The Globe And Mail: Western Union Sends Its Final Telegram

Western Union sends its final telegram
WASHINTON–– Word came, ironically enough, in an announcement over Western Union’s website.. the legendary U.S. company quietly ended its telegram service in the United States, citing a decline in business that began in the 1920s and hasn’t let up since. “We regret any inconvenience this may cause you and we thank you for your loyal patronage,” ...more…

D-mail telegram

Western Union may sent its last telegram but Japan’s NTT is very much in the telegram buisness.
NTT’s “D-Mail(tm)” telegrams are still used for offering best wishes to weddings you cannot attend. “D-Mail” (dempa(電信機)= telegram) is sent via the Internet but physically delivered and read out loud at the wedding reception. Every wedding Japan receives dozens.
One reason for the popularity is that attending an out-of-town wedding costs an average of 150,000yen ($1,261USD) for gifts, lodging, trainfare, etc. However, a fancy telegram with giftbox is starts at 8,600 yen ($72 USD).
Another reason for the telegram’s popularity is that NTT offers “perfect” Japanese text for best wishes. Writing Japanese well is impossible task for many Japanese and picking a set of perfect phrases is OK to the Japanese (originally is not greatly valued in writing). For example, in translation #1631 “As we celebrate your joyous wedding from heart, and a wonderfull future for the both of you — we wish for happiness. (41 characters)”
In Japanese, you can see all of NTT’s Denpo services here.

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