01110010 01111001 01110111 01101000 01100101 01110010 01100101 00101110 00100000 01010100 01101000 01101111 01110011 01100101 00100000 01100011 01110010 01100001 01111010 01111001 00100000 01101101 01100101 01101101 00100000 01110000 01100101 01101111 01110000 01101100 01100101 00100000 01110111 01101001 01101100 01101100 00100000 01101100 01101111 01110110 01100101 00100000 01101001 01110100 00101110

    http://www.sitinthecorner.com/binary/binary.php

  • Guppusmaximus

    Yes, Thank you Google..

    .. ..-. / .– . / -.-. — ..- .-.. -.. / .– . / .– — ..- .-.. -.. -. .—-. – / -. . . -.. / .- -. .- .-.. — –. / … .–. . .- -.- . .-. … .-.-.-

  • Guppusmaximus

    01001000 01000001 00101100 01001000 01000001 00101110 00101110 00101110 01010110 01100101 01110010 01111001 00100000 01000110 01110101 01101110 01101110 01111001

  • http://leoniceno.journalspace.com Sam Jack

    01010100 01101000 01110010 01100101 01100101 00100000 01100001 01110011 01110100 01110010 01101001 01101110 01100111 01100101 01101110 01110100 00100000 01100110 01101001 01110011 01101000 00100000 01110100 01101000 01110010 01101111 01110111 01101110 00100000 01101001 01101110 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01100111 01100101 01101110 01100101 01110010 01100001 01101100 00100000 01100100 01101001 01110010 01100101 01100011 01110100 01101001 01101111 01101110 00100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 01001101 01100101 01100011 01100011 01100001 00101110

  • http://www.reallygoodfreelancewriter.com Barbara Payne

    Will you guys quit showing off? Or hoodwinking us, whichever it is… ” )

  • http://URL Dix0n

    57 65 6c 6c 2c 20 6f 6e 6c 79 20 74 68 65 20 6c 65 65 74 20 77 72 69 74 65 20 69 6e 20 68 65 78 2e

    01001111 01101000 00101100 00100000 01101111 01101011 00101110 00101110 00100000 01101000 01100101 01110010 01100101 01110011 00100000 01110011 01101111 01101101 01100101 00100000 01100010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00101110 00101110 00101110

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    bark bark bark woof yip yip

  • Shark

    Historical note: *the telegram was the ONLY “new” form of communication technology that wasn’t initially used and developed by pornographers.

    Just thought I’d throw that in.

  • http://www.reallygoodfreelancewriter.com Barbara Payne

    Hmmm. Plese tell us more.

  • http://bacalar.blogspot.com Howard Dratch

    Shark. Are you absolutely sure? Necessity mothers invention. That old guy in Western Union with Robert Young just might have been tapping dirty code to those sophisticated, sexy telegraphers in the east.

    If you want nostalgia, come to Mexico. Western Union is strong here (mostly to transfer money from the States) and there are still government telegraphers in every town to wire money, fax messages, etc. A necessity in a culture that can’t trust its’ banks or post office.

  • http://www.reallygoodfreelancewriter.com Barbara Payne

    I was looking for some examples of how important it is to be careful about brief telegram-like messages…and along comes an email today. Read and smile.

    Crack Found on Governor’s Daughter
    [Imagine that!]

    Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
    [No, really?]

    Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
    [Now that’s taking things a bit far!]

    Is There a Ring of Debris around Uranus?
    [Not if I wipe thoroughly!]

    Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
    [What a guy!]

    Miners Refuse to Work after Death
    [Good-for-nothing’ lazy so-and-sos!]

    Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
    [See if that works any better than a fair trial!]

    War Dims Hope for Peace
    [I can see where it might have that effect!]

    If Strike Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile
    [You think?]

    Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
    [Who would have thought!]

    Enfield (London) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
    [They may be on to something!]

    Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
    [You mean there’s something stronger than duct tape?]

    Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge
    [he probably IS the battery charge!]

    New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
    [Weren’t they fat enough?!]

    Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas
    in Spacecraft
    [That’s what he gets for eating those beans!]

    Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
    [Taste like chicken?]

    Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
    [Chainsaw Massacre all over again!]

    Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
    [Boy, are they tall!]

    And the winner is….

    Typhoon Rips Through
    Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

  • http://tresbleu.blogspot.com Sister Ray

    I saw the CBS News report on the last telegram and wished they’d said who the sender and recipient were. They ended the report with wry comments on how, unlike e-mail, telegrams didn’t have spam or viruses. Waah.

  • http://telegraphtelegraph larry

    good thread! very amusing. when i was small train stations had morse keys. very fascinating to me. i have seen pictures of western union messenger boys. they wore caps uniforms and rode bicycles. later i saw morse keys and teletype machines. some military acft i worked on still had morse at the r/o station.now ithink western union only sends money transactions. when a collector is after you. very interesting era. i am not sure, do ham radio operators still have to be proficientin morse?

  • http://www.reallygoodfreelancewriter.com Barbara Payne

    Good question. I know an avid ham operator–but I betcha anything those guys don’t read blogs…

  • http://morse larry

    hams probably dont read blogs. they are busy collecting QSL cards. which they will gladly sow you. seems to me to be an interesting hobby. could you guys take your ears off and give us some insight into your passion?