General Question

playthebanjo's avatar

Why does my telephone cord always revert to a tangled mess?

Asked by playthebanjo (2944points) June 24th, 2008

I am careful with the cord. I un-knot it each morning. I use it while seated and do not move around, yet somehow it ends up all tangled after a couple of hours. Is there a metaphysical definition?

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20 Answers

whatthefluther's avatar

You must not be replacing the handset just as you picked it up and have added a twist by the wrist.

ccatron's avatar

you need one of these detanglers. I have found that this is the only solution no matter how you pick up the phone. i think the fact that it is twisted causes it to twist even more.

robmandu's avatar

Metaphysical definition.

Based on your description, I don’t think it quite reaches the extreme, though.

honniemac's avatar

The real question is why are you still using a phone that has a cord.

ccatron's avatar

@honniemac – most of us don’t have cordless phones at work

gailcalled's avatar

And those of us who live in areas with frequent severe thunder and lightening and power outages keep one to call the electric co, our nearest and dearest and to dial 911. Power out for 6 hours yestereday and three days of dramatically scary storms.

gailcalled's avatar

To untangle cord, stand on very high ladder, hold body of phone and let receiver dangle; it will untwist.

playthebanjo's avatar

it will untwist…but it keeps twisting back up!

Babo's avatar

Don’t let on that I told you this, but during the night elves sneak in and make phone calls while spinning around in office chairs and that’s how the cords get twisted all the time!

babygalll's avatar

Annoying little bugger aren’t they?

It’s all the gossip getting twisted before it reaches you!

ninjaxmarc's avatar

buy a phone line detangler, it spins around on the bottom of the receiver or go cordless

jerrica's avatar

I would like an answer to this too! I have to switch out my tangled cord with an unused cord very often b/c it’s turns into a tangled mess. I dno’t do anything extraordinary at my desk – no spins or rolls.

ccatron's avatar

@jerrica – it doesn’t matter if you don’t spin…if you pick up the phone to use it, it will tangle. it has to do with the fact that the cord is coiled. it wants to twist. that’s why i suggested a cord detangler. The ones on the site I suggested in a previous reply are out of stock, but at least you know what to look for now.

Critter38's avatar

It happens for instance if the phone is to my right and I listen with my left ear. So when I pick up the phone I use my right hand and transfer the phone to my left hand and left ear. During this journey the phone has to undergo a 90 degree anticlockwise rotation to change positions from the receiver facing downwards to facing towards the right where my left ear is (try this and it makes more sense). However, when Im done with the call I often pass the phone to my right hand with the receiver facing up (another 90 degree anticlockwise rotation). My right hand then continues the direction of this rotation to turn the phone back to a position where the receiver is once again facing downwards (another 180 degree clockwise rotation). If you follow that complete motion the chord has undergone one complete rotation of 360 degrees. The best way to understand this is to go through the motions slowly.

Obviously this situation works for either ear or in any direction, you just have to have the tendency to turn the phone in a consistent direction for the tangle to occur. Because the turn takes place over the course of a conversation it is very easy to convince yourself that it doesn’t occur, hence the confusion. If you rotate the phone on replacement in the opposite direction to which you pick the phone up, your phone cord will not tangle.

The argument that picking up a phone, stretching it without rotation, and then replacing it, will also result in tangling, is simply not true. Untangle a cord and stretch it ten times and you will see it does not happen without the accompanying rotation of the phone.

whatthefluther's avatar

@Critter38…Greetings and welcome to fluther. What an excellent motion by motion explanation which should solve what remained to some, a riddle. My one sentence post (at the top), while true, didn’t adequately describe the phenomena. Thanks for taking the time to disprove the myths. I eagerly await your future posts. See you around… wtf (no offense intended…those are my initials and feel free to address me by same).

Critter38's avatar

Hi WTF, and thanks for the welcome.

devbro7's avatar

what if i want a cord that doesn’t tangle, not a detangler device.

gailcalled's avatar

@devbro7: Dream on. I’d like to build dry walls, but it’s probably not going to happen.

jcalfar's avatar

The answer is
Hi my name is J.C and when I had cancer I invented a device that will keep your phone cord from tangling. I was in intensive care with 7 intravenous in my arm and I try to make a phone call and the phone fell to the floor. I was in ICU for 12 days by, the time I got out I solved the problem and today I have a patent pending. You can read my store on my website (About Us).
www.phonecordunyangler.com

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