How would you spell the word “No” over a walkie-talkie in the U.S. military phonetic alphabet?
– Nevada October
– North Oxygen
– November Oscar
– Navy Orange
Answer: The code word for the letter “N” is November and the code word for the letter “O” is Oscar. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) alphabet assigned code words to digits and acrophonically to the letters of the ISO basic Latin alphabet (Alfa for A, Bravo for B, etc.) so that critical combinations of letters and numbers can be pronounced and understood by those who transmit and receive voice messages by radio or telephone regardless of their native language or the presence of transmission static.
The International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet, commonly known as the ICAO phonetic alphabet, and in a variation also known officially as the ITU phonetic alphabet and figure code, sometimes called the NATO phonetic alphabet, is the most widely used radiotelephone spelling alphabet.
Although often called “phonetic alphabets”, spelling alphabets are unrelated to phonetic transcription systems such as the International Phonetic Alphabet. Instead, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) alphabet assigned codewords acrophonically to the letters of the English alphabet, so that critical combinations of letters and numbers are most likely to be pronounced and understood by those who exchange voice messages by radio or telephone, regardless of language differences or the quality of the communication channel.