At the Ref Desk (8/13/18): Complaints upstairs about someone playing the trumpet in one of the computer labs. Oy. [more...]

Mouthful to Say for CTA Train Drivers at Each & Every Stop

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 1/21/10 (6:20pm)

CTA Logo Has anyone else noticed drivers on the El announcing at every stop:

"Do not attempt to board the train. Doors closing."

That's a huge mouthful to say. No wonder they flub up every third stop or so. But what really gets me is that cognitively I don't think this works. In such a quick moment before the doors are about to close, you really need something snappier, simpler -- something like:

"Stand away. Doors closing."

I think that would work better.

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4 comments

by Stephen Francoeur on Thu, 1/21/10 (8:27pm)

NY's subway message, "Stand clear of the closing doors" comes through fine on the new trains that have a recorded message. On older trains, though, we can still enjoy things like, "Stand clear the closing doors" or "STEP AWAY FROM THE DOORS!!! YOU'RE HOLDING THE TRAIN UP FOR EVERYONE!!!"

by Leo Klein on Thu, 1/21/10 (10:48pm)

My sympathies go out to the drivers who have to repeat this stop after stop. I can just imagine the litigation that prompted such a directive from on high.

Of course in Chicago, the volume always seems to be turned up (inadvertently I assume) to the max so we'll all collectively go deaf, in which case the warnings will no longer have effect.

Heard my favorite warning ever from a conductor on a downtown 1 train yesterday: Please lean off the doors.

by Leo Klein on Wed, 2/3/10 (9:01am)

I think this is opening up huge new areas of research in use of the English language.