Author Topic: Phone Etiquette  (Read 4231 times)

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Irishkitty

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Phone Etiquette
« on: March 27, 2012, 03:52:24 PM »
So, I watch a lot of US shows, and I wanted to know. Is it an edit thing, or do people not say goodbye?

Sometimes one person says goodbye but the other person simply hangs up. Is this normal?

Here in Ireland a recent article had "100 ways to know you're Irish" and one of them was for when you are ending a phone conversation you say "bye, bye,bye,byebyebyebyebyebyebyebyebyebye..... " I actually know people who do this  :D
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alice

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Re: Phone Etiquette
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2012, 04:47:21 PM »
I think it is just a tv/movie thing.  I always say goodbye, and everyone I know says goodbye, unless it is an emergency

MrsJWine

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Re: Phone Etiquette
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2012, 04:48:59 PM »
This is a weird phenomenon in US shows and movies. No one I know can figure out why they do it, either. We always say "bye" or, "see ya!" or something.


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wolfie

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Re: Phone Etiquette
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2012, 05:08:03 PM »
It's an editing thing - when you only have 45 minutes to do a show you don't want to waste 5 of them having people saying goodbye.

MrsJWine

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Re: Phone Etiquette
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2012, 05:10:57 PM »
It's an editing thing - when you only have 45 minutes to do a show you don't want to waste 5 of them having people saying goodbye.

I still don't get it. Having a character say "bye" would take less than a tenth of a second. I understand that seconds are precious, but for mere fractions of seconds per show, I'd think they could afford to ditch one of the more distracting tropes there are.


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wolfie

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Re: Phone Etiquette
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2012, 05:15:50 PM »
It's an editing thing - when you only have 45 minutes to do a show you don't want to waste 5 of them having people saying goodbye.

I still don't get it. Having a character say "bye" would take less than a tenth of a second. I understand that seconds are precious, but for mere fractions of seconds per show, I'd think they could afford to ditch one of the more distracting tropes there are.

I looked this up a while ago and found this explanation:

"It saves time for another more useful line.

TV employs enormous economy in story telling. Watch closely and you will find in well written shows ther is no "dead air" - while people walk to answer the door they deliver a line, people often never get food into their mouths at the table, people converse while brushing their teeth, it is very rarely that a script has space for pointless actions or words. Anything that doesn't advance the plot, reveal a character or provide a laugh is soon cut. A typical half hour TV show is less than 23 minutes long and if you can find scripts you will discover how finely they are honed."

the time to say goodbye doesn't seem like it would be a lot, but considering how much they have to cut to get it into the time limit they would rather cut a goodbye then something meaningful.

MrsJWine

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Re: Phone Etiquette
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2012, 05:26:25 PM »
I was thinking less of other lines, and more of long, panning shots that always seem unnecessary (and not even particularly necessary for artistry, either) to me. Cut a tenth of a second off that ominous music while staring at a tree, and yay! time to make a more realistic phone conversation somewhere else in the episode.


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wolfie

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Re: Phone Etiquette
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2012, 05:31:12 PM »
I was thinking less of other lines, and more of long, panning shots that always seem unnecessary (and not even particularly necessary for artistry, either) to me. Cut a tenth of a second off that ominous music while staring at a tree, and yay! time to make a more realistic phone conversation somewhere else in the episode.

True - but the director seems to think the long panning shot says more then the goodbye would! Also by now it is convention - it might have been in the beginning it was all about cutting down to the right time but now it is just a given you don't do it.

Thipu1

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Re: Phone Etiquette
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2012, 11:09:38 AM »
Here in NYC, it's the custom for both parties of a phone conversation to offer a parting word. 

It's interesting to learn about the time-saving aspect of the theatrical convention, but there could be another reason.  In shows, a telephone call usually brings information that creates tension in the plot.  A 'good bye' could lessen the atmosphere of suspense the call has caused. 

I could be wrong but it makes sense to me. 

Brisvegasgal

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Re: Phone Etiquette
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2012, 06:58:59 AM »
Thanks for starting this thread. I was just watching an US tv show and came onto the board to find out if Americans say goodbye to end a phone conversation!

WillyNilly

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Re: Phone Etiquette
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2012, 02:30:44 PM »
A comedy show, Key and Peele, actually just did a whole joke on this very topic - how in real life people would get annoyed to be hung up on, but on tv no one ever says goodbye.  ;D

In real life, in the US, people say something to sign off a call ("bye", "later", "ciao", "love you", "I'm out", etc).

baglady

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Re: Phone Etiquette
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2012, 02:36:44 AM »
Most phone calls on TV are Important Business: to relay important news to a character. On doctor shows, this usually means the patient is coding. On cop shows, there's been another murder, so the guy the detectives took into custody must be innocent. In any event, the character must abruptly end the call and rush off to Deal With the Matter. No time for such pleasantries as "goodbye."

The phone will always be answered with "Yeah!" or "What?" or "Character's last name." Never "Hello."

In real life, though, most of us still end phone conversations with "goodbye." However, with caller ID and customizable ringtones, "Hello" isn't the universal phone greeting anymore. It could be "Hi, Mom" or "Hey, whassup?" or "Mornin', sweetie," depending on who's calling.
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lowspark

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Re: Phone Etiquette
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2012, 03:39:59 PM »
Slightly off topic but they abbreviate conversations on TV and in movies all the time. For example, I've noticed (and this bugs me for some reason) that people in TV shows/movies rarely set a time for a date. Or say where they will meet or if one is picking up the other. Something like this...

him: will you have dinner with me tonight?
her: I'd love to
him: I gotta run to meet my friend/solve the murder/cure the next patient/whatever!
~~~cut to next scene

I guess the words "I'll pick you up at 8" take even longer to utter than "goodbye".  :o

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Phone Etiquette
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2012, 04:15:43 PM »
LOL when I talk to Cpt.Brigid on the phone we're not done hanging up until we've said "Love ya, talk to you later, bye bye and at night "nighty night". 

Well we don't always say "love ya" but if we're moved to, we do. ;)
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Leafy

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Re: Phone Etiquette
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2012, 05:44:01 AM »
Slightly off topic but they abbreviate conversations on TV and in movies all the time. For example, I've noticed (and this bugs me for some reason) that people in TV shows/movies rarely set a time for a date. Or say where they will meet or if one is picking up the other. Something like this...

him: will you have dinner with me tonight?
her: I'd love to
him: I gotta run to meet my friend/solve the murder/cure the next patient/whatever!
~~~cut to next scene

I guess the words "I'll pick you up at 8" take even longer to utter than "goodbye".  :o

Lowspark that really bugs me too. Especially if the two characters have just met. I want to yell at them that they don't even have the other's phone number so they should make proper plans!

And, what about when someone picks up the phone but doesn't say anything and the person on the other end just starts talking? If that happened to me I would be saying "hello? Hello?" I wouldn't just launch into a conversation.