What’s ‘that’ all about?


In­ter­ested to read Dave Un­win’s ob­ser­va­tions on al­tered def­i­ni­tions such as the word ’solo’ in the Septem­ber 2016 is­sue, and I am def­i­nitely one of the WTF brigade on that par­tic­u­lar well-pub­li­cised event. But has any­one no­ticed how in re­cent years all films, TV etc from the US have fly­ers, sol­diers, po­lice­men, and any­one else us­ing a radio say­ing “roger that” and “copy that” and so on? If that were not silly enough, this now seems to have fil­tered into UK pro­duc­tions so we have pro­vin­cial English po­lice­men em­u­lat­ing this non­sense: “Cuppa tea Sarge?”... “Roger that”. And I have now ac­tu­ally heard a pi­lot say “Copy that” on Farn­bor­ough 132.8.

My CAP 41 and other pub­li­ca­tions from the 1970s made it clear that words such as ’roger’ were pre­cise, had a spe­cial mean­ing, and were in fact laid down by the au­thor­i­ties such as the ICAO. Just as they were in my Army Sig­naller’s man­ual from the 1950s, which had equally good rea­sons to keep all traf­fic as brief and pre­cise as pos­si­ble. So WTF is this all about? Roger (that) Goulden, Lon­don

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