What Happened to the Phonetic Alphabet?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by Guest, Dec 19, 2001.

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  1. N8YV

    N8YV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I respectfully disagree with you. My favorite piss-off is someone who uses "Japan" instead of Juliet, "Honolulu" instead of Hotel, and the absolutely nerve-wracking "Yokohama" instead of Yankee. These last two I find especially bad, because they have twice the number of phonetic syllables as their standard phonetic counterparts, making them even more difficult to understand during QSB/QRM. I have more than once, found myself misinterpreting "Honolulu" for "something?-Zulu".

    Using "non-standard" international phonetics such as these, only tends to complicate many situations, not help. Of course, I have NO problem with the use of alternate phonetics when the normal ones fail. If, after one or two tries, the original phonetic just doesn't make it somehow, I have substituted as a way to clarify a digit. I guess the rule of common sense should be: Use the standard ones first, anything else last!
  2. K5MAR

    K5MAR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Talk about a tempest in a teapot! Does somebody have too much time on their hands? I was a police dispatcher long before I became a ham, and the APCO-style phonetics are firmly engraved in my brain. I've tried to memorize the alpha-zulu phonetics, but when it becomes important to get the message across, I unconsciously revert to the one I'm most adept with. What difference does it make, as long as the station you are talking to gets it right. The first field day I attended (in 1971), the operator was using Whiskey (number deleted) No Scotch, and he was breaking the pile-ups just fine. If this is the biggest problem you have to worry about! This reminds me of the French legislature awhile back pissing and moaning about the corruption of their language with "Americanisms" like hamburger and hot dog.

    K5MAR (King Five Mary Adam Robert)
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    You wonder why people use "zed" instead of "zulu." It's not a matter of a particular phonetic alphabet but simply the way most english
    speaking people outside of the US are taught to
    pronounce the letter "Z." Outside of the US, the
    king's english is the prefered standard and you have to take into consideration the various spelling and pronounciation differences
    between international english and Ameri-speak.

  4. KE4PJW

    KE4PJW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Others I hate are:

    "Clear" (what happened to "bye bye" or "see you later"?)

    "Affirmative" and "Negative" (What ever happened to "yes" or "no"?)

    "Roger that" or "QSL" (What ever happened to "That's correct"?)

    You don't like what is known as "Common Over-the-Air Protocol". It has been in use long before you or I were born. It is mostly used in Marine and Aviation coms.

    Clear - I am ceasing transmission.

    Wilco - I have received your message and will comply.

    Break - Do you acknowledge receipt?

    Over - I am awaiting your response.

    Roger - I understand your entire message.

    But what has me scratching my head is that the hams/CB'ers waging the "jihad" against morse code are the
    same ones heavily using Q codes and abbreviations designed for CW.

    About the only ones I catch myself using are QTH and QRZ. They are just easier to say than the english equivlant.

    As I always say, speak English not Radioese.

    Not to use your own words aginst you but, high standards are, well, high standards.

    We should be using proper ITU phonetics ;)
  5. KF5TFA

    KF5TFA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow, if this is the biggest problem ham radio has to deal with, I would say we're in pretty good shape. [:)]

    Happy Holidays to all!

  6. G3RZP

    G3RZP Ham Member QRZ Page

    There is a problem with the 'standard' ICAO alphabet. Firstly, a number of the words are short, thus lacking syllabic redundancy. So 'Zanzibar' is better than 'Zulu'. Another problem is that many of the words are soft, low energy ones, such as 'Sierra'.

    The amateur service is different to most others in that the signal to interference or signal to noise ratios can be much, much lower than is usual elsewhere. So the problems of determining the letter from a foreign pronunciation (which is the major reason for phonetics when the signal to noise ratio is high) are subjugated to those of noise and interference, and it is under those circumstances that longer words (i.e.greater syllabic redundancy) with hard vowel sounds are more easily understood. So 'Germany' instead of 'golf', 'Zanzibar' instead of 'zulu' and 'Santiago' instead of 'sierra' make sense.
  7. N8UZE

    N8UZE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Although it is true that the names are different, even radically different, in the various languages, I've heard Germans use "Germany" in call signs, etc. And if I recall correctly, international regulations require amateur stations to identify in ENGLISH even though the conversation can be in any language.
  8. DJ9AO

    DJ9AO Guest

    I agree with that 100%. Since I use "Ontario" instead of "Oscar" I don't suffer anymore from the problems WA1VKO describes. The "Delta" is also a problem, espeacially in contests when you speak a bit faster. "Denmark" solves that and I don't think because of that I'm a poor operator.

    73 Oliver DJ9AO


    FYI - The next Kid's Day event will occur on Jan 5, 2002 from 18:00-24:00 GMT.

    I will be getting a bunch of kids "on the air" for this event and will teach them some radio etiquette beforehand.

    Part of this will be informing them of standard phonetics. HOWEVER, I will also inform them that more than one standard does exist and most of all... to have FUN.

    Folks, I sincerely HOPE that this doesn't become an issue if you attempt to work our station. If a kid ACCIDENTALLY says "10-4" or "Roger That" - just let it go.

    73 & Happy Holidays BTW: Favorite color = Blue
  10. KB1GYQ

    KB1GYQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    "destinated", past of the verb "destinate", which is found in almost any unabridged dictionary.

    "destinate" - verb, transitive [obsolete], from Latin "destinatus", To destine, design, or choose.

    The word does exist.... and can be used to mean, "*choosen* where I will stop traveling"
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