When we give commands to a formation, the words and your voice need to have several different attributes (click here for complete information on the command voice).
One of the attributes that is never addressed is how to pronounce certain words. The two words that are constantly butchered by cadets and members of the military are Route and Oblique.
The Root of the Issue
While anyone can get their, “kicks on Route 66,” that version of the word is usually pronounced “root.” When one is calling the command, Route Step, MARCH, this time it is pronounced “Rowt.” By the way, the “Harch” in the image is how Air Force members can call, “March”. All other services say, “March”. The image is from the AFMAN 36-2203 which began back in the late 1940s as AFR 50-14.
“I like Oblike”
A flank turns a formation to the right or left at 90-degrees, and an oblique pronounced “oh-bleek,” turns a formation to the right or left at a 45-degree angle. From the MCOP5060.20: “The word oblique is pronounced to rhyme with strike. ”
So, if you march in a Marine, Navy or Coast Guard unit, pronounce it the way the MCOP dictates. The rest of us can click here and listen to the pronunciation of oblique at m-w.com.
Now you know!