Morse Code officially dead? Unlikely.

On Friday, the FCC entirely eliminated the requirement that amateur radio operators know Morse Code in order to obtain General Class and Amateur Extra Class licenses, the only amateur licenses that until now still required applicants to pass a 5 word-per-minute test. (Link to PDF of the FCC news release.) Long live Morse Code!
 Ghd Gt501M
In his online journal, Paul Saffo looks at this dead language's bright future. From his post:

I passed the Morse exam years ago while getting my ham license, but I never used — or even considered using– Morse on the air. Then back in July, with full knowledge of Morse's obsolescence, I decided to learn it well enough to be able to actually carry on a radio conversation. To celebrate my modest progress, I ordered a top-line GHD telegraph key (the Rolls-Royce of keys) as an early Christmas present to myself. With exquisite irony, UPS delivered it yesterday afternoon, only hours before the FCC announcement was released.

It is tempting to conclude that the FCC's action spells the end of Morse, but I am certain we will see a very different outcome. Freed from all pretense of practical relevance in an age of digital communications, Morse will now become the object of loving passion by radioheads, much as another "dead" Language, Latin is kept alive today by Latin-speaking enthusiasts around the world. Latin fans eagerly tick off the practical benefits of speaking a dead language, but of course they pursue their study because it is fun and challenging, gives them a sense of accomplishment and links them to a community of other passionate speakers.