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Guarding Grammar

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Loop Line

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Does anyone else find the tendency of train guards to say 'arriving into' rather than 'arriving at' annoying?

Does the train 'terminating' at Southport mean it will be destroyed and a new set introduced for the return service?
 
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ainsworth74

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No and I've never understood why people seem to get so wound up by it. It is perfectly clear what they mean and I think that's rather more important than being perfectly grammatically correct.
 

driver_m

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No I get more annoyed with injustices such as modern day slavery, the immigrant situation that we have, the government giving me more money by taking it off disabled people. But whatever annoys you I guess....
 

rebmcr

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Is it even grammatically incorrect? The train is going inside the station, after all.
 

Loop Line

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EM2 if you are displeased by the post then why not just refrain from answering?
 

Jona26

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The pedant in me gets annoyed with the announcement "We are now arriving at our final destination."
 

6Gman

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Does anyone else find the tendency of train guards to say 'arriving into' rather than 'arriving at' annoying?

Does the train 'terminating' at Southport mean it will be destroyed and a new set introduced for the return service?

Yes.

No.

But not as annoying as ATW "calling at the following principal stations" being followed by a list of all calling points. :D
 

hounddog

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One of my pet hates is 'between X to Y'. Its 'between X and Y' or 'from X to Y'.
 

3141

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It is perfectly clear what they mean and I think that's rather more important than being perfectly grammatically correct.

But it is possible to be perfectly clear and perfectly grammatically correct, and it would be better to aim at both. Getting the grammar right should ensure that the meaning is clear as well.

Though in the case quoted by the OP, I don't have strong feelings.
 

Loop Line

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Fair enough. Just a stronger reaction in general than I was expecting :) I mean there be whole threaden devotional to what annoyeth the sons of men whilst betrained, on this webular site.

'Respect to' rather than 'respect for' niggles. Though I'm not sure if it is actually incorrect.
 

Zoidberg

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Does anyone else find the tendency of train guards to say 'arriving into' rather than 'arriving at' annoying?

Does the train 'terminating' at Southport mean it will be destroyed and a new set introduced for the return service?

Annoying? No. But I find it surprising that someone, somewhere, decided that there was a need to introduce a new way of saying things where a perfectly adequate one existed.

Hearing "where this train will terminate" always raises a smile as it conjures up a vision of it going up in smoke as soon as it pulls into the platform.
 
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urbophile

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I know there are many more important things to get annoyed about. But I am a pedant, and can be [a] amused, or irritated by many of these verbal infelicities. Victoria Wood did a lovely spoof of similar corporate-speak, and perhaps if she were employed to record on-train announcements travel would be much improved.

Like 'customers' instead of 'passengers', most of these things are an example of smarmy profit-seekers trying to bamboozle people into believing they are friendly allies rather than simply out to get your cash. Or they are people who live in a David Brent-style world which is totally disconnected from the real one.

'The next service from platform X will be the MagicRail service for Cleckheaton':
why have trains stopped being trains? And why do we need to know which gang of rip-off merchants is responsible for it? (Well, perhaps we do, but there are other ways of finding that out)

'The next station stop will be...' I've said I am a pedant, but this outdoes me for pedantry. Ok, the train could stop in the middle of nowhere, but the doors wouldn't open and we all know that it wouldn't be our station. Or we could go through several stations that might technically be the 'next', but we wouldn't dream of alighting at them. (Incidentally, 'alight' is surely an old version of the same sort of thing: who in normal speech talks about 'alighting' from anything?)
'The next station' or 'the next stop' would not confuse anybody.

'Please take all your personal belongings with you'. Most people make sure that most of their personal belongings are safely stored at home before venturing out on a train. And what about impersonal belongings? Why not just say, 'Make sure you have got everything with you.'? It's a bit like 'dogs must be carried on escalators.'
 

edwin_m

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It's a bit like 'dogs must be carried on escalators.'

Yes, there's never a dog around when you need one. Rather like the building sites that say "hard hats must be worn", so if you turn up in a new one you have to spend 10min bashing it on the wall before they will let you in.

One that annoys me is people and also information systems that use "due" when they mean "expected". This is not only wrong but also confusing - due is what the timetable says and expected is the best guess at when it will actually be.
 

DaveNewcastle

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The only response I can think of to this thread is to wait for some Guards to come along to complain about the outrageous affrontery to the Queens English they have encountered when their passengers have spoken.

But perhaps you have never heard any passenger say a word which struck a chord which annoyed you.
 

DarloRich

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Does anyone else find the tendency of train guards to say 'arriving into' rather than 'arriving at' annoying?

