Celestial Weasel (celestialweasel) wrote,
Celestial Weasel
celestialweasel

Unicode (the first one, beware of modern imitations)

My copy of "Unicode", the universal telegraphic phrase book. A code of cypher words for commercial, domestic and familiar phrases in ordinary use in inland and foreign telegrams has arrived. It is a 1908 printing, first edition January 1886.

"The Code-Book hitherto has been distinguished by two features - a high price and attempted exclusiveness. The "Unicode" aims at precisely opposite qualities, viz. a low price and a universality of employment so that not only in all offices, but in clubs, hotels and private residences copies shall be found and freely used.

"An example will best demonstrate the mode of using, and the economy effected. Say the following is the message in full :-
TO Smith, 100, Prince Rupert Road, Shepherd's Bush.
Jones dines with us this enveing and remains the night.
Smith.

"Hence the address and signature take eight words, and the body of the message ten, making eighteen words in all, or six extra to pay for; wheras by using the "Unicode" the message is reduced to
ten words and runs thus :-

TO Smith, 100, Prince Rupert Road, Shepherd's Bush.
Jones Coctivus
Smith"

Notice that Mrs Smith (presumably) doesn't get a say in the matter. The telegram arrives, 'Jones Coctivus Smith' it says. I suppose she just has to sigh and let cook know.

I think that Births has got to be the freakiest section, with code words as follows (I have omitted the actual code words to avoid going nuts typing it in)

Confined this morning, Boy, both doing well
Confined this morning, Boy, dead, Mother well
Confined this morning, Girl, both doing well
Confined this morning, Girl, dead, Mother well
Confined to-day, Baby dead, Mother fairly well
Confined to-day, Baby dead, Mother weak
Confined to-day, Baby dead, Mother very weak
Confined to-day, Baby dead, Mother fairly well, will telegraph again
Confined to-day, Baby dead, Mother weak, will telegraph again
Confined to-day, Baby dead, Mother very weak, will telegraph again
Confined to-day, Twins, both boys, all well
Confined to-day, Twins, both girls, all well
Confined to-day, Twins, boy and girl, all well
Confined to-day, Twins, one alive, a boy, Mother well
Confined to-day, Twins, one alive, a boy, Mother weak
Confined to-day, Twins, one alive, a boy, Mother not expected to live
Confined to-day, Twins, one alive, a girl, Mother well
Confined to-day, Twins, one alive, a girl, Mother weak
Confined to-day, Twins, one alive, a girl, Mother not expected to live
Confined to-day, Twins, both dead, Mother well
Confined to-day, Twins, both dead, Mother weak
Confined to-day, Twins, both dead, Mother not expected to live
Confined yesterday, Boy, both doing well
Confined yesterday, Boy, dead, Mother well
Confined yesterday, Boy, dead, Mother fairly well
Confined yesterday, Girl, both doing well
Confined yesterday, Girl, dead, Mother well
Confined yesterday, Girl, dead, Mother fairly well
Confined yesterday, Twins, both boys, all well
Confined yesterday, Twins, both girls, all well
Confined yesterday, Twins, boy and girl, all well.
Confined yesterday, Twins, one alive, a boy, Mother well
Confined yesterday, Twins, one alive, a boy, Mother weak
Confined yesterday, Twins, one alive, a girl, Mother not expected to live
Confined yesterday, Twins, one alive, a girl, Mother well
Confined yesterday, Twins, one alive, a girl, Mother weak
Confined yesterday, Twins, one alive, a girl, Mother not expected to live
Confined yesterday, Twins, both dead, Mother well
Confined yesterday, Twins, both dead, Mother weak
Confined yesterday, Twins, both dead, Mother not expected to live, Twins, one alive, a boy, Mother well
Confined yesterday, Twins, one alive, a boy, Mother weak
Confined yesterday, Twins, one alive, a boy, Mother not expected to live
Confined yesterday, Twins, one alive, a girl, Mother well
Confined yesterday, Twins, one alive, a girl, Mother weak
Confined yesterday, Twins, one alive, a girl, Mother not expected to live
Confined yesterday, Twins, both dead, Mother well
Confined yesterday, Twins, both dead, Mother weak
Confined yesterday, Twins, both dead, Mother not expected to live


But of course there is much worth quoting:
Detained here, shall dine at the club - Clemens
Fire broke out in adjoining premises, ours safe - Deformis
Forgotten my portmanteau, please send immediately - Derosus
Has changed for the worse and doctor gives no hope, useless your coming - Direxi
Invalid better; doctor recommends change of air - Dolatus

And in the deaths section:
Send me a lock of his (or her) hair - Celeber

So, when anyone mentions Unicode, remember to ask which one :-)
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