Phonetic Alphabet

Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, Delta (or David at the airport), Echo, Foxtrot...

Lately I found myself trying to remember the word substitutions for the letters of the alphabet.  Maybe it's the influence of Dollhouse (I still want to meet dolls Kilo, Uniform, and Whiskey). Or maybe it's because I'm tired of coming up with my own substitutions when I'm on the phone. But it's something I never needed to learn before and gave very little thought to.

So off I went to Wikipedia for a quick check.

That's always a mistake. There's no such thing as a quick check on Wikipedia.  It turns out the development of the NATO phonetic alphabet has a pretty interesting history.  There were debates and changes.  And it's impressive the system had survived largely intact over the years.

Except in CA, where the LAPD developed their own, and with other cities adopting the LAPD codes, it turns out to be a viable alternative.

When you're done with that, there's a fascinating article about Radio 10- codes.

If you find this at all interesting, spend some time in the Wikipedia articles.  There's all sorts of useless trivia to learn.


Paul Baines said...

I really should learn the phonetic alphabet, whenever I call British Telecom customer services someone in India answers and spends the first ten minutes prying a phonetically spelled name out of me lol.

Cromely said...

@Paul Baines: Standardization is key. I keep try to say things like, "K as in 'know'" which doesn't work so well in conversation.