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silent key

silent key
 n.— «Was a licensed amateur (ham) radio with the call sign KA6HVA. When he passed away, he became, in ham radio parlance, a “silent key.”» —“Biography for Burl Ives” The Internet Movie Database Aug. 13, 2008. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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  • The journal of the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) used to have an obituary column headed “Silent Keys”. It probably still does, but I have not been a member since the late sixties.

Further reading

If Grandma Had Wheels (episode #1603)

While compiling the Oxford English Dictionary, lexicographer James Murray exchanged hundreds of letters a week with authors, advisors, and volunteer researchers. A new collection online lets you eavesdrop on discussions about which words should be...

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