Tuesday, July 7, 2009

NATO Phonetics

Introduction

This article is about compensating for verbal communication misunderstandings; sounds deceptive, but simple and easy. To give an example, suppose you are administering a system remotely, you need to check a command by talking to a technician on the other end of the telephone, and you are unsure if you got the spelling right maybe due to cultural aspects or an illness affliction (think - head cold which can dramatically alter your speech/accent/pronunciation) - you could end up making a mistake and possibly creating even more work.

Amendment (5th July 2009): As PIEBALDconsult has pointed out, the article shall also reflect how to solve this problem using Generics. I took the long way as to show how the problem can be solved instead of going down the shorter route.

To quote from Wikipedia's article on NATO Phonetics "The NATO phonetic alphabet, more formally the international radiotelephony spelling alphabet, is the most widely used spelling alphabet".

By employing the use of NATO Phonetics when spelling out such a command could save a lot of potential headaches. The above can also be used in other situations such as spelling your name or address.

Ok, it may not be a lot useful today since communication means have advanced with options like SMS, Instant PC Messaging, and Skype!

But it can be a useful backup should verbal communication over the phone fail due to different pronunciations, accents, speech impediments, and illnesses.

Background

See full detail: http://www.codeproject.com/KB/library/NATO_Phonetics.aspx