Jeremy Wagstaffs weekly email send this time is a brilliant post about the use of incomplete calls as a signal where completed calls are a significant cost.
Heres a snippet:
…the missed call is not some reflection of not having enough credit. Its a medium of exchange of complex messages that has become surprisingly refined in a short period. Much of it is not communication at all, at least in terms of actual information. The interaction is the motivation, not the content of the message itself. Or, as a Filipino professor, Adrian Remodo put it to a language conference in Manila in 2007 at which they voted to make miscall, or miskol in Tagalog, the word of the year: A miskol is often used as â€œan alternative way to make someoneâ€™s presence felt.”
Indeed, the fact that the message itself has no content is part of its beauty
One bit of data. But, in its context â€” Jeremy points out that the message depends upon the time of day its sent, signaling perhaps that one is leaving work â€” so overflowing with human meaning.