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Better Phonetic Alphabet

A serious proposal for better letter name system
  [vote for,

A certain [Mickey the Fish] proposed a new phonetic alphabet that was meant to be a joke. I believe that we could really use a better one than the NATO alphabet and others in use. I believe the letter names would be most easily distinguished if they were all two syllables with the emphasis on the first syllable (with two exceptions).

I base mine more on the Greek (alpha, beta, gamma) alphabet and much less on the NATO (alfa, bravo, charlie) alphabet, but with substantial variation to avoid similar-sounding letter names (mu, nu, zeta, eta, theta).

Chilo (chee-loh)
Ecca [was Eza]
Fiba (fee-bah)
Iota (eye-oh-tah)
Jutta [better? ;-)]
Pyco (pie-koh)
Ubo [was Ulo]
Viga (vee-gah)
Xo (ix-oh) [was Exo]
Yoba [was Yaba]

Since this would be used internationally, I tried to avoid names that are words in any European language (as far as I could tell) and tried to ensure that they would be understandable over phone or radio by people with a wide variety of accents. They all end in A or O for some regularity and so Europeans can easily give them grammatical gender.

Additional names for common punctuation and other symbols could be similarly useful (atta=@, astra=*).

ConsultingDetective, Jan 30 2004

NATO Alphabet http://en.wikipedia...O_phonetic_alphabet
Wikipedia on NATO and other phonetic alphabets [ConsultingDetective, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Previous Non-Serious Idea http://www.halfbake...Phonetic_20Alphabet
[Mickey the Fish] joke proposal [ConsultingDetective, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Shavian alphabet http://www.omniglot...writing/shavian.htm
peep, gag, thigh, ha-ha, etc. [hob, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Phonetic Spelling Alphabets http://www.bckelk.u....net/phon.full.html
Astounding collection of phonetic alphabets from all over; choice seems to be pretty arbitrary. [ConsultingDetective, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]


       [jutta] It seems to me that varying the syllable length and/or stress much tends to break up the rhythm. Maybe that's actually good, but I can't find any scientific studies of the NATO alphabet to explain why the names were chosen ("oscar" replaced "oboe," and "mike" seems like it would get lost in a crackly radio transmission).   

       Also, some names are bound to be similar to existing words/brand names somewhere in the world. The point is not that they are impossible to confuse with other words, but that they are unlikely to be confused with each other. After all, the NATO alphabet consists entirely of common English words and names.
ConsultingDetective, Jan 30 2004

       I like this idea, but I have to say, I love the NATO alphabet. I used to have this guy working with me who was a former Air Force guy. I would talk to him on the phone about computo problems here and there, and inevitably, we'd have to start getting into product identifiers, which were weird strings of numbers and letters, so I always made him give it to me in phonetic. And then I'd say, "What? I can't hear you, can you speak louder?" So here's this poor guy sitting in his cube and shouting into the phone, "Fox, Zebra, Charlie, Tango, Niner, Niner, Niner" as if he was calling for an airstrike to save his platoon. I don't know if that's a good reason for EVERYONE to stick with the NATO alphabet, but that's what I'll be using.   

       Over and out.
jwagon, Feb 04 2004

       I'm quite fond of the letter names in the Shavian alphabet - <link>
hob, Feb 04 2004


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