Hello everyone! We all have seen the drama Alpha Bravo Charlie but I get surprised when I hear that many people around haven’t heard of the Phonetic Alphabets. Here is another effort to organize our lives just a little bit more.

Whenever we are talking to someone on the phone and we need to tell them important details like our address, email address or pass-code, it is vital to get the exact details across without the fear of miscommunication.This is why Phonetical Alphabets came into being. It is very important for all of us to remember these like the back of our hands.

The NATO Phonetic Alphabet is a widely used radio-telephonic spelling alphabet. Critical combinations of letters and alphabets can be pronounced and understood by people who exchange voice messages by radio or telephone regardless of language barriers or the quality of communication channel. They can even be used in face-to-face conversations specially in noisy scenarios.


I am embarrassed to admit I didn’t know these before I worked in a call center in London. That’s when I learned these by heart and life has been much easier and more organized. It is vital for everyone to learn these by heart as the listener needs to know these too.

Just a very simple explanation for those who don’t have an idea. If someone asks an email address on the phone. One replies W for Whiskey, I for India, N for November and K for Kilo at hotmail.com. It’s much more assuring than saying [email protected]. Someone could mishear it as link, sink or blink. Phonetic alphabet is used to minimize errors in communication. We hear a lot of people making up their own phonetic alphabet like E for Elephant, S for Sugar. Well, its not the best thing to do.
This reminds me of a funny incident when I worked for Davenport Black Limited in London. A Polish customer was on the phone with me. We both couldn’t understand each other at all. Suddenly he said ‘Ha’ for Jalapeno. I almost burst into laughter. Wow! Out of all the words to avoid miscommunication, this was the best. He didn’t understand phonetic alphabets at all which completely wrecked up our whole conversation. But I wish I was given an audio copy of that conversation. It was hilarious. 
How many of you knew the phonetic alphabets before reading this? Would love to know. Hope this helps.
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About Nadiya Najib

Hi guys! Subscribe to my blog to know about the drama that I am, my love for Pakistan and planet Jupiter and my general rambling on whats what! ? I have so much to talk about. I'm passionate about Tennis,? truck art, family trees, organizing, traveling, stamp collection, natural remedies, leaf art, social media, cats, blogging, chess and so much more! I'm always exploding with ideas. Come let's socialize. ?


  1. Ha – jalapeño lol, I like to drive people a little crazy sometimes , using – W as in wrap, K as in Knapsack, C as in czar and even A as in aisle and P as in psychic. I know, not very productive but it sure makes an otherwise mundane phone call a little fun! Wait, P like in phone! Lol

    Great blog Nadiya. I keep this list on my desk handy always btw! With my add ons as well. ?

    1. Hey thanks a lot tommy. Just discovered your comment and as usual, I’m happy to see your thoughtful words. I’m glad you use phonetics. 🙂

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