CIC, engineering, and after steering (emergency)
stations on the same circuit.
Learning Objective: When you finish this chapter, you
will be able to
Identify the responsibilities of telephone talkers
to include telephone talking procedures.
As you have learned, youll probably stand some
form of watch aboard ship as a telephone talker. A ship
at sea requires many talkers even during a peacetime
cruising watch. In addition to the lookouts, there are
talkers on the bridge, in firerooms, and in engine rooms,
to mention only a few of the many spaces. To be a good
sound-powered telephone talker, you must learn proper
Sound-powered telephone talkers are essential to
the operation of a ship at sea because the ship must have
a reliable interior communicating system. Imagine the
difficulties the captain would have without means of
communication with the engine room, with gunnery
stations during battle, or with all the other spaces that
help run the ship.
GENERAL TELEPHONE TALKING
Here are some tips on how to be a telephone talker.
Because all the power for the phones is generated
by your voice, you must speak loudly and clearly if your
message is to get through. However, do not shout
unnecessarily. Do not run your words together; make
every part of your message stand out clearly. Repeat all
messages word for word to the intended receiving
station; if you try to paraphrase a message, its meaning
may be changed.
Never have gum or food in your mouth while you
are using the phones. Talk from the front of your mouth,
never from the corners. Remember, you must project
your voice to every station on the circuit.
You gain nothing by talking too rapidly; a
message spoken slowly, so that it is understood the first
time, is better than a message spoken so rapidly that it
must be repeated.
During an emergency, remember that it is doubly
important to get the message through. By talking
slowly, some of your own excitement will subside. If
you are calm and sure of yourself, you will influence
other talkers on the circuit to behave in the same way.
Nearly everyone has a manner of speech that
reveals to others what part of the country they are from.
On occasion, you may have found it difficult to
understand the speech of a person from a different part
of the country. With this thought in mind, try to speak
without local accents.
The sound-powered system resembles a party
lineeveryone can talk and listen at once. For that
reason, strict circuit discipline must be maintained.
Otherwise, the circuit will become clogged with private
conversation just when someone is trying to transmit an
The rules for circuit discipline are as follows:
1. Transmit only official messages.
2. Keep the button in the OFF position except
when actually transmitting.
3. Use only standard words and phrases.
Dont use slang or profanity on the phones. Use
correct nautical terms. If naval terminology is new and
unfamiliar to you, make it your business to learn the
You, as a phone talker, are a very important link in
the interior communication chain; that chain is no
stronger than its weakest link. Unauthorized talking
means there are at least two weak links in the chain. Be
efficient. If someone else on your circuit persists in
useless talking, remind the person that the line must be
kept clear at all times.
Circuit discipline also means you must never show
impatience, anger, or excitement. You must talk slowly,
clearly, and precisely. Circuit discipline means