Imagine you are in the army. (I know its difficult - I couldn't even do that 14 months ago
) Imagine your unit
is somewhere in the field
. It is a real world combat
situation. You need beans 'n bullets
, as they say. You get on the radio
to your supervisor and tell him your grid coordinate
s - a combination of otherwise nonsensical letters
Or imagine this. You are working behind the lines a little bit. Your life is in no immediate danger. But your job is to pass information on enemies' locations over the radio. What if you get it wrong?
In either case the lives and welfare of many men are dependant on your ability to correctly communicate that information to the guy on the other end. Radio static, speech impediments or accents, and hearing problems are only a few possible interfering factors. You want to be absolutlely sure you are heard correctly.
Enter the phonetic alphabet:
And as far as numbers go:
1 - one
2 - two
3 - tree
4 - foe-er (two syllables)
5 - fife
6 - six
7 - seven
8 - eight
9 - niner
0 - zero
For maximum clarity and uniformity, each digit is said as if it were a single entity - for example: "fife tree two", not "fife thirty-two" or any variant.
With this system the difference between D and E (for example) is so great that it cuts through so much interference that with that amount you wouldn't be able to communicate anyways. There are no longer 9 letters that end in 'ee'. The syllabic pattern and wide variety of sounds in this system give each character a very useful uniqueness.
Aka the phonetic alphabet or military phonetic alphabet. Appropriate uses are during radio or other voice communications, or anytime you want to be perfectly understood - even in person. But its not like we all go around spelling eveything this way.