Not so long ago (just over a decade), my son had to get tested for late-language development. One of the tests involved them showing him flashcards of extremely simple black and white symbols and getting some sort of reaction out of him. He wasn’t talking, so there was a lot of miming and mimicking sounds.

So, they showed him a bird, and he mimicked flapping his wings. The showed him a bed and he pretended to sleep. They showed him a ball and he found a ball out of the basket of toys in the corner.

And then they showed him a phone. It was an icon of corded phone where the receiver was on top and the numbers were dialed. He stared at it, utterly confused. The tester tried to prompt him. “What sound does this make? What would you do with it?”

Finally, I dug in my purse, found my cell phone, and had her ask the same questions, which he gamely answered. The tester laughed when she realized that he’d never seen a phone like this one, and had probably never seen a corded phone in use. She ended up throwing the card in the trash since she was pretty sure it would just confuse any other preschooler that walked in the door.