The chart below illustrates what is generally considered to be the official phonetic alphabet. This one is the ICAO/NATO international phonetic alphabet.
When actually operating on the bands, you will frequently hear other, locally-derived phonetics. In many cases, these are used to more clearly define a ham's callsign, using for example the word "kilowatt" instead of the standard "kilo". Others use their own version for the "cuteness" of it, such as "I Love Lucy" or similar phrases. There is nothing inherently incorrect in this, but it can make it more difficult for a contact to clearly distinguish a callsign when he is expecting the normal phonetics.
More good info here: Wikipedia: »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_phonetic_alphabet
last modified: 2007-11-10 15:05:52