Monday, November 29, 2010

The history of Hello


I was surprised to receive an SMS stating that 'Hello' is the name of Alexander Graham Bell's girlfriend. His girlfriend was Margaret Hello. And that is how the name came about. It further went on to state that people might have forgotten about the inventor of phone (I haven't tho'.... we Indians are smart, you see!), but not his girlfriend's name... And that is Love!

I wondered why the fact was being highlighted so late in history. If that was a fact, it would be part of history since long. A google search brought similar stories, one stating that though Margaret Hello was his girlfriend, he married his deaf student. True love, indeed!

The authentic / trusted sites had a different story to tell though. The below is the fact i managed to find out :
"Ahoy" was the original telephone greeting !
Alexander Graham Bell suggested 'ahoy' (as used in ships), but this was later replaced by Thomas Edison, who suggested 'hello' instead.

Wonder what is the Margaret Hello angle to the telephone story! Anyone has another story to tell, do let me know!

19 comments:

Sushrut said...

not true...

First useHello, with that spelling, was used in publications as early as 1833. These include an 1833 American book called The Sketches and Eccentricities of Col. David Crockett, of West Tennessee,[1] which was reprinted that same year in The London Literary Gazette.[2]

The word was extensively used in literature by the 1860s.[citation needed]

EtymologyAccording to the Oxford English Dictionary, hello is an alteration of hallo, hollo,[3] which came from Old High German "halâ, holâ, emphatic imper[ative] of halôn, holôn to fetch, used esp[ecially] in hailing a ferryman."[4] It also connects the development of hello to the influence of an earlier form, holla, whose origin is in the French holà (roughly, 'whoa there!', from French là 'there').[5] As in addition to hello, hallo and hollo, hullo and (rarely) hillo also exist as variants or related words, the word can be spelt using any of all five vowels.

Telephone
Italian-American aerospace engineer and aviation pioneer Enea Bossi, Sr., in the 1930s.The use of hello as a telephone greeting has been credited to Thomas Edison; according to one source, he expressed his surprise with a misheard Hullo.[6] Alexander Graham Bell initially used Ahoy (as used on ships) as a telephone greeting.[7][8] However, in 1877, Edison wrote to T.B.A. David, the president of the Central District and Printing Telegraph Company of Pittsburgh:

Friend David, I do not think we shall need a call bell as Hello! can be heard 10 to 20 feet away.
What you think? Edison - P.S. first cost of sender & receiver to manufacture is only $7.00.[citation needed]

By 1889, central telephone exchange operators were known as 'hello-girls' due to the association between the greeting and the telephone.[

Shagufta said...

Hi Shushrut !

Thanks for stopping by and taking the trouble of pasting info from Wikipedia. Here we were discussing the History of the origin of the word Hello with the telephone. The question was whether the usage of Hello while taking a telephonic call came about because Alexander Graham Bell's girlfriend was so!
I've read through all the facts, including the wikipedia thing pasted by you and presented the outcome in short.
Check para 4 where the fact is highlighted. 'Ahoy' was the original telephonic greeting, while later Thomas Edison suggested 'Hello'. Hello might not have been a new word then, but was later associated with telephones.
In conclusion, there was no mention of any Margaret Hello (supposedly girlfriend of Alexander Graham Bell) being the origin of the telephone greeting 'Hello'!
Thanks

பாரதிக்குமார் said...

hello madam I am bharathikumar from Neyveli, Tamilnadu here I attach the real story behind the word "Hello" Legend has it that Thomas Alva Edison was the first to say hello over the telephone. But Edison didn't invent 'hello' by a long shot. As a matter of fact, the greeting has been around for centuries much before the invention of telephone in 1885.

In ancient times, people greeted each other with 'hallow', which may have come from the Old French word 'hola', meaning 'stop!' or 'whoa'. Even Noah Webster's dictionary included 'hello' in 1883.

By the time the telephone came along, the Americans were saying 'hullo' to each other every day, so it was a short jump to 'hello'. But it wasn't until the telephone was invented that 'hello' emerged as a universal form of greeting and as a way of establishing contact.

So, Edison made hello a popular greeting and an integral part of our lives. Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone in 1885, never liked 'hello' and advocated the use of 'ahoy' as a telephonic greeting.

Shagufta said...

Thanks Bharathi for your contribution. But maybe the confusion is due to the wrong subject-line. My intention to post this was to clarify whether the usage of Hello in context of telephone came about becoz Alexander Graham Bell's girlfriend name was Margaret Hello. This seems to be untrue. In fact, there seem to be no references to any Margaret Hello in history. If someone can get any background or history of this Margaret Hello, it would be of help to many.
Thanks again.

பாரதிக்குமார் said...

to best of my knowledge there is no margret hello in history and also there is no lover for bell.He was truly love with his wife.- Bharathi kumar

lavanya said...

Actually they used to use "are you there " or "are you ready to talk" when picking up a call.One day Thomas Edison whos very busy with his work and fed up with the phone calls in a hurry picked up the call and insted of the usual greet message he unknowingly called out "hello".This is the way it came into existance. I have read in some book by Thomas Edision.

Vishesh said...

hi guys...
who cares about the history fact is that v all say hello wen v pick a phone call so y thinking about this matter n enjoy talking on phone..
and don't forget to say "HELLO" :)

Shagufta said...

@Lavanya - thnx for sharing the info
@Vishesh - yes, u're right!

Y said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Y said...

heLLO !! : )

sid said...

as muich i have read there is no margret hello related to mr.bell nd simple thing is that if it was so that hello ws bell's gf name so it had been in history somwhere...
i think no one has read bout margret hello no one knows her so its all false that hello was gf of mr.Bell

~M~ said...

Such poor thing that internet spoiling history.....wondering what mrs hubberd would hav thought nw....people should always testify their knowledge before spreading...

Charles Omoya said...

Hello is traced to Edison indeed ! Hello !

MD Irshad said...

Probably rivalry and one upmanship between Bell and Edison family led to creation of the myth of Margaret Hello by Bell's followers.

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Unknown said...

Thanks

angel mishra said...

Thanks

angel mishra said...

Thanks

Shagufta said...

Hi friends!
Thanks to all of you for reading this and posting your views and commenting and appreciating as well. This post, though just a few sentences long, has had the maximum number of views and increased my overall blog views. I wonder what brings people to this post. I think the rumors are still on even 5 years since this post!