Tuesday, 20 April 2010


Having moved to a new house I was obliged to get a new email address. (All very puzzling as Virgin/Virginmedia was the service provider in both places.) I use a Mac and whether that was the source of the problem - more likely, it was just me - I aborted my many attempts to set up a new email address with Virginmedia.

I turned to Our Man in Vancouver (No. 1 son, Alastair) and he - after many phone calls holding my hand - got me sorted with a non-standard server provider.

If you regularly follow this blog, please take a moment to click on ABOUT in the right-hand side bar and note my changed email address. (Beside it I put the date in brackets.)

Why did I choose that particular address? I was obliged to make up my own address so I decided that I wanted words that give minimum misunderstanding. I find that addresses with letters f, i and l are not good and, of course, dots, underscores and hyphens are absolutely NOT ON!

Lastly I always have people asking "Is that Mac spelled mac or mc?" Fair question.

Therefore I looked to the radio alphabet (above) also known as the NATO Phonetic Alphabet, which begins with Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta...). In this alphabet the letters are assigned a special word to avoid misunderstanding. These words are used by pilots, sailors when giving information on a radio transmission. For example if you are giving the call sign of your radio and it starts with JAT you speak it by saying, not the letter, but rather the word of the alphabet letter, in this case: Juliet Alpha Tango.*

I assume whoever made up this alphabet was careful that the words were specially chosen so as not to confuse.

Finally the "55" was simply my choice of a number shape that should give minimal misunderstanding. (I hate it when I cannot tell if it is a zero, a capital O or a small o !)


* The whole radio alphabet is here.

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