When a Swedish person answers their mobile telephone, they always give their name. As in “Yes hello, this is Sven?”
This is a throwback to the days of home telephones, when the person calling might be looking for somebody else or may be high as a kite and forgot entirely who he just called and needs to be reminded.
But in the mobile world, this behaviour is pointless. Of course it is me who answers my mobile, why would it be anybody else? This is the whole point of a mobile, that it is my personal phone. Unless you are picking numbers completely at random, you will be perfectly well aware of who you are calling.
I answer my mobile in the following way: “Hello?” And even though the person calling knows who they are calling, they quite often ask, in a timid voice: “Um, hello, is this XXX?” And I feel like saying, “Why yes it is, who the fuck else did you expect, Larry King?”
In Ireland you answer the phone in this way, with a cheesy “Hello?” You assume the person calling has the intelligence to work out that if they called Tammy’s mobile, then it will be Tammy who answers. I am working to introduce this lean, efficient system in Sweden, partly to save time, partly because I think the Swedish way is stupid and outdated, but mainly to make the person on the other end of my mobile flustered and irritated, and making people flustered and irritated is, of course, what I do best.