When recording your on-hold programs, our talent often find themselves in a soundproof booth to facilitate a recording free of unwanted ambient noise. Many voiceover artists have occasionally found themselves recording in less than ideal circumstances, and have had to invent ways to soundproof all kinds of unusual recording situations. They can take comfort in the fact that they had some famous company! The original soundproof booth was invented by Alexander Graham Bell’s assistant, who wanted to stop his landlady from overhearing his conversations. The prototype was built in 1877 with blankets wrapped around a box – a method still used today by many ingenious voiceover artists when they have to record “on the road!” Some early models of soundproof booths were less than ideal – the doors often got stuck, causing the occupant to have to fight their way out, since yelling for help in a soundproof booth didn’t make much sense. Happily, today we have better booths and better reasons for using them --- to record great audio for our clients!
The word telephone derives from the Greek words “tele” and “phonos” – it literally means “far off sound.” Most of us have heard that Alexander Graham Bell opted for “Ahoy” as a telephone greeting – perhaps as a nod to sound “waves?” But we can thank Thomas Edison for deciding that “hello” – a greeting he derived from the word “holler” – was a better choice. The words, “here, hold this” spoken by Bell to Mr. Watson when handing over his telephone instrument are thought to be the origin of the phrase “to put someone on hold.” When you put someone on hold, you’re really saying “don’t hang up – I’ll be right back!” Hanging up used to make sense, because the first phones were mounted on the wall. When the call was finished, the caller literally had to hang the receiver up on the phone’s cradle. The term lingers on, even though it’s been ages since most of us have seen a phone mounted to anything at all! So, no matter how up to date your phone system and technology may be, your language is a constant reminder of the first days that people had access to those “far off sounds.”
As a medical professional, you’ve probably heard or used the phrase “you’re not just a number, you’re a person” when referring to the way you treat your patients. It may surprise you to learn that a doctor was responsible for turning telephone customers into numbers. When an epidemic of measles hit a small town in Massachusetts in 1879, Dr. Moses Greeley Parker worried what would happen if all the town’s telephone operators fell ill at the same time. The local operators knew the names of the town residents and who in town got the emergency calls – but replacement operators wouldn’t know who was who. Dr. Parker devised a plan to replace names with an easy to follow system of numbers – and the idea soon spread faster than the measles. The cheery greeting “Number Please?” soon became a common phrase when operators responded to calls.
Patient Education On-Hold Experts
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