Simply Jonathan

Hang Up

Today, during a conversation with Mia, we got to discuss the differences in the English “to hang up” and the Danish “at lægge på” (which translates into “to lay on”). At first, I found the Danish use more correct, given the actual action you do when hanging up — you put down the receiver on the actual phone, at least when you use a land line phone. (When you use a cellphone both terms are factually false — you press a button or fold the phone in some way.)

But then it hit me, this was actually for historic reasons. On the first phones, you would actually hang the receiver up. Apparently, the Danish verb for the action must then have been invented long after the fact, when newer table based phones had been invented.

This is Simply Jonathan, a blog written by Jonathan Holst. It's mostly about technical topics (and mainly the Web at that), but an occasional post on clothing, sports, and general personal life topics can be found.

Jonathan Holst is a programmer, language enthusiast, sports fan, and appreciator of good design, living in Copenhagen, Denmark, Europe. He is also someone pretentious enough to call himself the 'author' of a blog. And talk about himself in the third person.