People don't talk on the phone anymore. They do almost everything else in life on them, literally. But talking has become a rare event on phones. That is why I think it's become hard for people to do it correctly.

Several times in the last couple of weeks I've been talking to someone who sounds more like Charlie Brown's teacher than a person I'm trying to interact with. In almost every case the person will be holding their phone to their neck. Sometimes they are just on a really bad Bluetooth, but usually, they are talking with their neck.

No, they aren't actually talking with their neck, but that's where the end of the phone is pointed. In the before times, when phones were tethered to wires, there was this big round microphone end of the receiver that was more obvious where you had to put it in order to be heard. Like this photo of Irish snooker player Alex Higgins in 1985.

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With the old-timey phones, I remember people would point the phone at their necks when they specifically did not want the person on the other end to hear what they were saying. It didn't work well, because modern telephone discourse has proven that you can hear enough to make out some of what is said.

Nowadays, we have become so used to just holding the phone in the vicinity of our heads to talk that we think anything will suffice for talking on the phone. Combine that with my propensity to want excellence in audio at all times and I become a very frustrated man when someone calls and says what sounds like "Haim, mon, whubba bub do?"

For my sake and the sake of everyone you will ever speak to on the phone in the future, which will probably only happens dozens of times during the remainder of your life, point the end of your phone at your mouth. Don't point it down against your neck or way out to the side. Straight at your pie-hole. Thank you.

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