[Tagging] tower vs mast vs antenna

osm at raggedred.net osm at raggedred.net
Thu Feb 7 09:49:30 UTC 2013

Greg Troxel <gdt at ir.bbn.com> 

>In UK English, the word "aerial" is used instead of "antenna".

IMO aerial is more the thing on a small device or the receiving antenna on a house roof.

>I have the impression, not well substantiated, that what I would call a
>tower in the US is often called a mast in the UK, particularly if it is
>not particularly tall and not built of steel lattice.

The local TV and radio here is broadcast from Belmont. The structure is often called Belmont mast, as are other tall broadcast structures. Belmont mast was until 2007 the tallest structure in the UK, so size is not the key. It is guyed. A mast can be a lattice tower, rarely if ever guyed, often now with many microwave dishes on it. Mast would be my first choice to describe it, but I do recognise tower too. It may be a somewhat regional phrase even within the UK.

A tower, to this Brit, can be confused with the stone or brick thing on the end of a church or castle or the building on an airfield where a radio operator or controller works. These would never be a mast, though the airfield tower could have a mast somewhere with an aerial connected to the radio transceiver.

Don't you just love English.
Cheers, Chris
osm user chillly

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