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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Affirmative Good Buddy

by AM Nelson (writer), Los Angeles, November 19, 2006

Virginia state police are switching from 10-codes to plain English. The “10-4” (good-buddy) should now be “affirmative.” An argument for the change is an apparent difficulty during inter-state communication. Different locales use the same code reference to mean different things; there is not a standard code. It is a confusing method during emergencies.

A 10-100 could mean a bathroom break, or a dead body, location dependent. Wikipedia illuminates the multiple meanings of the same numbers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten-code#10-0s

The code systems are sometimes based on, or refer to penal codes, but not always. And since laws vary from state to state…

What if California adopted such a program and stopped using codes?

Would the numerical flirtation of 318 in license plates, hinting at illegal exposure, be lost? Without code, potential roommates on Craigslist might not be able to express substance friendliness. What would happen to all the fictional characters in crime shows referring to 187? My favorite is 594 meaning malicious mischief.

Further, consider radio scanner hobbyists. Many have put in long hours to memorize the different codes. In fact, CB insults based on the 10-code system have been developed. I’m a fan of the 13-code system. A 13-3 means “you are beautiful when you’re angry.”
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/ianjpage/cb/13Code.htm
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/ianjpage/cb/18Code.htm

Language is referred to as living. Words, meanings, and standards change through common usage. Sure, it might be nice to help a neighboring state out in case of an emergency, but what’s at stake here is the potential to lose a piece of living culture.

If police stopped using code, who be left? Should lawyers, judges, and criminals have all the fun of a code system? We should all use code more. The efficiency of code could be implemented into small talk. Instead of asking your co-worker how his weekend was, a simple numeric utterance could be made. Then, instead of a long story about a game, movie, and getting drunk, three numbers could be mumbled.

Clearly code is an efficient system for work communication. All that is needed is standardization.


About the Writer

AM Nelson is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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3 comments on Affirmative Good Buddy

Log In To Vote   Score: 0
By Ariel on November 19, 2006 at 10:35 am
I think the article itself was okay. It actually liked the beginning of it. What I did not really like is the parallel with the other codes people use in other situations. I guess I would have rather read about the codes used by the police (if they still use codes?) here in L.A. or in California. I hope this comment was more helpful than the previous one you received!
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Log In To Vote   Score: 1
By Charles Harmison on November 19, 2006 at 10:57 am
Though i wouldn't put it so strongly and ignorantly, this was not one of your best pieces. I assume your being ironic when you say we should switch to code otherwise i just don't get it. the third to last paragraph was the best and perhaps you would have been better served to focus on it and expand, the rest is interesting but kinda seems a bit fluffy.
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Log In To Vote   Score: 1
By AM Nelson on November 19, 2006 at 03:25 pm
It now becomes apparent that a simple 15-24-Hike would have better than submitting this article. Sorry for the disappointment. I'll chalk this one up to experience. AM Nelson
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