Nadine Hammer
DO YOU love spelling bees?
Did you happen to be on a phone call, and someone was not able to understand your name? The next ask was probably from the other end of the line to repeat your name and spell it.

And even if you have a simple name, as I do, that could be a challenge that lots of non-native speakers might have to face.

So, in my case it should be pretty easy. My name is Nadine. 
Person on the phone: Thanks, for calling Ma’am. In order to help you, could I please get your name?
Me: Yes, sure. My name is Nadine H.
Person on the phone: Could you please spell it for me?
Me: Absolutely. It’s N as in North, A as…

Yes, you see where I am going. It’s hard to have your spelling alphabet handy in such moments. In Germany, one will usually learn it over the years. And at some point you just know such things. But what I’ve learned here in the US is that people don’t have something comparable in place. Officially—that’s what my English teacher Sally taught me—you could use the NATO version of the spelling alphabet, but it’s not really common to do that.
However, both of us started to think about an alternative, and what might be a good anchor for a spelling alphabet. Please find below our spelling alphabet. We chose names, common US names of course, and kicked it around. Imagine, if it caught on and everyone used it.

A - Abraham
B - Benjamin
C - Charlie
D - David
E - Eleanor
F - Franklin
G - George
H - Herbert
I - Ida
J - John
K - Kevin
L - Lyndon
M - Mary
N - Nancy
O - Oscar
P - Peter
Q - Quincy
R - Ronald
S - Scott
T - Tom
U - Ulysses
V - Victoria
W - William
X - Xavier
Y - Yvonne
Z - Zachary

What do you think? Thanks for your feedback.

Nancy, Abraham, David, Ida, Nancy, Eleanor & Scott, Abraham, Lyndon, Lyndon, Yvonne

Jun 1, 2020 8:58 PM
Comments · 2
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June 1, 2020
I know this one, Nadine.
A - Alfa
B - Bravo
C - Charlie
D - Delta
E - Echo
F - Foxtrot
G - Golf
H - Hotel
I - India
J - Juliet
K - Kilo
L - Lima
M - Mike
N - November
O - Oscar
P - Papa
Q - Quebec
R - Romeu
S - Sierra
T - Tango
U - Uniform
V - Victor
W - Whiskey
X - X-ray
Y - Yankee
Z - Zulu

Phonetic alphabet for communication in aviation.

June 1, 2020
Nadine Hammer
Language Skills
English, French, German, Russian
Learning Language
English, French, Russian