It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time when people disagreed over the best word to use when answering the telephone. Alexander Graham Bell, for example, advocated answering with  Ahoy!, while Thomas Edison argued for Hello. As linguist Gretchen McCulloch says in her excellent new book Because Internet, this disagreement is worth remembering when we think about how other forms of greeting are evolving. Today older speakers of English might hesitate to greet someone with hey, but younger people tend to be perfectly comfortable with it.  This is part of a complete episode.

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