Re: Friday humour - a moral !

Subject: Re: Friday humour - a moral !
From: "Peter Ring, PRC" <prc -at- ISA -dot- DKNET -dot- DK>
Date: Mon, 2 Feb 1998 11:12:06 +1

Damien Braniff wrote on a happy Friday morning:

> Good communication is everything and we should never be intractable as the
> following shows. (Not being from the US or Canada I feel I'm impartial.)
>
> This is the transcript of an ACTUAL radio conversation of a US naval ship
> with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October, 1995.
> **** Radio conversation released by the Chief of Naval Operations 10-10-95.
> Americans -
> "Please divert your course 15 degrees to the north to avoid collision."
> Canadians -
> "Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the south to avoid
> collision."
> Americans -
> "This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR
> course."
> Canadians -
> "No, I say again, you divert YOUR course."
> Americans -
> "THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS LINCOLN, THE SECOND LARGEST SHIP IN
> THE UNITED STATES' ATLANTIC FLEET. WE A RE ACCOMPANIED BY THREE
> DESTROYERS, THREE CRUISERS AND NUMEROUS SUPPORT VESSELS. I DEMAND THAT
> YOU CHANGE YOUR COURSE 15 DEGREES NORTH, THAT'S ONE FIVE DEGREES NORTH,
> OR COUNTER-MEASURES WILL BE UNDERTAKEN TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THIS
> SHIP."
> Canadians -
> "This is a lighthouse. Your call."

Although the story is properly false or at least originating from
the 2nd World War or earlier, there is something which we can all
learn from it: "Good communication is everything..."

If the americans and/or the canadians had followed the proper initial
procedure for naval radio calls, this would never had happened, - and
both radio communicators could have stayed in their job! Instead they
would have had something like the following typical and only slightly
sloppy conversation:

Americans -
"Calling unknown ship on position 5.2 nautical miles SE of Cape
Race, unknown ship on position 5.2 nautical miles SE of Cape
Race. This is USS Lincoln, USS Lincoln. Over."

Canadians -
"USS Lincoln, this is Xxx lighthouse, Xxx lighthouse on
position 5.2 nautical miles SE of Cape Race. Over."

Ooops - THE END !!!

Moral: If you follow RESONABLE rules, a lot of misunderstandings
will be avoided. But of course, life will be a little more boring!

That goes for technical documentation, too!

Greetings from Denmark

Peter Ring
PRC (Peter Ring Consultants)
- specialists in user friendly manuals and audits on manuals.
prc -at- isa -dot- dknet -dot- dk
- the "User Friendly Manuals" website with links, bibliography, list
of prof. associations, and tips & RULES for technical writers:
http://isa.dknet.dk/~prc/
- text cleaning software, e.g. for reading difficult e-mails:
http://isa.dknet.dk/~prc/software/index.html




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