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I'm writing a story that could end up with a battle between a squadron of alien invaders and a present-day U.S. Navy carrier battle group, and I'd like to insert some appropriate chunks of jargon in scenes aboard the ships. I can find dictionaries of individual words, but are there any references containing appropriate strings of text that would occur? Ideally I'd like something with the flavor of http://the-alt-historian.tumblr.com/post/98308097485/we-have-some-transmissions-from-the-persian except more realistic.

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closed as off-topic by James, JDługosz Apr 16 '17 at 4:53

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about worldbuilding, within the scope defined in the help center." – James, JDługosz
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Posting this as a comment as it is link only. Have you already checked this en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Glossary_of_U.S._Navy_slang ? $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Apr 9 '17 at 3:45
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    $\begingroup$ 'There's (insert alien name here) on the starboard bow!'... 'eat plutonium death, you disgusting alien weirdos'. $\endgroup$ – Kilisi Apr 9 '17 at 5:48
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch I have, thanks, that's one of the dictionaries of individual words, useful as far as it goes, but I don't know how that translates into strings of text. $\endgroup$ – rwallace Apr 10 '17 at 11:36
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    $\begingroup$ @Kilisi Upvoted just for the trip down memory lane :) $\endgroup$ – rwallace Apr 10 '17 at 11:36
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    $\begingroup$ What do you mean by 'appropriate strings of text?' What is 'appropriate' in this sense? Also, this appears to be a question about writing, not about building a world. You're looking for real terminology from the real world. Voting to close. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Apr 10 '17 at 12:40
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As I understand you are looking for some reference on US type naval warfare. The Las Ship tv series would be the perfect reference, as it's a story about the last US Destroyer, so they have only minimum resources and only have to use strategic tactics when coming across different challenges. I have watched all the season of this series and I can tell you that it contains strategy about fighting water to air, water to land and water to water combats. Especially in situations when they had to fight a Soviet Submarine and a Soviet Destroyer.

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A Few simple things in addition to the slang terms you have to make your dialogue more Navy-ish:

Military Time: Time references should use a 24 hour clock. I.E. nothing ever happens at 2:30 (two thirty) it would be 1430 (fourteen thirty).

Nautical Reference Directions: Onboard ship, directions are based on the ship, instead of right, left, North South, etc. you have port/starboard and forward/aft.

Acronyms: In the military they have a lot of long winded names for everything, which always get abbreviated to an acronym when used by actual sailors. Throw some relevant ones into the mix. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._Navy_acronyms

Phonetic Alphabet: In combination with the use of acronyms, the phonetic alphabet is also often used. For example you might regularly hear someone say "Whisky Tango Foxtrot" for WTF (What the Fuck?) which brings up the next point.

Expletives: "Curse like a Sailor" is a phrase that exists for a reason, expect some salty language in your dialogue.

In general you should figure out what dialogue your story needs to tell the story and maybe spice it up to give it some light Navy flavor, too much naval slang will either be unrecognizable to regular readers (or require excessive explanation which is a story killer), or you'll get it wrong offending any readers with Navy experience. If you cannot figure out what the slang means to string together coherent sentences, don't expect your readers to understand it, and leave it out.

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    $\begingroup$ Quick note on NATO phonetic. It's meant for clarification, not spelling things out. As an example, if your flight-plan has two wayspoints labeled M and N, you'd say Mike and November to distinguish between them. They sound alike, especially inside of a noisy environment (Fighters qualify.) Normal speech is pretty much unaltered, because even over a crackly radio "Bombs away!" is distinct and clear, and spelling out "Bravo-Oscar-Mike...." is going to take too long. Long and short, nobody is ever going to say 'Whiskey Tango Foxtrot', they're just gonna say 'What the Fuck'. $\endgroup$ – UIDAlexD Apr 10 '17 at 14:39
  • $\begingroup$ while not navy-specyfic, this might be of use: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiservice_tactical_brevity_code $\endgroup$ – Michał Jastrzębski May 5 '17 at 11:26

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