Monologue dramatique, d'après d'innumerables conversations téléphoniques que j’ai eu la malchance d’écouter:
Yes. The licence plate? It’s B T P 4 5 2. B as in Boy. T as in Top. P as in Paul. Four. Five. Two. Yes. No ... no, B. B as in Boy. Yes. Yes, that’s what I said. No ... wait ... did you say Boy or Toy? No, oh, okay, sorry, I said B as in Boy, not T as in Toy. Make it B as in Ball. You’ve got it. Yes. No, no, not P as in Paul, B as in Ball. Right. Then T as in Top. What? No. Top, not Pop. T as in Top. ...Public service announcement: we have fixed spelling alphabets that were specifically designed by linguists in order to avoid this kind of ridiculousness.
Is it really so hard to remember — to use the best-known Anglophone example, the NATO spelling alphabet — the words Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliett, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-ray, Yankee, Zulu? (There are plenty of other well-designed ones if you feel that the aeronautical connotations of that alphabet are a bit much for customer service.)
Misspelling alphabets, of course, are an art in themselves. My best effort thus far (drawing on the work of others, including examples here and here): Aye, Bdellium, Cue, Dzo, Ewe, Felindre, Gneiss, Hour, Ian, Juan, Knight, Lladró, Mneme, Nxuba, Oestrogen, Ptyxis, Quay, Rzeszów, Sea, Tchotchke, Uakare, Vates, Wring, Xylem, Yves, Zollverein.
Suggestions for improvements are welcomed.