Does the train 'terminating' at Southport mean it will be destroyed and a new set introduced for the return service?

Yes; it annoys me a little but not as much as:

injustices such as modern day slavery, the immigrant situation that we have, the government giving me more money by taking it off disabled people
 

Bevan Price

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Some will regard me as a pedant, too. And language does evolve. But, the impression I get is that grammar (and often spelling) do not seem to be taught very well at schools. Yes, there are more important things in life, but some of the things that irritate me (on railways or elsewhere) include: (For clarity, irritant words are shown in capital letters.)


"The train arriving TO Platform 13" (It is arriving AT the platform)

"The train slowed UP" (It might speed up, but it just slowed, or slowed down.)

"The organisation is headed UP by Mr. X" (UP is superfluous)

"Manchester U suffered a defeat TO Team X" (They were defeated BY Team X - or defeated AT Team X if it was an away match)
 

Phil.

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The only response I can think of to this thread is to wait for some Guards to come along to complain about the outrageous affrontery to the Queens English they have encountered when their passengers have spoken.

But perhaps you have never heard any passenger say a word which struck a chord which annoyed you.

I have frequently but when making public announcements it is important to use the correct grammar. Two wrongs don't make a right.
 

edwin_m

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So long as they are clear and unambiguous I don't see a major issue with announcements. A few are grammatically incorrect but not everybody has had the benefit of a good education and it would be unfair to exclude someone from a guard's job simply because their English is a little short of perfect. It is far more important for the guard to have an understanding of their safety duties and (where applicable) the ticketing system.

I tend to get much more annoyed about grammatical errors in printed documents/notices and in standard text on information screens (not the sort of free text put up by the controller during an incident). The people producing these weren't doing so on the spur of the moment and should have spent the time making sure they were correct.
 
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Senex

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A few are grammatically incorrect but not everybody has had the benefit of a good education and it would be unfair to exclude someone from a guard's job simply because their English is a little short of perfect.

Mastery of the grammar of today's Standard English should be something that everyone who has been through the school system has acquired, not just a "benefit of a good education". (Note: I am not talking about accent and I am not arguing about regional dialects.) Anyone in a public-facing job needs to have command of the form of the language that can be most widely understood not only by speakers within the language-community but also by foreigners for whom English is an acquired language.

I tend to get much more annoyed about grammatical errors in printed documents/notices and in standard text on information screens (not the sort of free text put up by the controller during an incident). The people producing these weren't doing so on the spur of the moment and should have spent the time making sure they were correct.

I agree completely about the errors in documents, notices, etc.

I also agree with another point made higher up in the thread about the appalling corporate speak that has affected the railways just as much as all other forms of big business and government, where every day and in every way everything just gets better and better, and they are all working so hard on our behalf and bringing us such wonderful improvements and so on, where the language being used is in total contrast to what we actually see happening around us.
 

edwin_m

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Mastery of the grammar of today's Standard English should be something that everyone who has been through the school system has acquired, not just a "benefit of a good education". (Note: I am not talking about accent and I am not arguing about regional dialects.) Anyone in a public-facing job needs to have command of the form of the language that can be most widely understood not only by speakers within the language-community but also by foreigners for whom English is an acquired language.

This seems to me to be an aspiration rather than a description of the current situation, and I don't think the sorts of rather trivial error highlighted in this thread actually affect the understanding of the message being given.
 

EM2

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Anyone in a public-facing job needs to have command of the form of the language that can be most widely understood not only by speakers within the language-community but also by foreigners for whom English is an acquired language.
And do you think that the messages mentioned in the OP cannot be widely understood?
 

Zoidberg

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This seems to me to be an aspiration rather than a description of the current situation, and I don't think the sorts of rather trivial error highlighted in this thread actually affect the understanding of the message being given.

What's set out in the opening post is not so much a trivial error by an individual, though. It seems to be "corporate speak" since I've heard the same phrases used across the network.

Somebody, somewhere, decided it's what's to be inflicted upon passengers. There was probably a focus group involved and buffet lunches and name badges and everything. :)
 

EM2

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Going back to the OP, why is 'arriving at' correct, and 'arriving into' not? Who says?
If I'm a passenger in a car, and someone that I'm meeting in Nottingham calls to ask where I am, I'd say 'We're just coming (or arriving) into Nottingham', not 'We're just arriving at Nottingham'.
I'd also say 'I'm in the car', but conversely 'I'm on the bus' or 'I'm on the train'.
What is the grammar rule that is being broken here?
 

Clip

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Oh look, another thread about the use of English and correct grammer and how it annoys people, just in a different section of the forum, yay!
 
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