I remember when I got my first cell phone — actually it was a car phone. It was mounted in the center column of my 1987 Acura Legend. I was proud of it. When I drove around Berkeley and Oakland, it worked perfectly.
But on a longer trip to the South Bay, there would be several places where I could expect the cell phone coverage to fail. A few years later, I bought a Motorola Startac phone. It had AT&T coverage. Ironically, it had superb coverage throughout the Bay Area, never dropping a call. It was on the old TDMA network.
Before the iPhone came out, I used an HTC telephone on the AT&T network. It wasn’t great, but I had decent coverage in most of the Bay Area. Of course, I bought an iPhone. And now, like the rest of you, I am experiencing cell coverage that is substantially worse than cell phone coverage was in 1987. I have started to use a new word, “tee”, to indicate a condition in which your cell phone coverage has been cut off.
TEE (Sometimes T) – verb
Etymology: variant on “AT&T”, a telephony company founded in 20th century USA.
1. To unexpectedly interrupt a service that otherwise is expected to be constant.
2. Reflexive: to be the victim of an unexpected interruption.
Use: “I was teed when I lost cell phone coverage in down town San Francisco.” “Damn, AT&T has teed me again!” “I’ve been teed!”