Probably the two most potentially useful skills I learnt in the army were ironing (a skill I try to avoid putting to use at any cost) and knowledge of the phonetic alphabet.
With the melting pot of languages and accents prevalent in most hospitals around the world – both patients and staff – it is routine to have to spell out words to facilitate communication. However, the attempts of the uninitiated when it comes to using the phonetic alphabet can be quite comical – as Dara Ó Briain demonstrates:
The NATO phonetic alphabet system:
ALPHA — BRAVO — CHARLIE — DELTA — ECHO — FOXTROT — GOLF — HOTEL — INDIA — JULIET — KILO — LIMA — MIKE — NOVEMBER — OSCAR — PAPA — QUEBEC — ROMEO — SIERRA — TANGO — UNIFORM — VICTOR — WHISKEY — XRAY — YANKEE — ZULU