Apfelbaum’s Corner – Volume 78

Where stamp collectors gather, be it in the club or dealer’s shop, there should be a sign reading, “Philately Spoken Here.” Truly a distinctive language embracing a terminology that would be as Hottentot to most, but is used and understood internationally by Philatelists. The references to catalogs and handbooks that we make so casually, the use of quality terms; the ways in which we divide shades, papers, perforations, postmarks and printing methods are no secret to any of us, but constitute a rigid barrier to outsiders. One can travel in any country of the world and speak “philately” in stamp gatherings and be sure of a great degree of understanding by his audience. The same person cannot visit his next door neighbor and be understood when he talks in the stamp collecting language. We should bear this in mind when we address audiences of non-collectors or speak in groups where our hobby is not familiar.

We may use the Language of Philately only in philatelic circles. All others require interpretation in order to understand completely our message.