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Quotations about Phones

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We shall one day navigate the air as the sea—rain will be made to pour on the desert, and it will be cultivated and blossom as the rose—bread shall yet be made of stones in the street—the man of a hundred years shall yet be in his prime—men will yet take a little instrument from their waistcoat pocket and communicate with a friend a hundred miles away without wires, as if they spoke face to face. ~James Gillingham (1838–1924), The Seat of the Soul Discovered or the World's Great Problem Solved, with Objections to the Same Answered, second edition, 1870

The bathtub was invented in 1850 and the telephone in 1875. In other words, if you had been living in 1850, you could have sat in the bathtub for 25 years without having to answer the phone. ~Bill DeWitt, 1972

The telephone is a good way to talk to people without having to offer them a drink. ~Fran Lebowitz

Middle age: When you're sitting at home on Saturday night and the telephone rings and you hope it isn't for you. ~Ogden Nash

Even when it is not used with malice aforethought or for the purpose of elevating the breeze in your vicinity it is an exhausting instrument. If you pass a friend in the street you can say, "How do you do?" and let it go at that without being expected to stop and thrash the matter out to the last symptom. But if you have an impulse to swap a fleeting greeting per telephone you can't say "How do you do?" and hang up. The telephone tradition demands that you lean with one elbow on the wall or both on the table and strain every nerve to be bright. Face to face with the other party you would merely be yourself and, however painful that might be, no offence would be taken. But there is something about the telephone for social purposes which causes you to behave in a manner which would brand you as "nuts" in normal circumstances. To add to the pain of social telephonetics, neither party to the ordeal is ever willing to ring off. Both keep on saying, "Yes—oh, yes," "True, true," "That is so," "Quite," while both vainly try to think up some remark that will close the song and dance without leaving a wound that the years will fail to heal. ~Kenneth Alfred Evelyn Alexander (c.1890–1953), "Telepholunacy: Word Without End," in The New Zealand Railways Magazine, 1940 April 1st

I like my new telephone, my computer works just fine, my calculator is perfect, but Lord, I miss my mind! ~Author Unknown

Here's to you!
Cheers to you,
And a mighty
Tender sighs
Business lies
Have come
And gone
Along your
Copper highway.
~Henry Stanley Haskins, "The Telephone," in Life, 1904

I'd rather sit down and write a brief note than call someone up. I hate telephones. ~Henry Miller, Q&A with Digby Diehl, 1972

Cell phone: a private convenience that has become a public nuisance. ~Richard E. Turner (1937–2011), The Grammar Curmudgeon, a.k.a. "The Mudge," "Cell Phone-itis and Other Technological Diseases," May 2004

Telephone, n. An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance. ~Ambrose Bierce

A woman is a person who reaches for a chair when she answers the telephone. ~Milton Wright

You—thing of
Rubber and
Wheel and
You're only a
You haven't a
Or a
And yet you
You haven't
An ear, and
Yet you
~Henry Stanley Haskins, "The Telephone," in Life, 1904

If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting? ~Stephen Levine

Sometimes I long for a lazy camp
Five hundred miles from home,
Where the eagle flies in the clear blue sky
And the grizzly bear does roam,
A snow white peaklike giant stands
In the midst of the tall pine trees,
Away from the constant ring of the phone
For ever calling me...
~J.H. Stallings (b.1874), "Zanjero"  [quoted 1934 —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

I got an answering machine for my phone. Now when I'm not home and somebody calls me up they hear a recording of a busy signal. ~Steven Wright, A Steven Wright Special, 1985,

Cell phones are the latest invention in rudeness. ~Terri Guillemets, "Shopping for what?", 2005

Anytime I see someone blocking the aisle in the supermarket while talking on a phone, I want to ram that person with my shopping cart. ~Richard E. Turner (1937–2011), The Grammar Curmudgeon, a.k.a. "The Mudge," from "The Curmudgeon Sounds Off: Cell Phone-itis Revisited," July 2005

Everybody in society these days just walks around with their heads down, staring at their phones. Chiropractors must be making a fortune! ~Keith Wynn, @Darxist_Marxist

Cell phones are not a sign of power, they're a sign of subservience. ~Doug Pappas

Some one invented the telephone,
And interrupted a nation's slumbers,
Ringing wrong but similar numbers.
~Ogden Nash, Look What You Did, Christopher

How come wrong numbers are never busy? ~Author Unknown

I'd play every day if I could. It's cheaper than a shrink and there are no telephones on my golf cart. ~Brent Musburger

I keep the telephone of my mind open to peace, harmony, health, love and abundance. Then, whenever doubt, anxiety or fear try to call me, they keep getting a busy signal — and soon they'll forget my number. ~Edith Armstrong

Words from the past: "It's a clever idea, Mr. Bell, but don't wire us, we'll wire you." ~Robert Brault,

Confound a telephone, anyway. It is the very demon for conveying similarities of sound that are miracles of divergence from similarity of sense. ~Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, 1889

It is my heart-warm and world-embracing Christmas hope and aspiration that all of us, the high, the low, the rich, the poor, the admired, the despised, the loved, the hated, the civilized, the savage (every man and brother of us all throughout the whole earth), may eventually be gathered together in a heaven of everlasting rest and peace and bliss, except the inventor of the telephone. ~Mark Twain, quoted in Caroline Thomas Harnsberger, Mark Twain at Your Fingertips, 1948, cited as "source undetermined at date of publication"

If The Phone Doesn't Ring, It's Me. ~Song title by Jimmy Buffet

I don't answer the phone. I get the feeling whenever I do that there will be someone on the other end. ~Fred Couples

As a teenager you are at the last stage in your life when you will be happy to hear that the phone is for you. ~Fran Lebowitz, Social Studies

Marriage is like a phone call in the night: first the ring, and then you wake up. ~Evelyn Hendrickson

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