Why do People say “Over” on a Walkie-Talkie?

 If you are new to using walkie-talkies — or even if you don’t really use them — I’m sure you have encountered technical-sounding and even mysterious-sounding terms that people use when communicating through two-way radios. Among these terms, it’s hard to miss the word “over” since it’s the one that is most often used. What is the purpose of saying “over” when communicating on walkie-talkies?

 

Short Answer

The technology behind two-way radios prevents people from talking at the same time. Because of this, people need to use some sort of signal to indicate that they are finished talking and that the other person can now speak. This is the reason why people say “over” when they are done talking.

People say “over” on a walkie talkie when they are done talking.  (© LEDOMSTOCK – stock.adobe.com)

 

Long Answer

You need to comply with a certain radio etiquette to create a smooth and organized experience when communicating over two-way radios. This is especially important if you make use of walkie-talkies to facilitate business-related tasks and operations. This radio etiquette includes using unique call signs instead of names, prioritizing brevity and clarity over wordiness, and using code words in place of common everyday language. The most well-known of these codewords is the term “over.”

 

The Technology behind Walkie-Talkies

When you are talking with someone over the phone, it is possible for both of you to talk at the same time or to interrupt each other while one is talking. You can’t do the same when talking with someone using walkie-talkies.

Walkie-talkies are two-way radios, which means that it can transmit and receive messages. However, walkie-talkies can only do this one at a time. When you are talking on your walkie-talkie, you need to press the Push-To-Talk (PTT) button. Once you are finished talking, you have to release the button. This will then allow the person at the other end of the radio to communicate with you using the same process. If you don’t release the PTT button, this will prevent the sound from the other person trying to talk to you from transmitting back to you.

 

The Meaning of “Over”

The technology behind two-way radios prevents people from talking at the same time. Because of this, people need to use some sort of signal to indicate that they are finished talking and that it is now the other person’s turn to speak. This is the reason why people say “over” when they are done talking.

Before you release the PTT button after you finish talking, you have to say “over.” Before you press the PTT button again to talk, you need to wait for the person at the other end of the radio to say “over.” This system helps to make sure that no one misses whatever the other person has to say due to pressing the PTT button and trying to talk at the same time.

 

It just sounds cool

New technology installed in most modern walkie-talkies no longer necessitate saying “over” after you are done speaking. These upgraded handsets emit a beeping sound once you release the PTT button, which signals the other person that you are done talking. However, some people still opt to say “over” when they are done talking on their walkie-talkie. Why? Honestly, it just sounds cool.

 

Conclosure – Why do People say “Over” on a Walkie-Talkie?

Using walkie-talkies is not like talking with someone over the phone where you can interrupt and talk over each other. To ensure good communication over two-way radios, you need to abide by a certain set of radio etiquette, and this includes the use of the word “over.” The purpose of this is to signal the person at the other end of the radio that you are finished talking and that they can now speak.

 

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