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Since marks of punctuation ordinarily are used in written correspondence and their omission may affect the sense of your communication, care must be exercised in the construction of a message from which they are to be excluded.
If you do not intend to stipulate that marks of punctuation be transmitted, write your message without punctuation and read it carefully to make sure that it is not ambiguous. If it seems impossible to convey your meaning clearly without the use of punctuation, use may be made of the celebrated word "stop," which is known the world over as the official telegraphic or cable word for "period.
Use of this word in telegraphic communications was greatly increased during the World War, when the Government employed it widely as a precaution against having messages garbled or misunderstood, as a result of the misplacement or emission of the tiny dot or period.
Officials felt that the vital orders of the Government must be definite and clear cut, and they therefore used not only the word "stop," to indicate a period, but also adopted the practice of spelling out "comma," "colon," and "semi-colon. Of all these, however, "stop" has come into most widespread use, and vaudeville artists and columnists have employed it with humorous effect, certain that the public would understand the allusion in connection with telegrams.
It is interesting to note, too, that although the word is obviously English it has come into general use In all languages that are used in telegraphing or cabling.
Eliminating Small Words -- At a slight sacrifice to smoothness, but with a saving in tolls which often more than compensates, small words may be eliminated from your telegram without impairing the sense.
The articles "a" and "the" are outstanding examples, followed closely by "we," ",I," and "that. Of course it will not do for the ordinary, person to attempt the extreme condensation practiced for example by foreign correspondents of the larger newspapers who, because their cable tolls are high and words are precious, make use of a variety of ingenious combinations which are interesting merely as phenomena peculiar to the handling of cable dispatches for newspapers.
For example, a press correspondent might ,first write this dispatch: Revised for the cable, this dispatch might read: Extra Words in "Check," and Their Meaning -- Now and then in the check of a message there will be found certain added words, such as "repeat back," "get answer," and in the address perhaps "report delivery.
There is an additional charge for this service of one half the regular charge for the message. The service is used only when the sender for special reasons feels that an error would spell disaster. Nowadays, with error reduced to a minimum, this service is seldom called for, and in ordinary telegrams, it usually constitutes a useless waste of money.
The necessity for this procedure, however, has been obviated by the inauguration several years ago of the so called "XU" service.
There is no charge for the extra service, and no charge for the transmission of the symbol. It merely means that employees of the company at the point of destination will affix a notice to the telegram that an answer is requested, and an effort will be made to obtain such an answer.
Since all undelivered messages are reported back in service messages without additional charge to the sender, the "Report Delivery" service generally is unnecessary and is resorted to only on those rare occasions when the sender finds it important to know the exact time of delivery.
For the "Report Delivery" service, there. Code Books -- Codes and cipher systems ,existed, of course, prior to the invention of the telegraph, and it was perhaps inevitable that they should have been adapted to use in telegrams from the very first. The primary use of code in telegrams is to effect a saving in words, though secrecy also is sometimes a consideration.
In some instances, no doubt, secrecy is a paramount consideration, as in the case of war-time messages or important diplomatic correspondence sent by cable. However, codes or ciphers designed with the object of insuring secrecy usually are not of such a nature as to effect economy in telegraph tolls.
For example, there are systems in which a single letter of the original message is rendered by an entire word in code, so that the transmission of a 10 letter word intended to be "covered up" would cost as much as ten ordinary code words. The codes commonly in use for business communication are worked out, published in the form of code books and sold by concerns not connected with the telegraph companies, though such codes conform to telegraph rules, both domestic and international.
So general has the use of code become as a measure of economy, that virtually every large industry has at least one code especially designed for it, and many individual firms have worked out their own private codes.
To illustrate the theory of these codes, one may take an instance of a grain merchant making a sale of grain in the Chicago market. Coded, the message might read, "Sell barney stoke," which reduces the check of the message to three words.
In this instance, "barney" means 10, bushels of May wheat. If the message is written with pen or pencil, it is well to print the characters of the code words, and if it is typewritten, the use of upper-case or all capital, is to be recommended.
If an employee of the telegraph company calls your attention to an obvious error, do not be offended. We often make mistakes in dates. Today may be the tenth, and yet you may telegraph a friend that you will arrive "tomorrow the tenth.
How to Distinguish Between Various Services -- Disappointments to the public frequently arise from a failure to appreciate distinctions between the full rate telegraph service and the various so called deferred services, namely the Day Letter, the Night Letter and the Night Message.
If your business is really, urgent, the expedited full rate telegram always should be used. It bears the same relationship to other classes of telegraph traffic as the express train to the local train, and travels over the wires in preference to other traffic. Day Letters are subordinated only to full rate telegrams.
The speed with which they are handled depends to a large extent upon the number of full rate telegrams having precedence. Every effort is made, however, to avoid unusual delay, and with the elaborate facilities of the telegraph companies, service on this class of traffic is much better than might be expected.
Night Letters and Night Messages are accepted for delivery the following morning.This is an example of a reference letter for recommending professional services.
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