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Lamenting the Demise of Hangups

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the replaced-by-butt-dials dept.

Cellphones 215

An anonymous reader writes "Ian Bogost writes about a cultural tradition we've mostly lost as smartphones have become ubiquitous: hanging up. While we still use the terminology (in the same way we say 'rewind' when skipping backward on our DVR), the physical act of hanging up a telephone when we're done using it no longer occurs. And we don't get that satisfying crash and clatter when hanging up on somebody to make a point. 'In the context of such gravity, the hangup had a clear and forceful meaning. It offered a way of ending a conversation prematurely, sternly, aggressively. Without saying anything, the hangup said something: we're done, go away. ... Today a true hangup — one you really meant to perform out of anger or frustration or exhaustion — is only temporary and one-sided even when it is successfully executed. Even during a heated exchange, your interlocutor will first assume something went wrong in the network, and you could easily pretend such a thing was true later if you wanted. Calls aren't ever really under our control anymore, they "drop" intransitively.' It's an interesting point about the minor cultural changes that go along with evolving technology."

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215 comments

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They beauty of smart phones (5, Funny)

dmomo (256005) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195355)

Make an aggressive hang-up app.

Re:They beauty of smart phones (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195457)

I really don't like this new non-nerdy, Microsoft-safe version of Slashdot.

It's all just so banal now.

Re:They beauty of smart phones (5, Informative)

dmomo (256005) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195471)

And of course, dmomo's law rings true once more:
"The Internet already did your idea":
http://www.appbrain.com/app/the-cell-slammer/The.Slammer [appbrain.com]

Re:They beauty of smart phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43196563)

If the same people in the demo video made the app....yeah fuck everything about that app.

.

Re:They beauty of smart phones (5, Insightful)

nametaken (610866) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195483)

I don't remember aggressive hang-ups being audibly distrubing. Maybe it's because you had hammered the switch down before the crashing noise.

The real problem is that mobile phone calls disconnect all the time, and for a number of reasons. So terminating a call prematurely isn't always a definitive, "fuck you, you've been hung up on."

Re:They beauty of smart phones (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195625)

Just send a followup text message with the goatse image attached and the quote "this is what your mama ate last night!" That will get the message across, while also permanently psychologically scarring the individual and preventing them for ever again displaying affection to their mother--you know, what you really want in the moment of anger during a hangup.

Re:They beauty of smart phones (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about a year and a half ago | (#43196053)

The real problem is that mobile phone calls disconnect all the time, and for a number of reasons.

What, when you press the disconnect button? Are there any other reasons?

Re:They beauty of smart phones (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195611)

Hanging up on someone was as rude as telling them to go fuck themselves. Anyone who misses hanging up on someone has something wrong with them.

We've traded hanging up on someone with the even ruder talking on the phone when you're conversing with someone face to face. When the phone rang, the polite thing to do was answer it, say you had company and offer to call back. Now assholes just ignore you and gab on their phone. Didn't you kids have parents that taught you how to act like a human being?

Don't get me started on musical ring tones, sometimes I feel like walking into next cube over and smashing their goddamned cell phone. Whoever came up with the idea should be tied to a chair and made to listen to the first fifteen notes of the song they hate worst, over and over.

Re:They beauty of smart phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195663)

LOL, I had the pleasure of hanging up on someone at work recently, using my VoIP desk phone. The tradition lives on.

Re:They beauty of smart phones (1)

mrbester (200927) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195925)

So you prefer the Apple way where half a train carriage fumbles for a pocket whenever one goes off?

What pisses me off is the Morse code style SMS notification. It's always at top volume, goes on for ages and is the preserve of those having long conversations with the other person. If you've got that much to babble about fucking call them instead of "BIP-BIP-BIP BEEP-BEEP BIP-BIP-BIP" (twice) every minute. You're probably going to see whoever you're texting obsessively in about an hour anyway.

Re:They beauty of smart phones (1)

peragrin (659227) | about a year and a half ago | (#43196073)

I have done it and have it done to me, however a sudden hangup is more about timing as opposed violent response. As the other party never hears that crash of the phone hitting the receiver by that point the phone call was already over.

