By ADRIAN TAHOURDIN
Is it time for an update on station announcements? If the rail companies ran a faultless service in Britain the announcers would have an easy job of it. Sadly, this is very far from being the case, and announcers have to devise ever more baroquely phrased explanations for delays and cancellations. I know I’ve written about this subject more than once before but, to a captive auditor it’s a gift that keeps on giving or, as the announcer would no doubt have it, a donation that continues to donate.
I’m convinced that the English language is being stretched in new and unpredictable ways across station concourses up and down the land. And not necessarily in a good way.
“Please be advised that this train will now be subject to a platform alteration and will depart from Platform . . .” is a common one. Does it sound like standard English to you? No, nor me. How about “This train will now be departing from Platform . . . ”? Clearer, more concise and gets rid of the redundant genteelism “please be advised . . .".