All three of those words carry so much weight. They’re such strong words, which is probably why they’re used over audio communication to spell out letters, so there’s no confusion. You know “P” and “T” sound an awful lot a like over a crappy VoIP line, so being able to give the letters words to make certain the person on the other end understands is imperative.
I’m always impressed with people that have these words memorized. I do not. If I’m spelling something out, I’m fishing in my brain for words that could only start with a certain letter, and it doesn’t work very well. “M” as in meat…oh wait.
Anyways, I haven’t really even ventured into the discussion of why this design by Esther Aarts is so awesome, and why it’s so popular on Threadless. It’s because those three savory words spell out WTF…and we all know what that means.