phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

On or off the air

Posted by Lotg on September 17, 2004

This term is common enough and used in radio communications, and even now, more casually in email communications. eg. I'll be off the air for a while, but I'll email you later.

I assume this originated from the term 'air waves', but can anyone tell me when?

Also there seem to have been some transitions re communication rules as well.

eg. Once to acknowledge receipt of a radio communication people would say 'roger', 'over' - seems to be used to indicate that you've finished what you're saying but you're 'handing over' for a response, 'out' seems to finalise the communication. Dunno what 'Roger Wilco (sp?)' is supposed to signify. But I've heard variations such as 'roger that' - which seems to be yes, I acknowledge or understand, but then I also thought that 'roger' meant the same thing - so when was the word 'that' appended? And the very latest is 'copy that', which seems to mean the same thing.

Are there consistent international rules? Does anyone know them? What is the correct lingo now?