Ring tones yea that I agree with being able to modify ring tones so a room full of (popular brand name of phone) everybody doesn't reach into their pockets, but most of them are just plain wrong.

Re:They beauty of smart phones (2, Interesting)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195979)

You know, people could just grow a pair and yell, "You know what? FUCKKKKK YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU" into the phone before 'hanging up'. I'm pretty sure the message would be conveyed.

Also: I'm a fan of the "fuck this shitbrain, I'm putting it on mute and setting it on my desk while I do something important," dis. Then they have to hang up: I care just enough to show them that I don't value their time, and will denigrate them by making them hang up on me.

Lame (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195359)

This is really just an updated version of Seinfeld's cordless phone bit

There Must be a Slam-the-Phone hang-up app... (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195361)

With all the craaps out there, how can there not be an app that plays a phone-slamming sound over the connection and then disconnects the call?

Re:There Must be a Slam-the-Phone hang-up app... (1)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195391)

It wasn't the hanging up that was the annoying bit, it was the beep-beep-pause-beep-beep of an engaged number, when attempting to call back to resume the argument, but the handset was off the cradle following an aggressive slam down...

Re:There Must be a Slam-the-Phone hang-up app... (1)

drcagn (715012) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195437)

Yeah, we've still got that. You know, when you call back, and it rings once and then goes straight to voicemail.

Thank goodness we can still slam doors. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195371)

n/t

Even by the standards of crappy Soulskill posts... (3, Informative)

Nova Express (100383) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195375)

...this is a crappy Soulskill post.

Even for a slow Saturday night.

Couldn't you find another Apple linkbait troll piece to post instead? You know, "Rumor Says New OS X Release Locked to Processor." You know, the lame crap that gets posted here every day which is still better than this...

Re:Even by the standards of crappy Soulskill posts (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195501)

Not to mention that the idea put forward here was done on a Seinfeld episode years ago.

Re:Even by the standards of crappy Soulskill posts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195575)

Simpsons did it first.

Re:Even by the standards of crappy Soulskill posts (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195857)

Oh, I don't know. I find it fascinating that somebody is able to make a living by making facile commentaries on how telephone etiquette changes over time.

Who do I need to fuck to get a job like this?

Summary is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195381)

"the physical act of hanging up a telephone when we're done using it no longer occurs"

Oh really? At work I have a Cisco VOIP phone where I have to lift the traditional ear/mouth piece off the cradle and then put it back down (hang it up) when I'm done with a call.

Plus I'm sure someone can write an app for jailbroken phones with a button labeled "Angry End", so if you press that, it transmits a loud slamming noise just prior to disconnecting the call.

Re:Summary is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195641)

Alright, Methuselah; now tell us all about your grandson's boat again.

No app necessary. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195383)

Preface disconnecting with the following: "This is me hanging up on you".

Re:No app necessary. (5, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195435)

"Fuck off" also works well.

Forget the hangup.... I'm missing (5, Insightful)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195401)

the full duplex, circuit-switched, not-laggy realtime conversations I used to have on a landline phone. I could be talking, and the other party could be talking at the same time, and both of us could hear each other and understand everything.

The young uns here will probably think I'm making this up. I'm not; back in the day, Candace Bergen could drop a pin and I could hear it over the phone.

Re:Forget the hangup.... I'm missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195447)

And calls that go through when you dial! That's what I miss most about landlines. Every week I have someone say they tried to call me, and the call didn't go through. That bothers me more than the several dozen dropped calls per week that the average cellphone victim has to suffer through.

Re:Forget the hangup.... I'm missing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195571)

What kind of third world country do you live in? Up here in Canada I get about one dropped call a year.

Re:Forget the hangup.... I'm missing (5, Insightful)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195711)

To be honest I don't recall ever having a dropped landline call since 9/11 (northeast NJ so it's understandable that the network was properly overloaded)

Say what you want about the Bell monopoly (and its Baby Bells) - they sure knew how to engineer a damn solid network.

Re:Forget the hangup.... I'm missing (5, Insightful)

romiz (757548) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195791)

they sure knew how to engineer a damn solid network.

That's what regulated, cost-oriented prices in a monopoly do. Gold plate everything, spare no expense in the research of perfection, and earn a fixed percentage on it. Nowadays, we spend money on advertisement instead, because it's much more efficient at recruiting clients than quality in a competitive market.

