General Question

flo's avatar

Which phonetic alphabet (a like apple, and so on) is the best, and why?

Asked by flo (12974points) August 23rd, 2018

There are a few versions
https://leons.im/posts/phonetic-alphabet/
I don’t see the one I know though.

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9 Answers

Patty_Melt's avatar

The one I know is there.

kritiper's avatar

The one the military uses because so many others use it, too.

YARNLADY's avatar

My answer is that all of them should be used, just to be sure.

JLeslie's avatar

It depends who your audience is. Say Zebra in the British pronunciation and a lot of Americans might not know the word. Zulu is better in my opinion, but probably some people don’t know what Zulu is. Let’s say you favor one of the lists with Zulu, there is inevitable another word on the list that is too Americanized that it might not be completely understood or familiar to someone outside America.

seawulf575's avatar

I would think the one that you are most familiar with is the best. The US Navy generally teaches (or did when I was in) the NATO version. My current job also uses that version, though it gets a bit bastardized…sometimes using umbrella instead of uniform or zebra instead of zulu. In the end, the point is to ensure communications are precise…that a “d” isn’t mistaken for a “b” or an “e” or a “g” for example.

seawulf575's avatar

On a humorous note, I once worked with a guy that was reporting a flow rate in gpm over the phone. He couldn’t remember the phonetic letters (Golf, Papa, Mike) so he made it up. He reported the flow rate in “grandma, papa, mama”. Not sure why he didn’t just say “gallons per minute”....

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, I use what I have learned, and if I forget I make a word up. The only purpose is to be clear about which letter you are trying to communicate to someone over the phone radio. Therefore it doesn’t really matter if you say Q, as in Queen, Quebec, Queer or Q-Tip….

flo's avatar

Thank you.

I see @JLeslie‘s point. Not all the words in the list are familiar to all/vast majority parts of the world. Which list contains the most common words to the most number of people of English speakers/learners?

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