Infernal Machines

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I know I'm not the only person who hates answering machines. Everyone I know hates talking into them, unless they have had a chance to prepare the little 30-second speech they're going to give — and sometimes even then.

But I really hate having to listen to the messages people leave on my phone. Invariably, people break one or more of the following rules:

   1) Don't mumble — enunciate.

   2) Speak up, don't whisper.

   3) Don't rush through important tidbits of information like, say, phone numbers. I don't want to have to listen to the message two or three times to get the number correct. And be sure to repeat the important things slowly and clearly.

   4) If you have to spell unusual words — or website addresses — then for pity's sake, learn a standard phonetic alphabet. Don't make it up as you go, leaving the listener to wonder what the heck you said.

   Wrong: "Go to [mumble].com — L as in lachrimose, O as in outfit,  S as in syzygy, E as in elephant, R as in radish dot com."

   Right: "That's mysite.comMike, Yankee, Sierra, India, Tango, Echo dot com."

This has been a public service announcement.

Disregard at your peril.

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Yeah, right.... I didn't even know it had an official name.... Russ at TacJammer rants about people like me who don't know their Alphas from a Hotel in the Golf where internationally-accepted verbal spelling is concerned. I was just recounting... Read More


I had to spell my name for somebody over the phone once. I tried to use the phonetic alphabet, and the guy on the other end got mad. Thought I was yanking his chain.

I've had this conversation (or words to this effect):

Me: That's Brian, Bravo Romeo India...
Them: "Wait, wait... B-R-A-V-O-R-O-M....

geesh, I'd hate to leave you a message. You voicemail witch, you.


E as in Emma,
M as in Mule
M as in Mullet
A as in acronym


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This page contains a single entry by Russ published on February 28, 2005 9:16 PM.

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