During the early 19th century, it was difficult to communicate long distance. There was a device called the telegraph that would allow long distance communication, but at times it would be difficult to operate if the user did not understand Morse code. In 1874, a brilliant inventor named Alexander Graham Bell introduced the idea of the telephone. Similar to the telegraph, the telephone would use electricity to allow people who are far apart to communicate. "If I could make a current of electricity vary in intensity precisely as the air varies in density during the production of sound, I should be able to transmit speech telegraphically. " (Bell). Two years later Bell would successfully transmit the message "Mr. Watson, come here; I want you ". The telephone not only revolutionized the communication industry, but it also introduced new words such as caller, dials, disconnected, hang up, telephonist, and on hold.
One of the words that the telephone introduced was caller. Caller is believed to have been first used by a Scottish fisherman in the 14th century. When the word was first introduced into the English dictionary it meant "one who cries aloud, or proclaims " (OED). After the invention of the telephone another definition was added to the word caller. This definition is described as "the person making the phone call " (Webster). Originally when the word referred to the telephone it was pronounced "caller-up ", but was soon changed to caller. It is truly remarkable how much the meaning of this caller has changed just because of an invention. Today, the word is still used frequently to describe someone making the call.
Another word that was introduced was dial. First used in the 15th century, the word dial was derived from Medieval Latin and described it as a clock wheel revolving daily. In English, the definition is "the graduated face of a timepiece or sundial. " (Webster's). After the invention of the telephone two definitions were added to dial.