Speaking of growing beliefs, though, at Free Exchange I have a post on the perils of prediction. And at Prospero, I question the idea that individual article downloads, as offered by e-readers, represent an existential threat to magazines.
Now, as for the avionic or radio alphabet. At an early labor day party last night, my mother's ears perked up when, for some reason, some of the assembled party began to recite the Alpha-Bravo-Charlie. She was waiting for T and U, which, she confided in me from the neighboring seat, would be her time to shine. She was actually too busy telling me that to chime in when those letters were achieved. But she nonetheless explained her special affinity to the company: As a young nurse in the Air Force, a pilot fainted on the runway. His officer called to ask: "Is he TU?" "Sorry?" My mom replied, being unfamiliar with the expression. "IS HE TANGO UNIFORM," the officer clarified. "Oh, no," said my mom. "We just put him in blue pajamas." In honor of Labor Day--the radio alphabet.