What is the word to describe the sound of notification of incoming messages on cell phone?

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avidsuper

Senior Member
Japanese
Hi all,

It used to be part of my vocabulary, but it has just slipped away. I wonder what is the word used to describe the sound of notification of any incoming messages, such as email messages and messages on mobile messaging apps?The beeping sound? It doesn't sound right.
I want to use it in this sentence:

Turn off the ____ of the cell phone.
 
  • avidsuper

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you all for you responses! So no distinction is made between the ringtone of message notification and that of incoming phone calls? The sounds are different, though. They are both referred to as the ringer or ringtone?

    Nowadays, young people get so much distracted by cell phones, can I say they "listen for the ringer or ringtones of incoming messages all the time?
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    They might have different ringtones for incoming texts and incoming calls, and maybe other things, but they are all generically ringtones.

    Some might sound like a bell ringing, some might sound more like a beep, some will be their favourite song. They are all ringtones.
     

    witchqueen

    Senior Member
    English (US)
    Thank you all for you responses! So no distinction is made between the ringtone of message notification and that of incoming phone calls? The sounds are different, though. They are both referred to as the ringer or ringtone?
    If you look up ringer in the WF dictionary, you'll find
    a person or thing that rings or makes a ringing noise
    I suppose this is a legacy from the early days of phones when a mechanical device rang an actual bell to signal an incoming call. Nowadays the ringtone may not even be the sound of a bell. But the function of the device to make a sound to alert you of an incoming call is still called "the ringer." As phones have evolved to have more and more functions, they have started to make different kinds of noises. But the function of making noise is still called "the ringer."

    "I kept missing text messages until I turned up the ringer volume."

    "Ringtone" refers not to the function of making sound, but to the actual sound itself. My phone may not have the same ringtone as yours. "Ringtone" tends to refer to a longer, repeating noise (such as would play when a phone call is incoming). If it's a short, non-repeating sound for a text message, you could call it a "text tone." If it's for anything else, you could call it an "alert tone."

    Nowadays, young people get so much distracted by cell phones, can I say they "listen for the ringer or ringtones of incoming messages all the time?
    Most people, especially younger folks, tend to keep their phone on silent all the time, so it won't even make a sound. Because of this, it wouldn't make sense to refer to the ringtone. What you will hear instead is "notifications." This refers to the messages on the lock screen of a phone and the sounds that accompany them.

    "Nowadays, young people are constantly checking the notifications on their phones."
     
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