phones were like most difficult task

At olden days people’s travels were by walk or by bullock carts, bicycles and finally by bus
and the communications were by visits , letters, telegrams and phones were like most difficult task.
Please correct the above.
Thanks.

In olden days people travelled on foot, or by (bullock) cart or by bicycle, and later by bus. They communicated to others by visiting them in person or by sending the information by post or telegram, or by talking to them on the phone which was an expensive means.

In olden days people travelled on foot or on a bullock-drawn cart or bicycle, and later by bus. They communicated mainly via visits and letters. Telegrams and phones were used less frequently as they were more expensive and not readily available.

Beeesneees/Anglophile,
‘Phones were like most difficult task.’
Is this sentence grammatically OK? also logical?
Thanks.

No and no

No. It could be: Getting connected to the called was a most difficult task.

You might want to correct your typo.

Yes, thanks; done. (I corrected ‘Connected’ to ‘connected’)

You must have connected something else then, as the typo I was referring to ‘called’ is still there.

I think it depends on whether the caller is connected to the called, or the called is connected to the caller. In either case the caller is the initiator of the call, so he would naturally want himself to be connected to the other person. What do you say?

Hmmm… in that case you mean

"getting connected to the person called…
which would usually be
“getting connected to the person you wish to speak to.”
However, that is not the difficult aspect.

You seem to be unaware of the situation in developing countries in the olden days. It WAS difficult to immediately get telephone calls (mostly STD) ‘through’ (connected) in India in the 1960s and early 70s. You may not believe, one had to wait for two or three years even to own a service connexion (monopolized then by the government). Once I became so impatient that I cancelled a ‘lightning’ call (after waiting for a couple of hours) and communicated via telegram.

I am fully aware of the difficulties, but the difficulty was not getting the called person, it was getting a connection.

Yes, that’s why I corrected the sentence as ‘Getting connected …’.

But you say it’s ‘getting connected to the called’.
‘Ccalled’ as a noun is nonsensical. It doesn’t work in the same way as ‘caller’.
‘getting connected to the person/party you called’
or even
‘getting connected to the receiving party’ is fine.

No, the caller and the called; the person calling and the person/s called. Even in legal parlance it is not nonsensical. See again: The accuser and the accused; the defeater and the defeated; the redeemer and the redeemed. Why don’t you review the position, rather than hold it fast?

I reviewed it. It’s nonsensical.

But it cannot help making sense to others. I’m leaving it to them.

The trouble with the use of ‘called’ used as a noun is that it is very much tied up with the idea that this is some kind of divine summoning. You can see this in the English translation in the Bible in the sentence - Many are called but few are chosen. I won’t go into the religious interpretation but merely point out that it just doesn’t work if you refer to the person on the other end of a telephone conversation to whom you (the caller) are speaking, as ‘the called’.

Thank you for your explanation as well as for the new piece of information. I seem to have taken it strictly literally without being aware of the usage having a linguistic bearing on something divine.

There is always a dignified difference between ‘blindly imposing’ and ‘ably establishing’ a particular contention. Thanks, Alan.