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Re: RE> In which languages are PHONE and TEL ambiguous

From: Martin J. Duerst <duerst@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 26 Jun 1998 00:23:01 +0900
Message-Id: <199806251524.AAA24330@sh.w3.mag.keio.ac.jp>
To: Mike Brenner <mfb@spectre.mitre.org>
Cc: www-international@w3.org
At 09:56 98/06/25 -0400, Mike Brenner wrote:
> 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.

Just a few questions:

Television starts with TEL, but does that mean that TEL is ambigous?
How many English speakers are saying "Let's watch TEL." or "Let's TEL."?
When we need an URI for television, there is a very obvious solution:
TV. How many people would expect it to become something else?
(well, maybe it's a bit short :-)

> 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.

How many people have seen that movie? That sentence may have been very
impressive to people who watched it, but not to others.
How was that translated into other languages? How is it written in other

And how many of the namecards you have from English-speaking
aquaintances and friends use:
Something else?

And how would that be for namecards from non-English-speaking
countries? Would really be interesting to see such statistics.
Unfortunately, I'm traveling currently, so my own collection
of Tel 1 and phone 1 for English-speaking countries, and
several Tel and no phone for the others, is to small for
a representative sample.

> ----------------------------------------------------------------
> 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?

The same problem appears for internet access via the TV infrastructure.
As it currently goes, a machine automatically (or semi-automatically
in some cases) decides whether it should send out some tones to
the modem even for an http: or ftp: URI. I don't think we want to
get away from that convenience. The classical use of the "TEL" URI
is to put it on your home page, somebody clicks it, and is calling
you (you might want to be very careful with putting that on your page :-).
There may of course be other uses.

In parallel, the use of a "TV" URI will address a particular program
channel, or whatever. It should in the end (with lots of bandwith)
not have anything to do with whether you get it over a local cable
network or something else.

Regards,    Martin.
Received on Thursday, 25 June 1998 11:28:33 UTC

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