TANGO DOWN — what does it mean? It is a slang phrase used by the Special Forces when a terrorist has been eliminated in combat. But what is that TANGO anyway? Early radio communication suffered severely from interference, which often could make messages almost impossible to understand. The help came from the idea of inventing a word to confirm each alphabet letter in a way that no words would sound similar. Even with modern straight and clear electronic communication via Skype or email, phonetic alphabet is often helpful. Besides, sometimes it is cool to use it, as for the Jester Joker.
Here’s the most popular phonetic alphabet originated from English-language aviation and adopted by ICAO as of 1952:
Alpha (also Alfa in US)