This is one of those things that you notice once in awhile but dismiss, but then you keep noticing it and after a few years you start to wonder, "why"? Is there a reason why it seems like many (maybe most?) hams prefer to use the phonetic "united" for the letter "U" instead of the standard "uniform" that we were all taught when we got our licenses? Since I hear this all the time, I'm wondering if it has a basis in the military or other formal communications. Has "united" replaced "uniform" and I just never got the memo??
As far as I know it's still "Uniform". I hear other variations on standard phonetics but I guess it's just a sign of the times.
i'm sorry you don't have the experience or understanding to realize that others possess a skill set that you seem to dismiss as fantastical.
Never had any trouble with my first Ham Radio call sign way back in 1947. G3CAJ "Calling all Jitterbugs" but that was before the advent of the QRZ forum. In those days our interests were in radio.
The ICAO ("standard") phonetics are fine when there is no QRM and there is little noise on the signal. Unfortunately, such is not always the case in amateur radio.
Especially with persons with whom English is not their primary language using ICAO phonetics can cause problems. Even with those who normally speak English during "pile ups" the ICAO phonetics can often be lost.
For example, using ICAO phonetics my call is kilo nine sierra tango hotel. However, when I am working DX and often in any phone contest this just gets "lost". Even if I don't have any problem being recognized I often have to repeat the phonetics several times. Therefore, I often go to "kilowatt nine Spain Texas Honolulu" or "kilowatt nine Spain Tokyo Honolulu". Both of those phonetics get through very well.
The fact is that geographic locations are generally pronounced the same in most languages. But, for those who are not that familar with English (and even for many who are familar) the ICAO phonetics are not that clear.
The one that gets me is "Kilowatt" When I hear that I always write down KW. I wish Hams would just use Kilo instead.
God Bless America and her Troops.
Simplex Net Friday Night 7:30pm EDT (00:30UTC) on 146.560 Atlantic City area. -KC2ESD
In my call I don't use the regular phonetics either.
Whiskey is the best phonetic, of course.
Then Uniform. Doesn't that sound more interesting
than United? No, not to me.
I always liked Zulu. I wish the world would switch
to Zulu time.
And what do you like? Romeo or Radio? AAAhh common!
I spent all my years when I was young wishing I was older. Now I spend all my years when I'm old wishing I was younger....
i use standard phonetics . except C which i replace with Canada
I have to agree with K9STH.
When working DX, I can repeat my callsign countless times "Kilo Juliet Mike" and not be understood.
A single "Kilo Japan Mexico" seems to work like magic and be understood.
As much as I would like to use the "standard" phonetics, They just dont always work!
Perhaps the question should be "WHY does it bother someone so much?"
The whole purpose of phonetics of ANY type is to make a call more understandable when conditions require; indeed, if conditions are perfect, phonetics aren't (or shouldn't be) needed!
Certainly, the "cute" phonetics should be saved for the local repeater (where again, it shouldn't even be necessary) or in "eyeball QSO's."
But again, while the ITU Recommended phonetic list is a recommendation, should it be a requirement etched in silicon?
Is it more important that a station such as WA0URL (with apologies to the real WA0URL!!! sign as WHISKEY-Alfa-Zero-Uniform-Romeo-Lima, or is "William Alpha-Zero-United Radio London" just as EFFECTIVE in identifying the station?
The FCC regulations state that a "standard" phonetic list is "recommended;" it's NOT required to use phonetics, and it's NOT required to use any particular "standard." If it were, the FCC regulations would be very specific that the ITU, or any other list is THE standard to be used.
As Glen pointed out, sometimes the ITU phonetics just don't get through; either because of foreign speakers pronouncing words in a foreign accent, or because of foreign operators not easily recognizing "Americanese" or any other language other than their own.
Again forget the "cute" phonetics. But the phonetics that get the best, most accurate results are the ones to actually use.
If I understand a station's phonetics, I don't make note of what "standard" list of phonetics they are using, I'm just thankful that they have an easily understood phonetic combination for their call. After all, THAT is what phonetics are really all about.