Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash: Pick Two (aghrivaine) wrote,
Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash: Pick Two

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Pet Peeve: copy that

I dislike when movies or other media have military people saying, "Copy that" to affirm reception of an order. Usually it's on a radio, but often also just something they say to each other. I've also heard civillians in other contexts use that phrase in place of the correct UN proword, which is "roger" to indicate "I understand" or "wilco" to indicate "will comply". Strictly speaking, "copy that" means one is instructing the person to whom one is speaking to write down the previously spoken phrases, though even that would be unusual if not outright incorrect.

I think, after talking to pyr8queen about it, it's because it's something show-biz people say to each other on their walkie-talkies. So screenwriters think it sounds cool and military, so they pretend that it is. So listen up, and prepare to copy; it's annoying and incorrect. Roger?

edit to add, on reflection, "How copy?" Is used to mean, "Do you understand?" but it's actually incorrect and not on the official list. It's a common mistake though that even military personnel make. Or at least used to - maybe I'm just too old school - my Army skills are all Twen-Cen after all.


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