Yesterday on KMBZ, Jerry Agar was trying to complain about kids' using cell phones in class and how it represents bad parenting and that families should rely on school administration to pass emergency and important messages back and forth "like in the old days," and the item of the "silent ring tone" came up.
This is the one that only young people are supposed to be able to hear.
It's dumb anyway, because it's not like teachers or whoever can't see kids mini-typing the messages back. Clicking away like insects. . .
Birdchick did an experiment that proved hearing it was not all that age-related, either.
The sound reminds me of an ear infection or of what I hear for hours after a live music show. I read once that you should turn your car radio down to just audible before going to a concert, then see if you can hear it afterwards. If not, damage has ensued, which is pretty much always.
My friend who teaches English as a Second / to Speakers of Other / Language(s) at UMKC has to deal with students who presumably are paying to be taught but who insist on "forgetting" the classroom rules of silencing the electronic crap while in class. Will she be hearing the screech of the silent ring tone next?
There are so many ringing annoyances out there already. . . the computer screen, the refrigerator, the air conditioner, the traffic. . .that it's kind of surprising to me that I can hear this tone at all. But I can.