Tuesday, July 15, 2008


No, I'm not going anywhere!

The 73 in the title is about one of my pet peeves in Amateur Radio, the misuse of "73".

This train of thought all came about because of a "discussion" (that's Ham talk for "argument") that started on the SKCC e-mail reflector. One Ham used "hi hi" in his post to indicate laughter; just as it's done on the air. Another Ham got bent out of shape about it and commented on it.

At first, I thought the criticism was pretty petty and picky; but then I remembered my own peeve. The misuse of "73". On the air, while sending CW, it's pretty hard to misuse "73". You send the numerals 7 & 3. Pretty cut and dry. For those of you not in the know; or new to Amateur Radio, "73" means "Best Regards" and is used as at the end or sign off of a QSO.

However, in the spoken QSO, 73 is often misused and for some inane reason, that irritates the heck out of me! It's "seven three" when spoken. That's it - no more and no less.

It's NOT "seven threes".
It's NOT "seventy three".
It's NOT "threes".
It's NOT "seven thirds".
and the most idiotic way I've ever heard:
It's NOT "trees".

It must be a bit of Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder that affects me; but hearing 73 used the wrong way just makes my skin crawl. Almost as bad as dragging fingernails across a chalkboard or scratching a balloon - but not quite.

Oh, and by the way, don't even get me started on those two "favorites" of mine from 2 Meter FM:

"I have to sign now because I'm destinated." or "This is WA2BCD for ID".


73 de Larry W2LJ


  1. I always say "seventy three", which is the normal way to pronounce the number 73, and that's what I normally hear on the bands. Seems to me a purist would say that's a telegraphic code which should only be used on CW. On phone, we should be saying "best wishes"...

    I have a tendency to be fussy about grammar, spelling, and such things, but I am learning that life is too short to try to reform other people's deficiencies!


    Martin AA6E

  2. Anonymous5:48 PM

    When running a nightly net, I use "This is WH7DA for id."

    What would you recommend as more appropriate?

    Thanks, and Best Regards! :)


  3. Anonymous10:07 AM

    Seems like a minor nit to pick. Whenever I hear someone 'correct' another for using "73s" I never fail to send them a link to this QSL image.

    If it was good enough for The Old Man himself, it's good enough for me. HI HI


    73's de Jeff, KE9V

  4. It's not as bad as hearing "over and out" in the movies. I feel like yelling, "Which is it? Make up your mind!"