Re:Forget the hangup.... I'm missing (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195775)

When I had AT&T, I couldn't keep a call up from home to work or vice versa. Also, about 10% of the time, I'd not be able to receive any calls until I rebooted my phone. I could call out, but not receive. I assume from an improper handover from the home towers to the work towers (4th largest metro area in the USA). I'd know it was a reboot day when I'd get a text about a voicemail or missed call when it never rang.

Re:Forget the hangup.... I'm missing (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about a year and a half ago | (#43196005)

This is exactly the problem I've been having lately while on AT&T towers. Weak signal, random jumps in signal quality (loss of signal to full bars and vice versa), and calls not coming in even when I supposedly had full signal. I really want to get my phone to hop over to the nearby iWireless (an affiliate of my carrier, t-mobile) and I know have good signal (I was on them previously but can't find them now), but I'm not quite sure how...

Re:Forget the hangup.... I'm missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195879)

What kind of third world country do you live in? Up here in Canada I get about one dropped call a year.

I live in Canada.

Re:Forget the hangup.... I'm missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195773)

It's full duplex low lag on my phone/telco. Maybe it's the echo/feedback cancellation stuff on your phone?

Re:Forget the hangup.... I'm missing (2)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195941)

I'm missing [...] the full duplex, circuit-switched, not-laggy realtime conversations I used to have on a landline phone.

That depended on the distance involved. I grew up in an era when most phones had a rotary dial and a real bell that rang (now I settle for an mp3 recording of a 1960s post-office phone on my Android device), and it was quite common to get a noticeable lag on international calls. Not as badly as with some VOIP calls, but there nonetheless.

But if your call connected (which it always did except when lines became congested at Christmas-time), the line was yours until you ended the call.

Even back in the 1980s, with analogue mobile phones (glorified push-button POTS phones with no wire plugged into the wall), you very rarely got a broken connection. Now, at least 50% of mobile calls drop out before I'm ready (thanks, Telstra) and even VOIP isn't very reliable.

Another thing about the old POTS network was that without caller-ID display, there was an element of surprise involved in taking a call, so if you wanted to reject calls from anybody in particular, you had to reject them from everybody. Which probably makes for better manners.

Re:Forget the hangup.... I'm missing (1)

hb253 (764272) | about a year and a half ago | (#43196403)

Was the lag due to the call going over satellite? I'm pretty sure all international calls now go through ocean cables.

Re:Forget the hangup.... I'm missing (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195995)

No kidding! A person could talk for hours and hours with "unlimited long distance" and hear every waver in a person's breath with a crappy $5 telephone.

Currently, I'll get randomly dropped on my cell at least once a conversation while at home. This only started occurring a week ago, when I got back from a long trip: I'm right at the periphery of two different carrier towers, and while I had been able to pick up the good signal of an off-brand carrier, I'm only getting a (much weaker) AT&T signal. Fail. This says nothing about the line noise, "talking in a tunnel", echo, and disconnects after 2 hours, OTD.

Of course, I could always just get a consumer landline again. But that's just an analog bridge from a VoIP setup maintained by the "phone company". I could also set up my own VoIP setup, but I've btdt and the QoS they set up these days makes it certain I'll have all the lovely jitters, lags, and drops I can expect from my cell.

Things like WebEx are additionally infuriating. I've had clear-as-day conference calls before - with real telephones. Even with VoIP. But try getting a dozen people, half of which are calling in with bad cell signals and most of the remainder on VoIP connections of variable bitrate, etc. and then having WebEx reencode the result for everyone. This is insufferable when it's a 'mandatory teleconference', because then you're on the phone for an hour+ or more with an inability to provide input due to not being able to understand a single fucking word anyone's saying.

Re:Forget the hangup.... I'm missing (1)

Zumbs (1241138) | about a year and a half ago | (#43196131)

The service providers are not solely to blame. Smartphone manufacturers have consistently been using worse and worse antennas over the last few years.

