Re: morse abbrev. past & future


From: Mike J Pulley (
Date: Thu Dec 15 1994 - 19:53:15 EST

Text item:

     I've spent hours on a TDD (telephone device for the deaf) talking
     with friends who are hearing impaired. You would recognize the
     prosigns, but I gather they originated with the old landline
     Morse circuits rather than radio CW.
     First, recognize the historical roots of TDDs. The first
     instruments were old TTY floor models refurbished and donated by
     the Telephone Pioneers as a public service to the deaf community.
      The TTY protocols derived from the technological predecessor,
     the Morse wire. My point is CW shares the same grandpappy with
     TDDs, hence the family likeness.
     When modern solid state TDDs appeared, there was no reason to
     change the protocol and prosigns. Most of the conversation is
     plain English; Morse abbreviations are uncommon and confusing to
     most folks. Prosigns are only necessary to quickly trade turns
     sending and to close the conversation without rambling on nor
     hanging up prematurely.
        GA - Go Ahead. Sent at the end of each transmission. Serves
        the same purpose as K on CW.
        SK - I have nothing more; end of exchange. Both parties take
        turns sending this right at the end with minimum comment. SK
        is traditionally sent twice -- "SK SK". I think of "silent
        key", but that's a mental crutch, not historical origin.
        When one party is ready to close, he/she sends "GA TO SK" to
        indicate the other person can either make more comments or
        close with "SK SK".
        I suppose we use "SK" on CW, but "dit dit" does the job most
        of the time.
     -- Mike, WB4ZKA

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: morse abbrev. past & future
Author: at Internet_Gateway
Date: 12/15/94 3:14 PM


This thread brings up something that has been tickling my mind for a week
or so. On a recent repeat of the show "Law and Order" the printed text of
a conversation conducted by telephone devices for the deaf was entered
into evidence. One of the characters points out that a party in the
conversation typed SK SK over and over to indicate that he/she was
intending to hang up. I was wondering if anyone had any experience with
TDDs, and if, as I suspect, their prosigns derived from those of the
international morse code?



Bruce G. Robertson Dept. of Classics, U. of T.

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