That takes me back. In a former life I typed out telegrams for a living. That’s why I’m such a fast and accurate typist. Punctuation was described, so you’d hear something like “number 8 colon number 4…” or “eat more comma earlier stop”, but in spite of this, I still struggle with punctuation.
The other thing I remember is having unusual words spelled out — such as “Threlkeld. T for Tom, H for Harry, R for Robert, E for Eddie, L for Larry, K for King, E for Eddie, L for Larry, D for Dingo” — it was sometimes a slow process.
Yes, I picked up my father’s pedantic presentation of our name. It’s the first and last letters that give people problems: T and D. Those become “Tom” and “David.” Then I have to go very slow in the middle so they don’t don’t miss an E or L.