National Geographic : 1937 Oct
Photograph byJ.Baylor Roberts c"OH-WUN-TOO-THE -R -EE" Telephone operators do not pronounce "fi-ive" or "ni-yen" to be affected, but to avoid confusing five with nine. All must go toschool, where they aretrained in clear enunciation of numbers and phrases, such as those on the board: "Here is your party," and "I am tryingtoget them." Their crisp diction and unfailing courtesy have set a national standard of politeness in business relationships. A classic story of poise is the one about anexasperated subscriber who yelled, "Are you crazy, or am I?" In even tones came the suave reply, "I am sorry, sir, but we do not have that information !"