…that shouldn’t prevent me from making observations and having the odd rant.
I am paid to write clear, unambiguous UK English text and to present it nicely on the page. I am good at that and I am paid reasonably well for my work. I am also proud of my work and I tend to spend at least as much time on ‘post production’ as I do on getting the facts down in the first place.
(Incidentally, as I mention elsewhere, the same level of care does not necessarily extend to my informal writings – my blog posts, Twitter expletives and Facebook irrelevancies are as cliché-ridden and as devoid of punctuation and capitals – and sometimes of spell checks – as anybody else’s.)
But I am primarily a writer and as such my written output has to be of a certain quality, or else my bosses will find someone else to do the work.
So is it too much to ask that someone that is paid to make announcements over a public address system should be able to construct grammatically correct sentences, using words in the English language, and enunciate them clearly?
Long time followers will know where I am going with this. If I am standing on the platform at Vauxhall and the indicators are broken I rely on the person making announcements to tell me when – and where – my train is coming in. Luckily I have been making this journey long enough to be able to interpret the garbage coming out of the ancient metal horns, but I wonder what new commuters make of such destinations as ‘Sabbydan’ and ‘Renzbar’? (Surbiton and Raynes Park, btw – yes, I work out in Good Life land)?
We live in a rich and multicultural society and I wouldn’t wish it otherwise. Different nationalities and regional accents are part of life but please, if you need someone to make an announcement to a platform full of irritable people, choose someone that can speak clearly. I have never met anyone that speaks like the woman whose voice makes the announcements on the Victoria Line trains (‘Queens English’? None of the queens that *I* know talk like that) but at least it’s clear and cuts through the rumble of the train.
“Plea sallow Dee Passanchas off ditren befo boddin an yoos ollavillible dorce. Chan jeer var arnasharay sovvisis, Diztren is var jazzindan zard. Stan Cliddidas.”
(Please allow the passengers off the train before boarding and use all available doors. Change here for all National Rail Services. This train is for Chessington South. Stand clear of the doors.)