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post #11 of 13 Old 05-22-2014
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Re: US Coast Guard VHF Marine Safety Broadcasts

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Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
I believe it is French, like securitÚ, and is correctly pronounced "pon"
The correct pronunciation is pan.

Like the French for bread. Pan.

There is no doubt whatsoever. Its not pon.

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Etymology[edit]
See also: French phrases in international emergencies.
As with mayday (from m'aidez, "help me"), the emergency call pan-pan derives from French. In French, panne (/pɑːn/, "pahn") is "broken": a breakdown or a mechanical failure. In English, it is also sometimes pronounced as /pŠn/ ("pan").




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Last edited by MarkofSeaLife; 05-22-2014 at 01:07 PM.
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post #12 of 13 Old 05-22-2014
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Re: US Coast Guard VHF Marine Safety Broadcasts

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
The correct pronunciation is pan.

Like the French for bread. Pan.

There is no doubt whatsoever. Its not pon.




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post #13 of 13 Old 05-30-2014
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Re: US Coast Guard VHF Marine Safety Broadcasts

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
I believe it is French, like securitÚ, and is correctly pronounced "pon"
You are correct. In the era when the radiotelephone "pro-words" were established, French was the international language of navigation. "Pan" (spelled "panne" in French) is designated for: "a mechanical breakdown of any kind," and the pro-word is always spoken in pairs because it is a single syllable (unlike mayday and securitÚ), that may otherwise be misheard in a radio transmission.

Pronouncing the word as "pahn" is an effort to retain its pronunciation in French.

There is a lot of historical context to the use of those words. The priorities for radio communications are: 1) distress, 2) mechanical breakdowns (or other urgency), 3) safety related messages, 4) routine radio traffic. Those priorities go all the way back to the lessons learned from the Titanic disaster, where safety related messages pertaining to icebergs were overridden by routine message traffic that was generating revenue for the Marconi Company.

Last edited by patrickbryant; 05-30-2014 at 12:27 PM.
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