Proper English for Elves


Finally the telecommunications industry has come up with a great new invention, caller announce. I am a big fan. I try to enjoy the evening hours relaxing with my husband, watching TV. A phone call, especially from a telemarketer, is a bothersome interruption. Instead of relaxing, I jump up and down answering the phone.

With caller announce, I can sit still and not move a muscle, pretending the phone is not ringing. A weird voice will eventually tell me whose calling. The only problem is that the voice doesn’t know how to speak English. Yesterday the phone rang, and I was told the call was from Ben T. Bone, and I almost didn’t answer. Who is Ben T-Bone? Finally, my curiosity got to me and when I did answer, it turned out to be my good friend, Betty Bond. Go figure!

The phone doesn’t know how to pronounce the language. To solve this problem, perhaps the manufacturers could buy Rosetta Stone to teach the phone proper pronunciation. Or perhaps the phone company could give a class on understanding the caller announce feature. This is a bad idea: we know they’ll charge umpteen dollars to take the class.

I believe the answer to this conundrum is in genetic engineering. We need to raise a few very small people, elves, to learn English and live inside our telephones to tell us who is calling. The phone would need to be a little bigger in order to have space for a tiny apartment. We’d probably need to have tiny plumbing installed too. The elves could go to a special school to learn proper pronunciation of the English language.

Just now, I received a call from Washington DC. The phone actually knows how to pronounce Washington, but, how can a city call you? Is there a big central telephone somewhere near the capital building that picks up phone numbers from the ether and mysteriously dials the number? Does that mean that some politician or political organization needs money or votes to continue messing up our lives? I didn’t answer.

I must confess, sitting down in the evening and not answering the phone gives me a feeling of power. I have the power to sit still and not talk to anyone, if that’s what I want. I am the Goddess of Silence, the Queen of Incommunicato, as I sit upon the Lounge of Lassitude. I’ll let the elves do it.

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