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RE> In which languages are PHONE and TEL ambiguous

From: Mike Brenner <mfb@spectre.mitre.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 1998 09:56:09 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <199806251356.JAA04028@spectre.mitre.org>
To: www-international@w3.org

Starting with English: TEL is quite ambiguous. We just started
connecting all the cable televisions in America to the Internet.
For forty dollars a month you can get a million bits per second
unlimited Internet access as well as a hundred cable channels on
the same wire. When the price gets cut down to twenty dollars, we 
are all probably going to buy this service. TEL means more
TELEVISION than TELEPHONE in the United States.

However, PHONE is not ambiguous in English speaking countries after
the dialect was standardized by the movie ET in which the Extra-Terrestrial
says the famous line: ET Phone Home.

This clearly established the opinion of our primary grammarian
(Hollywood) that PHONE is a verb that means to press the buttons
on the telephone. 


Here is a question: how would having a PHONE: 
distinguish between locally sending tones out of a locally 
connected modem versus requesting an external service from
a service provider?

Mike Brenner    mikeb@mitre.org
Received on Thursday, 25 June 1998 09:55:50 UTC

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