Now I know my ABC’s

In my line of work, the need for a phonetic alphabet comes up rather frequently. You know, when you’re trying to tell someone how to spell something.

You hear it used in emergency radio and ham radio communications all the time.

Standardized Phonetic Alphabet

A

ALFA

M

MIKE

Y

YANKEE

B

BRAVO

N

NOVEMBER

Z

ZULU

C

CHARLIE

O

OSCAR

1

ONE

D

DELTA

P

PAPA (PA-PA’)

2

TWO

E

ECHO

Q

QUEBEC (KAY-BEK’)

3

THREE (TREE)

F

FOXTROT

R

ROMEO

4

FOUR

G

GOLF

S

SIERRA

5

FIVE (FIFE)

H

HOTEL

T

TANGO

6

SIX

I

INDIA

U

UNIFORM

7

SEVEN

J

JULIETT

V

VICTOR

8

EIGHT

K

KILO

W

WHISKEY

9

NINE (NINER)

L

LIMA

X

X-RAY

0

ZERO

During the show last week, as I was trying to impart a web address to a caller, I was struggling with one of the letters. I always get confused with N and Q for some reason.

After the caller disconnected I mentioned on air that there should be a geek version of the phonetic alphabet. Makes total sense to me. G as in Google and so forth.

We tossed around a few ideas on the air and then my co-host Barrett threw it out to our guests in IRC and hammered out version 1.01

Geek Phonetic Alphabet

A

APPLE

M

MICROSOFT

Y

YAHOO

B

BOOTDISK

N

NEWBIE

Z

ZAXXON

C

CAFFEINE

O

OBSOLETE

1

ONE

D

DONGLE

P

PRINTER

2

TWO

E

ERROR

Q

QUICKTIME

3

THREE (TREE)

F

FREEWARE

R

REBOOT

4

FOUR

G

GOOGLE

S

SERIAL

5

FIVE (FIFE)

H

H4x0R

T

TOOLBAR

6

SIX

I

INDIA

U

UNIX

7

SEVEN

J

JOYSTICK

V

VIRUS

8

EIGHT

K

KILOBYTE

W

WEBCAM

9

NINE (NINER)

L

LINUX

X

XMODEM

0

ZERO

This is still in development. We changed Y from YMODEM to YAHOO on the air last night, per a brilliant suggestion from Dwight Silverman, so I guess this is technically Version 1.01 rev A

Barrett goes into a bit more detail on his Geekspeak Bog over at the Chronicle website.

3 thoughts on “Now I know my ABC’s

  1. Jay – You still have R = ROMEO in your phonetic alphabet instead of REBOOT as per Barrett’s list. (Me, I would have chosen README or ROGUE for that letter, but YAHOO MICROSOFT MICROSOFT VIRUS.)

    –Jim

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