Re:Forget the hangup.... I'm missing (1)

hb253 (764272) | about a year and a half ago | (#43196389)

There's a whole generation now that thinks cell phone voice quality is the way it's supposed to be. In the mean time, every cell call I make is an exercise in frustration because I know how good it *could* be.

bs (1)

fazey (2806709) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195415)

This is nonsense. People still hang up on each other. The load crash just isnt there... instead its a simple call ended. Then they attempt to call back unsure if you did it on purpose only to get voicemail. Then it dawns on them.

Re:bs (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195715)

This is nonsense. People still hang up on each other. The load crash just isnt there... instead its a simple call ended. Then they attempt to call back unsure if you did it on purpose only to get voicemail. Then it dawns on them.

That the callee's battery has run out?

Re:bs (1)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195737)

But now calls almost always go to voicemail after being disconnected by accident. Either either a phone on the other end thinks the call is still on, or the person did not notice dropped call because he holds the phone to his ear or the person is trying to call you at the same time, and call waiting does not work.

Re:bs (1)

mrbester (200927) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195959)

Happens all the time in what has been unofficially called The Clapham Triangle:
"Yeah, that was fun. Look, we ought to get the others involved in this so we can organise this when everyone is free and then... hello? Hello?"

"Are you still there? Hello?"

"Hello?" *looks at phone, call appears to still be connected* "Hello? HELLO?"

*other commuters express facial irritation. I mean, come on, you make this journey every day at this time and this always happens. What's wrong with you?*

"Hello?" *rechecks phone, call has now dropped, exasperated sigh (FFS muttered by others)*

*Stab redial button on screen, watch phone intently for successful dialling* ...

"Yeah, hi, don't know what happened there. Anyway..." (seriously?)

This is always an iPhone user BTW, but all phones bar ancient Nokias tend to drop calls between Vauxhall and Clapham Junction. I blame MI5.

Re:bs (1)

DamonHD (794830) | about a year and a half ago | (#43196203)

Glad that's not just me.

I wish they'd trash all calls for much more of the route; what do you think we'd have to club together for that service?

Rgds

Damon

Uh... you can still hang up on someone... (5, Insightful)

drcagn (715012) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195423)

If you want to hang up on someone and deliver the same experience, just shout "fuck you!" and tap the "end call" button. You get the same satisfaction and they'll get the message. Is that so hard?

Yes, and a generation of kids (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195425)

yes, and a generation of kids will grow up clicking on a stylized picture of a floppy disk to save things, without having ever used a floppy disk.

This is news how?

Proof of copyright concept right here? (1)

macraig (621737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195441)

So this here is why we have copyright, to protect the inane misguided ramblings of those who have nothing constructive to say but are desperate for people to listen to them. So we call it "art" and give them a monopoly on their inanity for several generations.

I grew up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195455)

With a button that I smashed on my old Sanyo phone from Sprint if I wanted to "rage quit" the call.

Never had the interest of smashing the headset against the hook. I always knew that would damage it. :)

On the other hand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195459)

... now you can cool down, call back an hour later and blame the dead battery for the hangup.

If only... (1)

GrahamCox (741991) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195463)

If only hangups really were on the decline. Seems to me people have more and more of them these days. The day when nobody has any hangups at all will be a great one for the human race.

SIGHUP (2)

davidwr (791652) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195465)

Yeah, when my process gets a SIGKILL it doens't know what happened (or even THAT it happened), but when it gets a SIGHUP it knows someone or some thing hung up on it or at least pretended to.

You can always throw a phone against the wall (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195481)

This is what I did 3 or 4 times with a nokia E63 and a few times earlier with whatever dumb-phone I had.
I'm not kidding, I kinda see the point of the article, that split second felt liberating.
Afterwards, not so much: a mixed feeling of guilt, shame, resentment at you and at the other person, etc. Depending on whatever the hanging-up was for...

Then after you cool off you would just pick up the back cover, the batter, other parts of the phone, assemble it and calm down.
However, you cannot do this with a smartphone. I imagine the screen or the case would crack, plus a smartphone is usually expensive to replace.

Re:You can always throw a phone against the wall (1)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195751)

Depending on whatever the hanging-up was for...

