Sunday 17 July 2005

Euphemisms on the Tube

On the London Underground right now there are, as expected, a number of disruptions and line closures. Over the tannoy they make announcements to warn passengers that such and such section of the District line is closed; this part of that line, which was supposed to be shut down for engineering work, is no longer going to be out of service; or there are delays because a station was evacuated for a time. Yet they never actually say "because of the terrorist attacks" or the "bombings"; there's instead some bland phrase to placate passengers that may panic at the thought that they might be in danger: the "security incident" of last week or the "emergency" - the high alert equivalent of "leaves on the line", I suppose.

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