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Why STOP Is Used In Telegrams

PostPosted: 19 Jan 2015, 10:30
by Yogi
Myth: Telegrams used STOP in place of punctuation because punctuation cost extra

The real story: Morse code originally had only capital letters and no punctuation. This generally was not much of a problem, but during the first world war when telegrams were widely used in the military, a misunderstood message could be disastrous. The custom arose of using the word STOP between sentences in military telegrams so that any ambiguous phrases would not be misinterpreted. The custom caught on with the public. Even after punctuation was introduced, people continued fashionably using STOP between sentences in telegrams even though they didn't have to.

Re: Why STOP Is Used In Telegrams

PostPosted: 19 Jan 2015, 17:48
by Ice.Maiden
Good grief! I can imagine that some messages could get very misconstrued.

As a matter of interest, I've never known anyone to send a telegram. Can you still send them??

Re: Why STOP Is Used In Telegrams

PostPosted: 19 Jan 2015, 18:41
by Yogi
I received one not to many years ago as a birthday greeting. I guess Western Union is still in business, but telegrams are about as useless as FAX machines these days.

Re: Why STOP Is Used In Telegrams

PostPosted: 19 Jan 2015, 18:54
by Ice.Maiden
I thought they were completely obsolete, but woah! I've just checked it out, and was surprised how they've come on!!!

http://www.britishtelegram.com/

Probably a boon to those without email access, etc. Unlike the US, there are still quite a lot of people over here who don't have, or use, the latest technology.

Re: Why STOP Is Used In Telegrams

PostPosted: 25 Jan 2015, 15:13
by pilvikki

yes, telegrams. been eons for sure.

but the STOP word makes sense.

Re: Why STOP Is Used In Telegrams

PostPosted: 25 Jan 2015, 21:22
by Ice.Maiden
It sure helps! :lol: