Thursday, January 24, 2013

Phones in Overtones

I was reading an old play, Overtones, by Alice Gerstenberg, and I came across a funny detail in the printed text: the word "phone" appeared with an apostrophe in front of it: 'phone

Evidently this was to indicate that the word "phone" was a contraction.

It occurred twice in the printed text, each time with the apostrophe:
HETTY [The telephone rings] There she is now.
[Hetty hurries to 'phone but Harriet regains her supremacy.]
HARRIET [Authoritatively] Wait! I can't let the telephone girl down there hear my real self. It isn't proper. [At the 'phone.] Show Mrs. Caldwell up.
Now, of course, that short word "phone"
very often shows up alone,
feeling, for sure, no need to be
accompanied by an apostrophe.

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