Hello: I read it in a book.

The word “hello” was not used as a greeting until the 1870s. Although the word “hallo” had been used in Europe, it was not until the telephone began to be widely used in the United States that the word “hello” was adopted (despite Alexander Graham Bell trying to popularize “Ahoy!”).

The reason why “hello” came to be preferred was simple—that’s what was printed in the phone book as the official greeting to use when calling someone on the phone. It’s a hop, skip, and a jump to using “hello” the next time you greet someone on the street, as well.

I love the idea that a book can change history.

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