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    #1

    What is " 'Change " short for?

    Dear Teachers,

    I read this from Style-book of business English, designed for use in business courses, regents' and teachers' examinations by H. W. Hammond:

    "As the matter is urgent you may 'phone us on 'Change here at our expense. We shall hold ourselves at your disposal at any time for a corresponding service here in the East."

    I'd like to know what " 'Change " is short for. What does it mean by " 'phone us on 'Change here "?

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    #2

    Re: What is " 'Change " short for?

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, KuaiLe:

    I went to the "books" section of Google and found that book.

    1. It was published in the second decade of the twentieth century. (I am old but not that old!)

    2. In those days, the telephone was the most "modern" form of communication. To the best of the knowledge, back in those days, the dial telephone did NOT exist. You had to ask an operator to connect you to your party (person with whom you wished to talk).

    3. You notice that the example letter in his book uses the word 'phone. That is the abbreviation for "telephone." (In 2014, we no longer use an apostrophe. We accept phone as a word: I will phone you tomorrow.)

    4. He says in his book that 'Change is his abbreviation for the word exchange.

    5. And in those days, all calls went through an exchange, which one dictionary defines as "a central telephone office."

    *****

    Thus, in my opinion, the sentence "Telephone us on Exchange here at our expense" would be expressed in modern American English something like: Call us collect.



    James



    P.S. I am sure that you understand that a book published in 1910, 1911, and 1914 is NOT suitable for today's business world.

    • Member Info
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    #3

    Re: What is " 'Change " short for?

    Hello, James,

    Thank you for your thorough reply. I'm aware that the English in that book is not suitable for today's use. I've just been doing some reserch regarding Old English, Middle English, Early Modern English and so on. So don't worry, I won't ask people to 'phone me on 'Change.

    KuaiLe

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