James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Sun Jan 30 01:54:53 UTC 2005

In a message dated  Fri, 28 Jan 2005 00:53:45 -0500,   Wilson Gray
<wilson.gray at RCN.COM> wrote:

>  I think I mentioned in an earlier post that what the Russians were
>  using for communication was then called "using radio-relayed telephony"
>  and is now known as "using a cell phone." So, it's not always assault
>  rifles and such that trickle down from the military for civilian use.

No, no, no.  What you are describing is called a "radiotelephone" or simply a
"mobile phone".  A "cell phone" (originally a "cellular phone") is a
particular type of radiotelephone that did not exist until sometime around 1980, due
to its need for computer power.  From MWCD10 "a radiotelephone system in which
a geographical area (as a city) is divided into small sections [called
"cells", hence "cellular" - JAL] each served by a transmitter of limited range so
that any available radio channed can be used in different parts of the area
simultaneously."  MW does not mention that as you move from one cell to another,
your connection is switched automatically to the frequency of the cell you are
entering (hence the need for computer power).

The military does not use cell phones in combat, simply because they expect
to be operating in areas in which cell phone service is either non-existent or
is out of service due to battle damage.

A piece of military history:  one of the advantages that the Soviets had over
the Germans starting about 1943 was that they had a large supply of
Lend-Lease radio sets that they could use to eavesdrop on German radiotelephones.

When discussing the sound represented by the Cyrillic letter "X", why don't
you simply call it a "guttural"?

     - James A. Landau

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