Telegrams are no more

As you’ve probably read, Western Union has discontinued its telegram service. Andrew Buncombe muses on the history of the hand-delivered messages:

Probably the shortest telegram ever sent dates from the 19th century – attributed both to Victor Hugo and Oscar Wilde and thereby perhaps apocryphal – and sent from Paris to a literary agent in London. The writer sought news of the sales of his latest book and the agent replied that sales were doing very well. The message was simply “?” while the reply was an equally perfunctory, but equally informative “!”.


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