A survey made by the author in 2003 has shown that it is merely one-third of people possessing either a line phone or a cell phone who do not use an answering machine. More than 50 per cent of the recorded text of answering machines can be studied from a linguistic point of view. Conventional forms of greeting are mainly used by people of an advanced age. Under-eighteens use a considerably larger number of individual forms. The rate of formal ('vous') greetings is 79%. It is interesting that singing often replaces forms of greeting. Another frequent feature is the use of funny or playful greeting substitutes. There are several examples of artful recordings in which fake sound effects of family life may serve as playful substitutes. Provocative recordings occur mainly among people with less schooling. In general, conventional greetings tend to introduce answering machine texts that also contain additional pieces of information. The relative prevalence of various forms of greetings used in answering machines is also influenced by the media. Szia 'Hi!' is a widespread form of greeting, used by men and women alike. Among farewell formulae, substitutes are also frequently found.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.