Thursday, October 24, 2013

over and out/out: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Thursday, October 24, 2013

over and out/out
There is an old tradition in two-way radio communication of saying “over” to indicate that the speaker is through talking and inviting the other person to speak. You are turning the air over to the person you’re speaking with. When you’re done speaking, you terminate the conversation by saying “out” (not “over and out”).

For some reason, Hollywood and radio scriptwriters thought it was neat to conclude radio conversations with “over and out,” but this would technically mean “You can talk now if you want, but I’m not going to be listening.”

Today “over and out” lives on mostly as an ill-remembered allusion to those old movies and shows in song lyrics and punning headlines. Radio communication buffs, however, cringe when they hear it.

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1 comment:

  1. Same thing with "Roger That". That is not correct communicator speak. "Roger" means "Received" or "Understood". No need to add "That", like everyone has done since viewing the film Top Gun.