By the magic of technorati, I've discovered the owner of an admirable collection of facial hair discussing my old post about London Telephone Exchanges. He was wondering what the link between SMS and the exchange mnemonics was, and rather than post the most enormous comment on his blog, I've moved it here. Oh, Blogger, do kindly impliment trackback....
The link (between exchanges and SMS) is the labelling of buttons on phonedials with letters, and the use of a numberpad for alphabetic input. I've always wondered why, despite the fact that British phones are lettered, we've never adopted the American practice of using 'words' as phonenumbers for advertising. 0800-there's-no-q-or-o-on-the-old-style-dials, maybe?
Actually, I'm hacked off about STOnegrove because I live in PUTney. If I had a number on the Putney exchange, I'd be telling everyone that my number was Putney 30## with utter glee (and a sort of forced, clipped RP accent), because part of me wants to live in the 1940s.
(Actually, I suppose it's possible I live in GIBbon, but I don't give a monkeys for that exchange name, it's just not stylish enough)
I do remember Telegrams, and that strange thing they became... what was it called? Ah, Telemessages: http://www.btaccurate.com/whatwedo_telehistory.html
Did you know that you can now send an MMS, and for something like 5 quid have it delivered as a printed postcard, by post? Technology is finaly bringing itself back to the tangible...
Ooh! It turns out the exchange is Gibbon because the Decline and fall of the blah blah blah chap was born in putney. Well, I never.