Is it "73" or "73's"? I know the answer. Curious what you think

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KE0EYJ, Aug 11, 2019.

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  1. W9BRD

    W9BRD Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's a good short answer -- there it is on TOM's QSL. Such usages are just the result of a natural language process, like how we back-formed a singular kudo out of the Greek word kudos, which means "praise." Kudos with that s at the end looks like a plural when we drop that word into an English sentence (and don't italicize it as a foreign word), so if we feel that if we've been awarded what sight-reads like multiple kudos, being rewarded less (or stingily) with just a single, crummy kudo can't be far away. I know a left-handed kudo when I see it!

    73 means best regards, which means a plural is built in, but there's no s at its end, so when we're speaking, it feels funny (to some) to say something that sounds singular when it's actually a plural. (And handing out just one regard feels stingy, like saying just "Thank!") Likewise, the adjective best is already baked in, but when we speak we like to intensify, sometimes through repetition ("I really, really mean it"). So what ends up happening is that in speech and writing 73 naturally feels like and its treated more like a singular noun, leaving it open to intensification with a leading best (or some other adjectives, like Doug DeMaw used to do in official ARRL HQ correspondence ["Warm personal 73" -- I'm not kidding]) and pluralization with an s.

    The apostrophe between 73 and its pluralizing s (73's) seems to be a depends-on-where-and-when-you-went-to-school thing. Somehow or other many folks grow up thinking that if they mind their p's and q's and cross their t's and dot their i's, the world won't be at 6's and 7's. Good style guides for copyediting and printing specify that such usages merely require that a number or letter used as a noun should be italicized (6s and 7s). We see other such usages in ham radio (QSO's), apparently because some also feel uncomfortable with acronyms or codes used as words, when "QSOs" would be fine. (Me, I like looking at the web output of weather radars, even though by the previous logic I should be doing my nowcasting with the help of RADAR's. I'm sure they won't throw me even one kudo, regard, or thank.)

    There you go: Another minute or three you won't get back.

    Best best regardses,

    amateur radio W9BRD
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
    K5ABB, W9RAC, W9JEF and 1 other person like this.
  2. W9JEF

    W9JEF Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here in NW Arkansas right now, we'd be thankful to have the dew point below 73.

  3. WZ7U

    WZ7U Ham Member QRZ Page

  4. AF7XT

    AF7XT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hiram Percy Maxim came by his dry Yankee sense of humor honestly enough ...

    "In addition to his engineering endeavours, Maxim, a lifelong atheist[25][26] "compiled and edited" a book he called Li Hung Chang's Scrapbook.[27] This book was addressed to Li Hung Chang (also spelled Li Hongzhang and Li Hung-chang) and endeavoured to address a belief that "The Chinese were generally puzzled as to how it was possible for people who are able to build locomotives and steamships to have a religion based on a belief in devils, ghosts, impossible miracles, and all the other absurdities and impossibilities peculiar to the religion taught by the missionaries."[28]

    Maxim held European missionaries in China in low esteem, for reasons described in the scrapbook. He stated " was my aim, in compiling for His Excellency a scrap-book with explanatory notes, to put the Chinaman right in this respect. I wished to show that we were not all fools."[28] His scrapbook comprised some 400 pages with 42 illustrations, presenting his views on The Nature of Christianity; Christianity in China; and his conclusions on subjects including Miracles, Spirituality, Faith; and the influence of the Bible on the civilisation of Europe and America. He concluded his scrapbook with an appeal to the Missionaries and his thoughts on the reason for the failure of what he described as "Missionary Propaganda" in China."

    The above attributed to his father, Hiram Stevens Maxim. There is much more anecdotal and corroborated evidence to support the belief that when HSM's tongue was not engaged other tactile pursuits or extemporary eloquence, it was planted firmly in cheek .

    ...Hiram Percy Maxim came by his dry Yankee sense of humor by way of his father.
    WA7PRC, W7UUU and N2EY like this.
  5. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    He would be fun to have on teh Zed.
    WZ7U, AF7XT and W7UUU like this.
  6. W9RAC

    W9RAC Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well the entire conversation has had me worried I may be messing this up on CW bigtime, so I m trying this instead of 73.... Im using..... "I be cuttin dat coax in a short, bye bye", then I just stop sending. I seem to be getting a fairly good response since no one has replied. Sometimes if I feel like getting fancy I throw a "10-3s" in too. enjoy, 73 Rich
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  7. AF7XT

    AF7XT Ham Member QRZ Page

  8. WZ7U

    WZ7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    Till he got banned for slights, real or imagined.
    WA7PRC and KP4SX like this.
  9. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Oh indeed!
  10. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Until he "silenced" a few folks.
    W4IOA, WZ7U and W7UUU like this.

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