Web Design Course Notes

Good Hello.

So far, we have two sections.

1. Principles of Web Design

2. A 9-step Web Design Process

 


 

The word "hello" in its current usage is quite recent. Let's look it up in Webster's Dictionary 1913 edition, for example.

"(Hel*lo") interj. & n. See Halloo."

That's the entire entry. OK, let's See Halloo, as recommended.

"Halloo (Hal*loo") n. [Perh. fr. ah + lo; cf. AS. eala, G. halloh, F. haler to set (a dog) on. Cf. Hollo, interj.] A loud exclamation; a call to invite attention or to incite a person or an animal; a shout. List! List! I hear Some far off halloo break the silent air. Milton."

So where does its current usage come from? The word has its origin in technological change. Early telephone companies required a greeting that was not time-sensitive, so that operators would not inappropriately say "Good Morning" to someone in another time zone, for whom it was afternoon. The lore has it that a competition was held, and "hello" won. It gained a certain modern feel, and became the popular greeting of the hip young telephone-conversationalists. Now, of course, we use it all the time.

This new technology of the net has not required of us that we create a new greeting, however. People tend to use "hello" or "hi" like a phone, or if unused to the infomality that the net's instantaneous nature engenders, "Dear so-and-so", like a letter. In this way, we see that the Net is merely another form of instantaneous/asynchronous communication. It's been said that everything that's happening now with this network is a mere shadow of what happened with the introduction of the Telegraph. Nonetheless.

In every other sphere, we're pretending that the net is the biggest revolution since the printing press, or fire, or whatever. So in order to maintain that fiction, let us seize up a new greeting for our new technology. I nominate "good hello".

[return to the top of this document]