TIL American soldiers in the Pacific theater of WW2 always used passwords containing the letter 'L' due to Japanese mispronunciation, a word such as lollapalooza would be used and upon hearing the first two syllables come back as 'rorra' would "open fire without waiting to hear the rest".

View original post [en.wikipedia.org]


13 Feb 2018 21:42 - +15990
It was said that Axis spies disguised as American soldiers were asked to recite Star Spangled Banner to prove they were the real deal. They recited the whole thing perfectly, and were immediately caught. Why? They recited *the whole thing.* Star-Spangled Banner has ***four*** stanzas, most Americans would only be familiar with the ~~first two~~ *first one.* (the part that is most commonly sung)
13 Feb 2018 21:56 - +8078
Australians just used: "Halt! Who goes there?" "It's Bruce you bloody bastard!" "Righto, in you come!" Apparently Japanese who could speak English would overhear it and give it a try and get shot. No one can fake an Australian accent.
13 Feb 2018 23:32 - +6339
The Pacific theater seemed to be a particularly unpleasant place for people with speech impediments.
13 Feb 2018 22:10 - +4275
When I was a kid and we went out to nice Japanese steak houses for dinner, my dad would invariably give the same name for the reservation/wait list: Lloyd Llewellyn. At any other restaurant it was always Thadeus T. Thudpucker. I had a strange childhood.
13 Feb 2018 20:53 - +4044
So that’s why in “The Pacific” HBO series , the password was “ lilliputian” .
13 Feb 2018 20:59 - +3765
Wow, TIR. Edit: just so that people don't think I'm just some random racist, I want to clarify that I'm Japanese. I'm so glad I moved to Canada at a young age so I can pronounce my R. I did get ~~traded~~ teased a little until I was fluent in English, but I can see the humor in it now. Also, another sound that we have a hard time pronouncing that maybe some of you don't know, is the "hoo" sound. We almost always say "foo". So "hoodie" will sound like "foodie" and "who" like "foo'". Edit 2: sorry, made a typo.
13 Feb 2018 21:27 - +3109
Same in Holland during ww2. Scheveningen is a hard word to pronounce if you are not Dutch. Mispronounce means you get shot.
13 Feb 2018 22:39 - +2428
This one is pretty straight forward. but I’d hate being behind enemy lines, making my way back and then having to play some fucking trivia roulette. I just know I’d miss every pop culture reference
13 Feb 2018 22:02 - +2149
13 Feb 2018 22:26 - +1114
"Hey grandpa, tell us again about that time you got left behind on a patrol and had to make your way back to friendly lines with nothing but peanut butter to eat!"
13 Feb 2018 23:14 - +757
It's actually a super old tactic the Bible records Gileads identifying escaping Ephraimites trying to cross the Jordan river by asking them to say "Shibboleth" and if they said "Sibboleth" because they could not pronounce it right they killed them. It's in Judges chapter 12.
13 Feb 2018 21:30 - +686
Reminds me of CoD: World at War *"Unite for the gro-ry of Japan!"*
13 Feb 2018 22:55 - +457
You rack disciprine. Shamfur Dispray.
14 Feb 2018 00:03 - +292
A Japanese immigrant I used to work for, who served in the US Army during Vietnam, told me a story about his brother who was a Marine. One night while returning to camp he was held at gunpoint by fellow Marines who did not believe him to be an American. The only thing that saved him was his thick American accent.... he'd lived in California since he was a toddler. If he had moved to the US later in life he would have had a Japanese accent and would have died that day.
13 Feb 2018 23:09 - +192
This is actually something which helped bring the Unabomber to trial! [Sauce](https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/07/23/words-on-trial). They talk about it to some extent (although I'm not sure how much is truly accurate) in the amazing Discovery miniseries *Manhunt: Unabomber* (it's on Netflix and I highly recommend).
14 Feb 2018 00:02 - +100
It's was an ugly, sad day when a British Intelligence officer on secondment chose the name of his old school as the password, know to this day as the "Harrow Incident"
13 Feb 2018 23:48 - +56
much like drei glaeser in Inglorious Basterds (Germans, and most Europeans start counting with the thumb)
14 Feb 2018 00:01 - +35
Welsh soldiers spoke in Welsh to each other to confuse the Germans. They thought it sounded like Russian and so didn't expect British soldiers.
13 Feb 2018 23:40 - +35
And if you want to read the entire Shit crazy way they communicated this to GIs you can read it in the Comic book [How to spot a jap!](http://www.ep.tc/howtospotajap/)
14 Feb 2018 01:04 - +33
This reminds me of one of my favorite scenes from Die Hard With A Vengeance. John McClane is in the elevator with some police officers, who are really German terrorists pretending to be police officers. Their accents are really convincing. But, as they talk, they reveal that they're imposters. First, the security guard says it's "raining dogs and cats". Then he calls the elevator a lift. Finally, McClane mentions the lottery and none of the cops respond (it's previously established in the movie that lottery tickets are common among NYPD officers). This leads to McClane checking one of the badges, recognizing it as belonging to another officer, at which point he kills them all.
13 Feb 2018 23:48 - +29
My Japanese wife is about as fluent in English as you can get. She is a far better speller than me (I'm an English prof). And it's still pretty much impossible for her the difference between words like "Razer" and "laser".
13 Feb 2018 22:57 - +26
Can confirm, my grandfather was in Okinawa. I remember him telling me this when I was about 7, he specifically said that one of the passwords was "Hollywood lollypop" and if someone couldn't say it, they were shot on sight.

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