Use of X in radiograms
Post date: Dec 2, 2019 12:50:33 AM
Radiograms often need to include more than a single sentence worth of information. How do we separate one sentence from another, where we'd normally put a period at the end of the sentences?
A break in thought—a "STOP" in the parlance of old timey telegrams—is written with a single initial X. For example,
I LOVE BACON FOR BREAKFAST
I HAD COFFEE
could be interpreted as
I love bacon. For breakfast, I had coffee.
I love bacon for breakfast. I had coffee.
To ensure that the break goes in the right place, we'll use initial X to indicate a break in thought.
I LOVE BACON X FOR
BREAKFAST I HAD COFFEE
Note that there isn't a trailing X in the radiogram. The end of the radiogram or an obvious change in thought (e.g., "73") does not require the X.
Remember that radiograms as formatted for transmission, not for delivery. Air time is very "expensive," and we work to make transmission as efficient as possible to avoid taking time to transmit. Radio operators are ostensibly trained and know how to make sense of how the radiograms are formatted, just as software is able to make sense of data encoded according to a given specification. When we get to the stage of delivery, we turn the text into standard language. The delivering station knows that the end of the message includes a period, and will add one when delivering; there's no need for one during transmission.