Telemarketers. It is not illegal to call random people by thousands at a time to try to sell them something. It is illegal to do that using cellular phones (or faxes), People without landlines, or with VoIP landlines don't have to deal with that anymore, however when we had switched landlines, it was multiple times a day that you have to answer to some sleazy salesman. They even messed with caller IDs when people started using them.

Showing your age (0)

ThreePhones (1878176) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195489)

Hasn't anyone IM'd you that voice calls are obsolete?

Re:Showing your age (1)

vinayg18 (1641855) | about a year and a half ago | (#43196139)

You clearly need someone to send you printed instructions to download Whatsapp :) Or maybe they could just Voxer you

Call center work (2)

fredgiblet (1063752) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195495)

I work in a call center where we still have physical phones (though we only use headsets), I remember hearing about one supervisor call where the sup eventually advised the customer that there was nothing more to discuss and he was going to end the call, he picked up the receiver, de-activated the headset then hung up the receiver, just for the sound.

No in civilized world (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195523)

"Calls aren't ever really under our control anymore, they "drop" intransitively.' "

The writer must be living in some 3rd world country, like Usa maybe?

The best hangup (2)

virb67 (1771270) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195525)

The best hangup is when, mid-conversation, you whip your cell phone off a wall, smashing it into a million pieces. Didn't have those in the old hangup days, did you?

Re:The best hangup (1)

relyimah (938927) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195639)

Actually, I know someone who has done this with a traditional phone... they break better than a mobile -- i saw the mess. For a mobile, I find the Otter Box case has saved my phone a couple of times from that frustrated throw...

Re:The best hangup (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about a year and a half ago | (#43196019)

Yes, traditional phones break into many more pieces of shrapnel... hopefully you don't get hit by the whip-around effect when the phone cord reaches its maximum length...

No more horse shoe'n for me. (1)

twebb72 (903169) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195529)

we don't get that satisfying crash and clatter when hanging up on somebody to make a point.

We also don't have to get up early to shoe our horses anymore. Bummer.

Technology to the rescue... (1)

KonoWatakushi (910213) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195535)

Dare I say that one could "improve" on the so-called hangup, and make it arbitrarily more obnoxious if so desired. Hell, in place of the end call button, present a menu of your favored obnoxious call termination options.

Better act quick though; this brilliant innovation is just the thing patents are made for!

intransitively (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195549)

Is not a word

I miss the hang up... (4, Interesting)

lxs (131946) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195555)

...about as much as I miss putting a new roll in the fax machine. i.e. not at all.
But then again I bet if you look hard enough you'll find an old fart who thinks that VHS tapes are superior to Bluray.

Re:I miss the hang up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195609)

Well you could record a live TV show onto a VHS, you can't do that with a Bluray. Just saying...

Re:I miss the hang up... (1)

jamesh (87723) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195703)

Well you could record a live TV show onto a VHS, you can't do that with a Bluray. Just saying...

Sure you can. You can even get writable discs for your camcorder, if you like tinkering with old technology.

Re:I miss the hang up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43196491)

No I can't- I have Bluray in my PS3 and it can't record at all. Do you get the point now?

Re:I miss the hang up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43196543)

So you bought the wrong BluRay player?

And before the phone? (5, Funny)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195565)

Before we had the phone, there was no way to hangup at all! Let's lament the lack of smacking someone on the face and stalking off!

Re:And before the phone? (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about a year and a half ago | (#43196027)

Actually, that is fairly lamentable. You can't do that at all anymore without serious repercussions. Meanwhile, cowards who would never even look someone in the eye get away with screwing them over every day through various back room dealings and lies.

Hmm (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195579)

Anyone I'd hang up on like that would already just ring straight through to voice mail. Not that I actually associate with anyone I'd hang up on like that. I suppose in a hypothetical situation where I did, I could return their call specifically to hang up on them. But then I'd have to tell them that. "Hey! I called you back, just to hang up on your! (click!)" Maybe the poster isn't putting enough artistry into his hanging up! Or maybe he's just hanging out with the wrong people.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195897)

Or maybe he's just hanging out with the wrong people.

Or hanging up on the wrong people.

(captcha: seismic)

Welcome to the mid 90s (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195583)

pointless article this has nothing to do with smart phones, you couldn't hang up any but the most early briefcase type mobile phone

Isn't that what swearing is for? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195587)

Swear at the person, then hit "End".

