The Allied military alphabetical spelling was devised by a member of the United States navy. The idea was to have a standard typeface for the symbols used in the various languages of the world. These alphabets are derived from Latin, Greek, and Arabic, to which the United States has been closely allied during the Second World War. The alphabets were adopted as the official language of the United States military after the allied victory at the end of World War Two. In keeping with tradition, the military alphabet was never changed during the course of the war.
There is some controversy concerning the actual origination of the military alphabet. Some etymologists think that it evolved from an acronym for Muscatine, as indicated by a symbol called the M.A.S.C. Although this seems to be the most common belief, there is also the story of the origin being lost in the mists of time. The supposed source is lost in obscurity, but many believe that the military alphabet eventually came to be known as the phonetic alphabet. This name has stuck.
The phonetic alphabet was used throughout the United States armed forces, as well as in the British Army. It was immediately recognized by both the British and American forces as being different from their formal English language. This was very important to the members of the army who were required to speak in formal dialogue under the military conditions. The phonetic alphabet had several advantages, including being easier to learn for those who were rapidly improving their own oral skills.
The military alphabet was assigned a formal code word that consisted of up to thirteen symbols. This consisted of letters A to Z of the code word. The advantage of this code word was that the same letter could be repeatedly pronounced, regardless of which way it was pronounced. For example, if the first letter of the word was “A”, then any subsequent letters would only have to be different from the first, i.e., “AA”. This made the alphabet very flexible to a variety of situations. Because it was designed so that members of the armed forces could quickly identify their uniforms, the phonetic method of writing the alphabet quickly became the standard writing format for nearly all branches of service.
Many of today’s younger personnel are not familiar with the use of the military alphabet. As a result, the use of the phonetic alphabet is quite limited in the classroom, but it is still commonly used in many situations outside of the classroom. In movies, television shows, and video games, the military alphabet is often used instead of the traditional spelling alphabet. When this is the case, the pronunciation is typically “au-savy” or “uh-savy.” However, this is not the correct pronunciation and is usually considered poor taste by many people.
Some communication devices, such as cell phones, are now beginning to recognize the military alphabet and use it in place of using full words for letters. Cell phone companies have come up with phones that will allow you to send and receive military letters. For instance, instead of saying “You hit the ball” or “We got the score”, they now say just the two simple words. Phones like these are meant to be communication devices, but it does allow soldiers who are away from home to communicate back home.
In World War II, the United States started using a variation of military alphabet for official business. The Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps all had different alphabets that were used on official business but used common phrases and words that everyone knew. They even called their bases at the same locations. This started the tradition of nicknames that went around in the military, which still exists today. Each branch and their respective officers called out the numbers that corresponded to their wings, ranks, posts, and positions.
In World War II, with the Japanese on the verge of taking over the whole country, the government started using the military alphabet and changed the way that they were called. Instead of saying “igate,” they were called “rook” and instead of “combat troops,” they were called “frigates.” This is how it all started, and you can see this tradition still going on today, especially in the world of uniform design. Although the world has moved on a lot since World War II, there is a certain level of nostalgia with which members of the military feel.
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