General Question

flo's avatar

Who's right about using or not using the term dial the phone when a person is not on an old fashioned telephone?

Asked by flo (13313points) July 18th, 2017

I suppose they say it jokingly? I’m not sure. The person is using a cellphone/smartphone so they are not dialing, that’s the message. So what is the correct term according to them?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

27 Answers

Sneki2's avatar


Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I have not heard another way of talking about how one calls another person on the phone. Even though we do not dial, we still use that word.

It’s like windows in cars. Even though they are now electric, we still say “roll up the window.” It still means the same thing.

flo's avatar

@Sneki2 calling applies to both kinds of phones though.

si3tech's avatar

@flo In the same vein I still hear some say I’d drop a dime on that.

chyna's avatar

Hmm… that makes me think about TV’s and turning the channel. Is that what people say now?
@Hawaii_Jake had a good answer.

Pachy's avatar

I grew up with rotary phones so I use the word dialing interchangeably with calling. People always seem to understand what I mean.

janbb's avatar

In novels and movies they usually say, “punched in the numbers” on the cellphone but I’m not sure I’ve actually heard people say that IRL.

JLeslie's avatar

I still say dial sometimes. Dial, call, ring, I use all of those terms.

I also still say “tape” sometimes instead of “record” regarding songs, TV shows, and videos.

I catch myself saying “record” like and album, instead of CD once in a while. Now, even CD’s are going away.

As long as the people I’m talking to are my age or older they know what I mean.

kritiper's avatar

It’s somewhat colloquial. Like saying “up North,” “down South,” “back East,” and “out West.”

Stinley's avatar

It’s fine. Words change and evolve as people use them. That’s why new editions of dictionaries come out every year! Lots of words come from an old meaning which has now changed but the word still is the same. For example meat used to mean all foods and now solely means animal flesh food.

Stinley's avatar

@JLeslie, I think record is fine as in your 2nd example. The music is recorded onto a vinyl record, CD, iTunes etc. Taping is definitely old school though!

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
LuckyGuy's avatar

Some people still say they have video footage of a crime scene.

zenvelo's avatar

Using “dial” or “tape” is no worse than still calling a movie a “film”.

Geez, no more “Dialing for Dollars”. And “Dial M for Murder” is an anachronism.

And the phone company always had “Dial O for Operator” but they really wanted you to dial zero.

kritiper's avatar

In your car, do you keep gloves in the glove compartment? So should it be called a glove compartment? If it was called a map compartment, or snack compartment, or owner’s manual storage compartment (is yours in there like it should be??), jockey box, or just plain shit compartment? How would anyone know what the heck you meant? So “dialing the phone” or “dialing the number” while not exactly up-to-date, is a term people can relate to and understand, so it’s still relevant.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s just a term. It can change meanings. Lots of terms have changed meanings. There is no right or wrong.

tinyfaery's avatar

I still yo use all the old terms. Video, tape a show, roll down the window. Habit.

Dutchess_III's avatar

“Roll down the window.” Yep! What else would you say?

zenvelo's avatar

^^^^ Please open the window.

Dutchess_III's avatar

O. Well. No. The AC is on.

flo's avatar

Edited to add:
Thanks all.
The different definitions of the word dial:
“to operate a phone or make a phone call to someone by choosing a particular series of numbers on the phone:”

. “call (a telephone number) by turning a disk with numbered holes or pressing a set of buttons.”

Cambridge’s definition sounds sound to some of us.
Taping recording etc. is more about making a duplicate not about the item used. Unless of course the people speaking are talking strictly about those items technically.

chyna's avatar

I also remember old movie clips in which someone will say “get on the horn and call…”
I’ve tried to find out the meaning but can’t find out why they used to say that.

JLeslie's avatar

@chyna Just a guess, but I think maybe the shape of the parts of the phone? Maybe they actually used horns? I’m sure my friend’s dad would know, he wrote this book.

Response moderated
Dutchess_III's avatar

Early,early phones had a mouth piece, shaped like a horn, that people would yell into. Pictures:
I think you spun a lever that would dial up the operator then you’d yell into the phone who it was you wanted her to connect you with. Rumor has it she’d also share all the gossip with you about the party she’s going to connect you to.

chyna's avatar

@Dutchess_III Ok, I bet that’s it.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther