Books, Music, Life.
Anouncement on the train to Liverpool the other morning:(after much cracking)'This is the grumpy old man speaking. I'd like to say I've had a nice couple of days off...unfortunately, the mother-in-law was staying with us. It's bad enough living with her daughter, who I had the misfortune to marry 30 years ago. Anyway, it's the same old story; I'll come down and check your tickets - if you haven't got one, that's cool, I can sell you one - if you haven't got any money to buy one, or don't want to part with it, do us both a favour and get off at the next stop. OK?'I laughed my head off in the carriage - unfortunately I was the only one to do so, as this is seemingly a regular occurrence and the passengers are used to it.
Excellent! I can imagine a familiar guffaw at that announcement.I think the inter-city trains tend to have "train managers" who have absorbed the corporate speak. They probably have to have exams in it. I expect there are higher marks for the highest number of words you can use to say the simplest thing.
Yes,they're probaby paid per word these days...Anyway his inspections are as casual as his announcments; usually when tickets are inspected they are scrutinised, stamped, clipped or drawn on - anything as proof they have been looked at. Not this chap. He sauntered down the centre aisle with cursory glances left and right, going 'yeah...great...whatever...' until he came to a girl opposite me who had not heard the announcement as she was wearing headphones. He waited while she searched frantically in her bag,before saying, 'let me guess - it's right at the bottom with another pair of shoes and your makeup bag, right?' After another minute, he said, 'oh, never mind, I'll believe you' and wandered off again. Brilliant.
How would he do on his performance review I wonder?It's nicely subversive isn't it- and probably only possible on a commuter train.
I am continually baffled on my train to St Pancras, when they describe it as "the last and final station, where this train will terminate". Just in case you were in any doubt about the inability of the train to plough through the John Betjeman statue. (Btw, found this by searching Blogger for people who like Powell and Pressburger films. You are a man of discernment.)
Welcome, Madame D. How's the knitting? I have boarded your banana boat and I like the cut of your jib.
At least it said 'arriving at'. I'm driven berserk by the use of 'arriving into'. Where did that come from?But my favourite example of utterly useless - and indeed misleading - language is the recorded message in Wolverhampton's Mander Centre whenever it rains. It says: 'Caution. Moisture is being transferred to the walking surfaces of the Mander Centre.'
Charles- aaaargh! Actually, now you mention it, I think the "train manager" did say "arriving into"- obviously, in the insane word bingo that they play, that's an extra point for one more word.At Piccadilly last week, there was a repeated recorded "customer announcement" about wet weather- what? in Manchester? - which said something like "customers are advised to take extra care due to slippery surfaces"
Travelling back from Newcastle yesterday. The train was the Transpennine Express to Manchester. Just before we set off the conductor announced that it was the Transpennine Express to...Liverpool. No-one seemed in the least bit perturbed, as we had the automatic announcement, and the visual display telling us we were going to Manchester. We trusted the machine rather than the man. And we were right.
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