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Darryl Theven Naidoo
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30 January 2014, 12:50

I recently watched the Disney movie “Planes” with my little girl, Megan and my wife Jane. The movie was fun and entertaining and mid-way through when Dusty responded to a radio communication with the word “Roger”, I was promptly asked by my wife, “ Why do they say, Roger ?”.

“…well, umm… err, it probably means “okay” “. I really don’t know why they just don’t say “okay”. So I did some googling and found out some pretty interesting stuff.

I don’t how far they are true but they do seem plausible. I know some readers may have their own opinions or facts even and are welcome to share some in the comments section.

It seems “Roger" was a sort of "phonetic" for "R", which simply meant “received and understood". It’s a radio communication thing, for example, when used to spell out a number plate.

I have also found out that there are at least two famous communication alphabets. The one was used by the U.S. Navy before 1954 and starts with "Able Baker Charlie Dog...Roger..," and the other was a NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization ) phonetic alphabet, begins "Alpha Bravo Charlie Delta"; this alphabet uses Romeo as R.

Another explanation is that ROGER is an acronym for Received Order Given, Expect Results. Seems quite valid.

Well, why stop there ? Ever heard of the “10-4” ?  Come on, you must have heard Smokie and the Bandit talking to each other on their radios ? This, it seems, is an old CB-radio transmissions code called the 10-code. By the way, CB Radio is short for a Citizens Band radio. Some translations are :

·         10-4 Message received

·         10-20 Advise to location ( sometimes used as “what’s your 20 ?” )

·         10-33 Emergency - all units stand by

Well, this is a little insight into the codes one might hear in the movies. As I have said before, they seem quite plausible explanations of the codes but I am sure some readers may have more to say on the topic.

Transmission over.

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