Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Train Directly Behind will be here Momentarily

From Darren:
I am convinced there was an aspiring political adviser who took on an interim position with WMATA to come up with the words that we hear every day riding the Metro system.

If you consult a dictionary, the uses are technically correct, but after years of abuse by Metro, they've lost all meaning and now only cause pangs of dread in every rider's gut.


No hardened Metro rider has fallen for the pass-off trap for years now. Used as a premise to alleviate overcrowded trains, we’re often told that the next train is “directly” behind the train we need to board to make it to the office, school or in my case, Krav Maga on time.

The truth behind this is that there really is a train 1 to 20 stops behind the train now full and departing. Given that this is a rail system, the word "directly" is still technically correct regardless since there's nothing in between the two trains. That is, of course, if you’re not counting the mountain of sighs now piling up from those who either believed the message or couldn’t even get standing room on the first train.

“Directly” pales in comparison to the most dreaded of the "technically correct" words and phrases that are heard on the Metro.


How long is a moment is the question. I have had this last from a minute to over an hour, and still, it never sounds that long when crackled or boomed over the intercom. My favorite use is when stuck in a tunnel "momentarily" only to be interrupted momentarily over and over again to remind us that, yes, the train will be moving momentarily.
What are some other words that should be removed from the Metro spin lexicon? My first suggestion is "falling out."

Other items:
Carjacking at Largo Town Center (WaPo)
Riders may get more chances to speak out (Examiner)
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