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 ... ;)
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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