While getting today’s strip ready to upload it here, I wondered where the term “roger” originally came from. So I asked Mr. Google and apparently it stems from the time where the military used a different spelling alphabet, where “Roger” stood for the letter “R”. And from a time even before that came the tradition of just replying “R” over the telegraph, which stood for “received”. So when people said “Roger” on the radio, they simply were replying “R”, meaning that they received the message.

Makes you think. If they changed the spelling alphabet to what we’re currently using a bit earlier, we’d all be saying “Romeo” or Romeo that!” instead.

Anyway, I heard that in aviation it’s sort of frowned upon to actually say “Roger” on the radio. Is that true?