What is the true meaning of SOS?

Surely you may have heard of Samuel Morse and the system of letters and numbers he invented. The dots and dashes that make up the Morse code have been used for many years as a major means of communication between ships and airplanes.

In this system, the SOS “acronym” was formed by simply combining three points, three dashes and three points, as you can see in the image above. Over time, this code became universally known as a warning of danger and, being widely used in navigation, was eventually associated with expressions such as “Save Our Ship” or “Save Our Souls ”.

Although these associations make sense, the great truth is that SOS is not an acronym and has no meaning at all. But don't be disappointed, dear reader, as there is a good explanation behind all this.

Image Source: Shutterstock

The emergence of SOS

Now you may be wondering where people got that SOS - which has no meaning at all - indicates a danger signal, isn't it? For know that this letter combination was chosen for such an important warning precisely for its simplicity. Easy to remember and easy to understand, the sequence of points and dashes was suggested at the second Berlin Radiotelegraph Conference in 1906.

Of course, not all people joined the new code right away. Before SOS, the widely used call was CQD. This combination came about in 1904 when Guglielmo Marconi used the so-called British General (QC) and added the letter D to indicate distress.

As with SOS, people associated the CQD call with "Come Quick Danger", but in fact the code could be interpreted as "All seasons, danger."

As a simple combination and almost impossible to confuse, SOS was made official in 1908. Even after that, both codes continued to be used for some time. Proof of this is the signal sent by the Titanic, which sank in April 1912, which used both SOS and CQD in its distress call, as we can see in this ship's radio broadcast simulation:

* Originally posted on 01/20/2014 .

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