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The Nasty Alphabet

Don't telemarketers get on your nerves? Personally, I feel that since this is an unsolicited phone call, I have the right to toy with the person on the other end, just as I can casually mangle some piece of unsolicited junk mail.

There are several ways of dealing with telemarketers. The one below is for those cases when they ask you to spell your name, your address, or whatever. It's the unhelpful, un-phonetic, nasty spelling alphabet.

I've tried to compile a list of words whose initial sound does not correspond to their initial letter (O as in Oedipus, P as in Phaedra), but I was not always able to do so. In such cases, I have chosen words according to other strategies:

I hope this works for you. If you have any additions to suggest, or if any words seem too unambiguous or clear, please let me know.


A as in...
aye, aisle, aegis, Aesop, aubergine, aesthete
B as in...
bee, burr, bow, bah, bin, bay, bdelloid (or bdellium)
C as in...
ctenoid, czar, chute, cubic
D as in...
dhoti, dough, dirt
E as in...
eye, ewe, ere
F as in...
fro, firth, faun, few
G as in...
gnat, gnu, gnash, genre
H as in...
heir, hauteur, hors d'oeuvres
I as in...
irk, impasse, ingénue
J as in...
Juan, jabot
K as in...
knight, knot, knap
L as in...
lychee, lugubrious, lei, laity, lav, law
M as in...
mnemonic
N as in...
'neath, noctambulist, nun, nay
O as in...
Oedipus, oesophagus, ouija, one
P as in...
phthisis, phylum, Phaedra, ptomaine, pneumatic, pseud (fans of P. G. Wodehouse may also wish to add Psmith and pshrimp).
Q as in...
quay, qui vive
R as in...
rallentando, rhomb, raj, road, rat
S as in...
Sean, Saarbrucken, Sinn Fein
T as in...
tsunami, tzar, the
U as in...
ugh, uxorious
V as in...
view, volute, vow, vol
W as in...
whew, wrap, wry, Wiesbaden, whole
X as in...
xenophobe
Y as in...
you, Ystradgynlais, Yvonne, ye
Z as in...
Zeitgeist, Zhukov, Zeus, zing

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