Re:Isn't that what swearing is for? (1)

jamesh (87723) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195705)

Swear at the person, then hit "End".

the two aren't mutually exclusive. Swearing at the person before throwing the handset down just added to the satisfaction.

Re:Isn't that what swearing is for? (1)

radja (58949) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195881)

dont swear.. get a referee whistle. works especially well against call centers, as they cannot take off their headphones fast enough.

Re:Isn't that what swearing is for? (1)

Bruce66423 (1678196) | about a year and a half ago | (#43196135)

Whilst tempting, that is mostly cruel to the poor who have no alternative but to work in a call centre. However it may be justified for SOME call centre callers.

What are these "dropped calls", then? (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195699)

I keep hearing people talk about "dropped calls" - is that when the landline develops a fault and the audio keeps dropping out? I don't know if they still do that, because I haven't had a landline phone for about ten years - and their inherent unreliability is one of the reasons I got rid of it.

Seinfeld Routine (1)

nuckfuts (690967) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195757)

Jerry Seinfeld summed this up years ago in one of his standup routines [youtube.com] .

Would Someone Please Explain This? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195793)

I don't own a smartphone or a cellphone, so I don't understand what this article is talking about. Don't you have to do something proactive to the phone to cause it to disconnect a call? How can "hanging up" have possibly gone away?

Why are we blaming smart phones? (1)

makubesu (1910402) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195827)

Has the author never seen a cordless phone? You know, what practically everyone who still uses a land line has? You can't hang that up either. In fact, the only thing keeping the aggressive hang up going was the flip hone.

It's just another quirk of a particular technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195847)

What did we do before the telephone was invented? Slam doors. And so on.

Erh... it may be me, but ... how about SAYING so? (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195883)

I needn't slam a phone to tell the other person on the phone that I'm done with him.

We recently invented a technology called "talking". It allows to "tell" them instead of using possibly ambiguous actions that may be misinterpreted. "Go to hell, you old bastard" is hard to misinterpret.

port o rotary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43195885)

I got a port-o-rotary so I can still hang up on A-holes.

Hang-up, dial, ringing.. (1)

tbird81 (946205) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195899)

There are tons of words that are in use that derive from something else - yet people still cope.

It is neither novel nor clever to point these out. And even worse to make a Slashdot article about a stupid observation. Hang-up means "to end a phone call" - the term is derived from the action of older phones, where hanging the receiver on the phone ended the call.

I'm going to bed to do some that's word has these origins:
"The long-standing speculation is that this Latin word is altered (probably by influence of turbare "to stir up") from *manstuprare, from manu, ablative of manus "hand" (see manual) + stuprare "defile" (oneself), from stuprum "defilement, dishonor," related to stupere "to be stunned, stupefied" (see stupid). "

Re:Hang-up, dial, ringing.. (2)

verifine (685231) | about a year and a half ago | (#43196181)

No, not quite. That's not what "hang up" means.

When I was a boy, you young whippersnapper, we had a candlestick phone (look it up: http://www.collectorsweekly.com/telephones/candlestick [collectorsweekly.com] ). When the phone rang our distinctive ring pattern, you picked up the candlestick with your right hand, then picked the receiver up with your left and held it to your ear. When the call was complete, you hung the receiver on its hook. Not placed, hung. That, sonny boy, is where the term "hang up" comes from.

Since the telephone operator in town listened in to every call, she knew who was visiting who, so if I'd lift the receiver hook carefully to see if someone was on the party line, then hang up and give the magneto crank one long turn to call the operator, I'd ask in my little boy voice to talk to my aunt Della. The operator knew she was visiting Luella and put the call through. Our phone consisted of the candlestick, plus an oak box on the wall with brass bells and the ringer on the top, a crank on the right side for the magneto, and two dry cells with Fahnestock clips wired in series for power. The phone guy came out and replaced them twice a year. It wasn't even a "central battery" system in those days.

The really scary part is, it's true. We had a candlestick phone until I was about 12 years old in '62 or '63 when we got our first party line dial phone. How freakin' old am I?

