Am I the only one who likes to hear “Bye” to signal the end of a phone conversation? It’s bad enough that most people call from cell phones now and we have therefore lost the distinctive sound of someone hanging up a phone. Not to mention, if the person was angry, they could slam down the phone. Then you really knew the conversation was over.
We have definitely lost the satisfaction of slamming down a phone. If we try to slam our cell phones down, we’ll probably end up waiting for hours at the local cell phone store for a new one. And unless you completely break the phone, chances are, you still aren’t going to end the call. The person will probably be on the other end saying, “Are you still there? What was all that racket?”
I usually can’t tell if the person I’m talking to hits the “end” button on their cell phone or gently closes it. If I was also on a cell phone, I could look at it and it would say, “Call ended.” But on a regular phone, I don’t have that option.
To make things worse, for some reason, many people have stopped saying good-bye. I answer the phone a lot at my job. I usually end with, “Okay, bye.” But at least 60% of the time, I am greeted with silence. It drives me bonkers. I don’t know if they hung up or if I prematurely ended the conversation. I have to linger on the phone a moment to make sure.
Why have people stopped saying “bye?” It’s only one syllable, it takes less than a second to say, and to me, not saying anything to end a conversation is impolite. It doesn’t have to be “Bye.” It could be, “Have a nice day,” ‘Take care,” or “Later.” I just want some kind of quick confirmation that when I hang up, you won’t be on the other end saying, “She hung up on me. How rude!”
Why do we say “Good-bye” anyway? According to Word-Origins.com, it started in the 16th century with the phrase, “God be with you.” It was shortened over time with gradual reductions, including Shakespeare’s phrase “God be wy you” and “God buy’ ye.” By the 18th century, it had become “Good-bye.” The phrases “good day” and “good night” influenced the change of “God” to “good.” I would say that now it has even lost the “good” in most cases.
I feel like going 16th century-old-school and saying “God be with you” again. Maybe I can start a trend. But no, I’m sure that would offend someone. You can’t say anything these days. Even the phrase, “God bless you” when people sneeze has been reduced to “Bless you” by most of society. Is this from laziness or a fear of saying “God”? Will this phrase also keep shortening until it is “Blue?” Will people be offended if you bless them? I wouldn’t be surprised.
For an interesting history of the phrase, “God Bless You,” check out this article by AC/Yahoo! contributor, Sharie. There are several different theories on why it started.
So, has anyone else noticed the missing good-byes? Let me know in the comments below.
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