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What’s the purpose of those antennae with the triangular platform at the top?

Dear Cecil:

What are those antennae you see that have a triangular platform on top of a fifty-foot pole with two or three little antennae sticking up or down on the corners?

Mark Downing, Dallas

Cecil replies:

They’re for cellular telephones, the former yuppie plaything that has now become a necessity of life. The genius of cellular, of course, is that you can divide any region into an increasingly large number of progressively smaller “cells” (the area served by a single antenna) as the number and density (no offense) of mobile-phone users increases. So the cellular antenna will ultimately become as common a feature of the urban landscape as the dandelion, and about as attractive.

Cecil Adams

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