Phonetic alphabet

Yesterday I assisted in the decommissioning of some data centre kit. One of the tasks was for a colleague to read out (by torchlight) the serial numbers (initially typed "cereal". Yikes!) of each of 450 pieces of kit, and for me to capture that data. Quite a mundane task, but one made far more enjoyable by the military-style use of the phonetic alphabet in relaying the information. It wasn’t entirely for enjoyment—it was made necessary by the significant background noise of servers and air conditioning.

There is something strangely satisfying about knowing (and knowing that other people know) the phonetic alphabet. And there’s something similarly satisfying about using it. Quite likely a boy thing, one possibly confined to the more geeky among us. But that’s fine by me.


One Response to “Phonetic alphabet”

  1. Steve on April 8th, 2008 22:55

    I too know the phonetic alphabet (or at least most of it), but when put on the spot by somebody on the phone I always end up spouting stupid examples of words by way of explanation. Eg. “My postcode? Yep, it’s Biscuit Angora thirteen, three Jalopy Quagga”.

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