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Re: [CQ-Contest] Phonetics

To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Phonetics
From: David Gilbert <xdavid@cis-broadband.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2006 09:25:37 -0700
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
Sorry ... I must dissent ;).  Although not a DX contest, SS is one of 
the most intensely contested events out there.  While some participants 
are having "fun" with their phonetics, the other guy is wasting time 
trying to figure out their exchange.  The commonly used phonetics 
(standard or otherwise) quickly register in the mind and go into the log 
smoothly.  To use your example, the phrase "Hot Chocolate" requires an 
extra level of mental translation ( a real pain when you're running) and 
require both words to be captured together for best recognition.  Even 
worse, the word "Hot" is so brief phonetically that the slightest burst 
of QRN or QRM (much more of an issue than poor English) is going to 
cover it up.  There is a good reason why most standard phonetics contain 
two syllables.  I'd much rather someone send me "Hotel Charlie" when 
speed and accuracy count since I can pretty much figure out the letters 
even if I only recognize "..otel ..Char..".

Look at it this way ... when the guy on the other end asks for a repeat 
is N6HC  going to send him "Hot Chocolate" again?  My bet is not ... 
he'd send him something more recognizable.  So why not save the cute 
stuff for ragchews (and maybe QSO parties) and concentrate on optimally 
effective communication during contests? 

As you say, the idea is to choose that which works best on the other 
end.  I live in Arizona and when signal conditions are good I send my 
section/state as "Arizona" because the name itself is most quickly 
recognizable.  When S/N is poor, though, I go with the admittedly less 
recognizable "Alpha Zulu" because the phonetics seem to squeek through 
the QRN better.  If I'm doing S&P I give my section/state in the same 
form the guy running the frequency is because he's mostly likely to be 
mentally calibrated for that.

Mostly, though, I find CW contests less ambiguous ... ;)

Dave  AB7E

Zack Widup wrote:
> The entire purpose of using phonetics is so the other guy gets your 
> information correct.  I would only use standard phonetics in a DX contest, 
> where the other person may not speak very good English, but in a domestic 
> contest such as Sweepstakes I don't see any reason not to have some fun 
> AS LONG AS the other stations get my call correct.
> I don't care what phonetics are used as long as I copy what you're trying 
> to communicate. For example, November Six Hot Chocolate worked quite well 
> at this end.
> 73, Zack W9SZ
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