Dial tone (1)

johnny5555 (2843249) | about a year and a half ago | (#43195985)

What about for the recipient of a modern hang-up? You don't hear a dial tone on cell phones when that happens, just silence. Kind of takes the bite out of someone hanging up on you.

Re:Dial tone (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | about a year and a half ago | (#43196187)

You don't hear a dial tone on landlines either. I've always wondered about that on TV shows because I've never heard a dial tone on a landline when the other person hung up, just silence.

Dont you people have phones at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43196035)

Sheesh

Hangup depends on the point of view (2)

houghi (78078) | about a year and a half ago | (#43196157)

When I am in a conversation and the other person suddenly hangs up, I will know that the person calling was the cause or that it was a technical issue. Ask anybody and they will tell you that they can tell the difference.

This is the case when I am on the phone and the other person calls with a cellphone. This happens when the other person is on a landline.

What you do not have with a cellphone that you have with a landline is, as caller the satisfaction of slamming the horn down, missing the phone in anger and needing to slam it down several more times.

If you missed, the callee could hear the callers frustration and giggle, However if he did not miss, you would not hear all the noise and you still were sure that the person hung up on you.

So in the past you suddenly did not hear the person anymore. Now you suddenly do not hear the person anymore. There is no difference, except maybe in the theatrical sense.

And yes, we still use the same words for things. That is language. I am sure there are many words we use for things that we do not even know what the original meaning was. That is why ethymology [wikipedia.org] exists.

My guess is that this is about trying to be nostalgic, while there is nothing to be nostalgic about.

Re:Hangup depends on the point of view (1)

DamonHD (794830) | about a year and a half ago | (#43196209)

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be...

Give me a break (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | about a year and a half ago | (#43196275)

Stories like this are like a broken record.

Catch-22 (2)

Ly4 (2353328) | about a year and a half ago | (#43196325)

From Catch-22:

"It takes brains not to make money," Colonel Cargill wrote in one of the homiletic memoranda he regularly prepared for circulation over General Peckem's signature. "Any fool can make money these days and most of them do. But what about people with talent and brains? Name, for example, one poet who makes money."

"T. S. Eliot," ex-P. F. C. Wintergreen said in his mail-sorting cubicle at Twenty-seventh Air Force Headquarters and slammed down the telephone without identifying himself.

...

General Peckem roused himself after a moment with an unctuous and benignant smile. His expression was shrewd and sophisticated. His eyes gleamed maliciously. "Have someone get me General Dreedle," he requested Colonel Cargill. "Don't let him know who's calling." Colonel Cargill handed him the phone.

"T. S. Eliot," General Peckem said, and hung up.

Today, someone would ponder why Wintergreen would slam down the phone, since that would break the screen.

Sounds like a new app (1)

Skapare (16644) | about a year and a half ago | (#43196327)

We have the "End Call" button. We just need an app that adds "Hung up" and "Hang up hard" buttons, that insert the sound of a legacy phone receiver hitting the holder. The app needs to randomize these sounds, otherwise a "Hang up silencer" app will come out. Well, it probably will, anyway. And we'll probably end up with a market in "hang up sounds", like spitting, laughing, mooing, etc.

Usenet (1)

c (8461) | about a year and a half ago | (#43196329)

What we really need is an app that generates a *plonk* sound, hangs up, and dumps the caller into a block list.

go fuck yourself (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43196345)

Works pretty well for ending conversations over any medium.

Words mean things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43196383)

"hangup" means

hang-up (hngp)

n. Informal

1. A psychological or emotional difficulty or inhibition.

2. An obstacle to smooth progress or development.

I thought this would be a story about people losing some neurosis or something. I have never heard the word "hangup" used any other way. It's a noun, not a verb. Is this like the weird use of the word "shutter" as a verb to mean "close", even though everyone understands "close"? Or like the bizarre American insistence that "anymore" means "lately"?

Why would you want to keep them? (4, Funny)

rssrss (686344) | about a year and a half ago | (#43196443)

It took me years of psychotherapy to get rid of my hangups. Why would I be sad about their demise?

Dumb phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43196465)

That's what I miss about my old flip phone. Snapping it shut was just as good as slamming down a handset.

Hanging up on someone is still powerful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43196553)

And if hanging up isn't rude enough, throw your phone at a child's face.

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