Imagine you have never used a telephone before. It rings, and you pick up the receiver. You don’t know that the social convention is to say “Hello?” or “Dabbler reader here. Who’s calling?” or something similar. So what do you say? One man who faced this dilemma was, of course, Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the thing, or at least got the patent on it. His preferred manner of answering the telephone was to shout “Ahoy!” This seems to me far more exciting than a dull “Hello”, and it’s a pity that Bell’s practice never caught on. It is, of course, never too late to overturn various social conventions. If we all started yelling “Ahoy!” when answering the telephone, the world would be just a little bit more pleasurable.
On a vaguely related note, I take this opportunity to mention that the first ever message sent in Morse code, by Samuel Morse himself, was “What hath God wrought?”