the world's premier FREE website for learners + teachers of English

Alexander Graham Bell Preferred “Ahoy” To “Hello”


Interesting Facts in Easy English

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • device: a piece of equipment
  • nautical: related to shipping or boating
  • rival: a person that one is often in competition with
  • side: to choose one person or argument to agree with
  • etiquette: manners; proper behaviour and language

Alexander Graham Bell Preferred “Ahoy” To “Hello”

After the telephone was , people needed some instructions on how to use it. One concern was how to begin a on this device. Instead of “Are you here?” or “Are you ready to talk?” Alexander Graham Bell, the now-disputed inventor, suggested the nautical “Ahoy”. Bell’s rival Thomas Edison thought “Hello” was a more telephone greeting. The writers of the first telephone books sided with Edison, and often included his suggestion in an page on telephone etiquette. Alexander Graham Bell continued to use “Ahoy” in his telephone conversations for the rest of his life.

Comprehension Questions

  1. What did Alexander Graham Bell say when he answered the telephone?
  2. Why does the report mention Thomas Edison?
  3. What information was provided for telephone users in early telephone books?

Discussion Questions: How has telephone etiquette changed with the invention of the mobile phone? If you don’t know, ask someone who is older than you and report your findings to a classmate or friend.

show Answers

Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below

RSS Feed Subscribe to EnglishClub Podcasts