Ham Radio Basics--Ham Radio Jargon and Plain Language

Jim, W6LG, discusses plain language for emergencies and HF communications. It is something to consider.


WV Rick: Excellent video, Jim. I use and always used standard phonetics, NATO. Another is acknowledging, I hear Ok...yep..roger that and QSL all in the same sentence.

nateo200: QSL? QSL?!! Q-S-L!!!!??!!!!!! It does feel like an interrogation! Plain language is really important though. Working with police/fire in high school taught me this and this was starting back in 2008-2009ish. Regular phonetics would be nice too but for English as a second language, I can definitely let a lot slide.

Hector Julian: As a non native english speaker, licensed in 1988 I find this very helpful. Thanks so much for your coaching.

Mechanic and skills: So true....i once herd some one talk so fast the only thing i understood was 73...everything else required ""lingo deciphering"" . not my thing.....cheers

Randall Pennington: Total newbie here...what do you mean by "personals"?

John Cliff: Hello their Jim. Whow I think you have brought the point to a head . I have to agree with you entirely on the use of plain language, especially when communicating on a emergency link. I have been reading down through the comments and see that a lot of people have put down the use of QSL in answering to a question. My God if they sent a QSL card for every time they use that Q code they would have one hell of a mail bill. I would love to find who it was that started that and ram it down their throat. It does annoy me. It is nearly has bad has 73's and Hi Hi on Phone. I have been into Amateur Radio since my early teens in the late 50's has a SWL. I qualified has a class 1 Combat Radioman in the British army. I re sat City and Guilds subject 55 back in December 1995 and got my Licence issued in Feb. 96 before the G 0 ended. I should have taken the exam back in "Boys Service" at 15 years old. and got a G3 c/s

Charlie Shairrick: Thanks Jim

K.C. LeJeune: I still mess about on 11 meters and I even use plain language on there, all that silly CB talk irritates the hell out of me, just talk like a normal human being!! Same for SSB, maybe a little bit of jargon bit i keep it to a bare minimum. I'm not a Ham yet, one day, but i sure do appreciate your videos Jim, they've been snd continue to be very helpful and informative! Kevin in Louisiana.

Mark Lowe: On contrary all the points in this video make big sense. Agree with every single point. Very grateful to those who don't speak English as their primary making effort too.

Jason Vasquez: When I earned my Technician license in May of 2018, I spent more of time looking up the jargon being communicated over a local repeater than actually communicating with these hams. While I did learn about how to operate on a repeater, I just could not understand why my fellow hams could not just use plain language. It was very intimidating, and kept me off the air until I was certain I could follow what everyone was saying. I soon joined my local ARES organization and learned that all of jargon was frowned upon there, so I never used it.

Anyway, excellent video as always! 73, KD2PUW

Tom de Mamiel: What a load of bs 73s vk3ftom

Erik Doering: i can completely agree as a person just getting into radio, it would make communication much easier.
and much more appealing, it took me 2 years to understand my I.T. coworker, i swear that man spoke DOS.

Jeff Priddin: Hi Jim I have only had my call sign MW6OVT about six weeks and when I put a call out and get an answer it is mixed up I cant hear the call sign coming back to me, I much prefer plain language plus please talk a bit slower so that us new ones can understand . Keep up the good work I love your YouTube DVD's . they help me a lot. thank you Jeff 73.

Band S: Thank you for time and effort of making all these videos and sharing your immense amount of wisdom (and common sense) with other, and upcoming , Amateur Radio Operators...I agree 100% with your opinions on the over-use, and mis-use, of 'jargon/slang' on-air. I'm of the opinion that many do it to 'sound' more 'tech-y', and that they believe it makes them 'sound' more professional. But the point of the contact should be 'communication'.

Thank you again for all the knowledge you share.
73 WF7BSR, Raymond

Big G: You are spot on. Here's the definition of Q codes. NOTE THE LAST PHRASE.
"Q-signals are a set of abbreviations for common information that save time and allow communication between operators who don’t speak a common language."

Garrett Rohde: Excellent video, Jim. I first got licensed in 1997 and spent my time primarily on 2m. Back then, I didn't really notice a lot of 'jargon', at least not on the big repeaters out where I was at the time. I took some years away from ham radio and have recently come back to it, and I've noticed this explosion of jargon and expressions that IMO were never intended for voice. The one that makes me shake my head the most is hearing, "hi hi" over FM voice. Or any voice, for that matter. What I've found even more amusing is that the folks that I've talked to about it who've done that over the air didn't understand that, 'hi hi' came from CW Morse. 'hi hi', Q-codes, and an abundance of abbreviations makes sense on CW Morse where there's a big difference between sending 'ANT' and 'ANTENNA', or 'QTH' rather than 'my location is', but on phone modes, how much easier is it to use those abbreviations and jargon, particularly when such is not the standard in voice? Something that Jim has said before comes to mind: I'm a communicator, I want to be understood (sorry for paraphrasing Jim).
Thx again for the video, Jim. Nice to know that I'm not the only one raising an eyebrow.
-- Garrett KX4LY

Tom N4RS: Jim I agree with you 100%. I wish you had taken it further. The prolific use of phonetics, turns my stomach, the use of "Q" signals is for CW ONLY! The old ARRL operating manual states, use phonetics only when nessesary, roger is the proper exchange for qsl. I have the new ARRL operating manual which does not address these issues. In my opinion this started when the cb'ers started migrating to the ham bands and brought their garbage with them. If phone where the only mode I would get out of Ham Radio. If you want a gut wrenching experience, watch some YouTube Field Day video's.....Tom N4RS

BigPap408: and for the love of God please use standard phonetics.

Tony Williams: Absolutely. Too much of what is exchanged is a lot of elitist hooplah. Hoops to jump through to satisfy the Pharisees of Ham Radio. Thanks.

Peter Harper: In a Combat Zone..... we used plain language..... it worked for us🤠