“What do Americans call that?” an Australian co-worker asked me the other day as she pointed to my phone.
“A cell phone.”
“Do you call it anything else?”
“Something that begins with an ‘M,’” she prompted.
I slowly replied, “A mobile phone?”
She starts laughing hysterically and between her laughter I can hear her mimic me, “Moe-bull.”
That’s when I learned a cell should be referred to as a “Moe-by-ell” phone.
There is hardly a person these days who does not feel naked without a moe-by-ell phone. With in an hour of moving in our London flats, 20 of us marched to a phone shop.
The sales transaction went something like this:
“What’s the cheapest phone with Skype that you sell?”
The sales lady shows us 20 moe-by-ells.
“Great, can we have 20 of them?”
It’s incredible. Using the internet service, Skype, I can call my family, thousands of miles away, for free. I can call all the journalism students for free. I can text them for free.
Then Skype goes scatty* and I’m stuck without a means of communication. It might be time to use a red telephone booth…**
*British/Irish term for crazy.
** Old means of communication before the moe-by-ell